What Temperature is Too Hot for Cats?

After bringing home a cat, you want him to feel as happy in the home as possible. You may have heard the cat’s ancestors once inhabited the deserts of northern Africa and think that he can handle high temperatures. However, you don’t want it too hot for him either.

What temperature is too hot for cats? Cats have higher body temperatures, so they can handle temperatures in the 90-degree Fahrenheit range without a problem. Keep in mind, how well they handle the temperature will depend on age, fur type, health and humidity. What feels comfortable to humans won’t feel too far off the mark for cats.

If you’d like to learn more about what temperature is too hot to keep your cat safe, keep reading as we further elaborate on the subject.

Watch Your Cat on Hot Days

For extra safety, keep a close eye on your cat on hot days. Because cats used to dwell in the deserts, they can handle hotter weather. Still, you anything over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and you may want to monitor your cat.

I’ve seen my gray cat bask in the sun’s rays even 90-degree weather, which blows my mind.

When you watch your cat, you will want to know the signs of heatstroke to keep him safe.

Several of the signs of heatstroke in a cat include:

  • Panting
  • Bright red gums
  • Pale gums
  • Increased heart rate
  • Breathing distress
  • Restlessness
  • Drooling
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Once you stabilize your cat’s temperature, he requires no further treatment. With that said, don’t be surprised if it takes from two to three days before going back to normal. It may take several days before signs of organ damage develop. If he continues to act strangely after two to three days following a heatstroke, take him in to see a veterinarian. The sooner, the better.

Is 80 Degrees Too Hot for a Cat?

In fact, 80-degree weather would be the perfect temperature for a cat because of how they like it hot but not too hot. Like humans, we want to feel a comfortable temperature. Rarely will 80-degree Fahrenheit weather pose a risk to your cat.

The one exception to this rule is obese cats, heavy fur cats and elderly cats over the age of 11. Still, 80 degrees wouldn’t pose a problem to most cats like how it wouldn’t to most humans, cats even less so because of their desert ancestors.

If you’d like to learn more about cats in the desert, check out this video on the desert sand cat of Saudi Arabia:

As a family member of the cat family, it gives you an idea as to the temperature extremes that cats can endure.

With that said, cats can handle the heat better than the cold, but as our pets, we want to ensure their survival. In the wilderness, this safety net doesn’t exist, which forces them to push themselves as far as they can. I wouldn’t advise that for a house cat unaccustomed to such things. Also, house cats are slightly different from sand cats.

If you’d like to learn more about whether cats prefer the heat or the cold, I wrote an article about that here.

Is 90 Degrees Too Hot for a Cat?

Generally speaking, I would say that the lower 90 degrees Fahrenheit wouldn’t pose a problem, provided there’s no humidity.

With that said, you want to start watching your cat once the temperatures climb into the 90-degree Fahrenheit range because of how it can start to cause issues for cats with underlying health problems.

Many humans start to feel uncomfortable in the upper 80s, and cats are similar. They may handle a little more heat than humans with grace, but you don’t want it too hot for your cat either. I would recommend keeping your cat indoors for days that go over 95 degrees Fahrenheit to keep him safe. It may not be a problem, but most people want to protect their cats.

Interesting Trick Cats Use to Stay Cool

Cats have a little trick to stay cool that some humans may not realize. When a cat feels too hot, he will often roll in the shady part of the dirt to cool off. Many times, you will often see them laying on cool dirt on hot days. They seek cool surfaces to lie in, which includes tile or stone.

If you found that interesting, then you may want to check out some of the other reasons that your cat rolls in dirt. I wrote about that here, and you have some other fascinating reasons for this feline behavior. Check it out!

How to Keep Your Cat Comfortable on Hot Days

On the truly hot days, where the temperature rises to over 90 degrees, I would recommend bringing your cat indoors to prevent heatstroke. Unfortunately, we can’t control the weather outside. However, you have several things that you can do to keep the temperatures stable.

For example, you might put a cat fountain out like the Cat Water Fountain Stainless Steel Drinking Fountain. The advantage of a drinking fountain comes from the fact that your cat can take advantage of moving water. Cats prefer this because of how this water has less likeliness to have dangerous bacteria in it.

Cats often get their water from their prey, so they don’t drink water that much, but you can take advantage of this by providing them with wet cat food. On too hot of a day, they may drink more water than usual.

What Temperature is Best for Your Cat?

The perfect temperatures depend on each individual cat’s comfort level. I have known cats that would seek the hot garage in 85-degree Fahrenheit weather. At the same time, I’ve seen cats that prefer colder than that because of thick fur. The best temperature hovers around the same that humans prefer. Anywhere from 72 to 82 degrees would be fine.

Even in air conditioning of 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, your cat will do fine as long as you provide him with warm spaces for when he feels cold. The only exceptions would be the breeds that don’t have fur or little fur.

Another thing that you can do is pay attention to his favorite hangouts and add extra shade to the location to keep it cooler.

Keep him in an area where air conditioning or ventilation will cool him off when needed. Like humans, the cat will naturally seek this out if he feels too hot.

Expert Tip: If you suspect that your cat has suffered a heatstroke, I would recommend taking him in to see a veterinarian as soon as possible. The sooner you respond to a heatstroke, the better. This prevents long-term bodily damage. Stabilizing his temperature as quickly as possible is also a must for survival.

What to Know About Keeping Your Cat Cool with a Fan

I’d like to highlight this especially for cases where you believe that your cat might be in the grips of a heatstroke. Don’t put him in front of a fan to cool off. Running the fan without the AC won’t do much for your cat because their body differs from humans.

Fans work on humans because it evaporates the sweat off our skin. Instead of sweating on the skin, cats sweat primarily at their paws. Because of this, fans won’t work on them in the same way that it does for humans. If you tried to put your cat in front of a fan to cool him off, it may not have a strong enough effect to make a difference.

How Do Cats Keep Cool in Hot Temperatures?

Heatstroke in cats remains relatively rare in comparison to dogs, but it still happens. Many cats know how to keep cool and because they have a higher body temperature, it doesn’t pose as much problem. We already spoke about how they roll in the dirt and use the dirt to keep cool on hot days, but they do other things as well.

One example of their method being to cool themselves off through grooming themselves. Because cats sweat differently from humans, they use grooming as a way of cooling off on too hot of a day. It works in the same way that human sweat cools us off.

You may also notice how your cat drinks more water during this time, and he may disappear for a period. In temperatures that rise into the upper 90s and above, your cat may take longer naps and exhibit less activity. This inactivity keeps their body temperature lower, and they often sleep in shady locations away from the sunlight.

Should You Shave Your Cat?

In the hotter temperatures, you may think to shave your cat to keep him cooler. His fur, however, has insulating properties that lets him maintain body temperature even in warm weather. Because of that, I wouldn’t recommend that anyone shaves their cat. Not only do they look pitiful, but it doesn’t have the impact you hope for.

What to Do Instead: Instead of shaving your cat, you may want to brush his fur coat frequently. This removes the excess undercoat that contributes to overheating on hot days.

How Do You Know if Your Cat is Too Warm?

To know if your cat feels too warm, stay observant especially on days where the temperature rises above 95 degrees Fahrenheit. If he begins to display signs that he may be overheating, you may want to take him someplace cooler like indoors with air conditioning.

If you take his body temperature to monitor it, keep in mind that cats keep a normal body temperature of between 100.4 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, warmer than humans. Anything over that, however, and your cat either has a fever or he may be overheating. You want to get him someplace to control his temperature better to avoid heatstroke.

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