Cats In Hot Weather | Five Surprising Ways They Keep Their Cool

By Category: Cats And The Weather, How Do Cats Stay Cool In Hot Weather
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Do you worry about cats in hot weather? This might surprise you. Our fur helps keep us cool, even when the temperature soars. We have other ways of staying cool, too. Keep reading, and I’ll tell you what they are and how you can help cats from overheating when it’s blazing hot outside.

Cats in hot weather have ways of staying cool. But eating ice cream isn't one of them.

Cats in hot weather have ways of staying cool. But eating ice cream isn’t one of them.

I’m so concerned about the outside cats in hot weather, Thomasina. How do they keep cool? It’s blazing hot today, and my outside cat is stretched out under a bush and refuses to come in. — Concerned Cat Mom

Hey, Concerned Cat Mom…
I don’t think you need to worry about your boy. Cats in hot weather are usually just fine. We know how to stay cool. And we’re homeotherms (We’re what??? The human typist strikes again, and I don’t like the sound of that!). Oh, I see. It means we’re able to adjust internal heat gain and loss so we can maintain a constant body temperature. Well, I knew that!

Believe it or not, the most important thing cats in hot weather have going for them is their fur. It provides insulation that keeps us warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It also helps us stay hydrated and protects us from sunburn. So if you’re thinking about shaving your cat, please don’t!

Cats In Hot Weather: How We Keep Our Cool

When you get hot, you get all sweaty and wet. But we can’t do that. Cats perspire (How’s that for a polite word!) through their feet. That doesn’t do much to cool us off. So in addition to our fur, here are five other ways cats keep cool in hot weather.

1. We lick ourselves a lot. The saliva evaporating from our fur provides a cooling effect, similar to perspiration evaporating from your skin.

2.We know where the cool places are and seek them out. Outside, we’ll nap under a big bush or hang out in the woods. Inside, cats keep cool by sleeping on a tile floor or even in the sink or bathtub. The cool surface draws heat from our bodies.

3.We stretch out and may even lie on our backs because we’re cooler that way.

4. We rest and sleep more. We know exertion can make us overheat when it’s very hot.

5. We drink more. Staying hydrated will keep cats cool. I prefer to get drinks from the stream behind our condo, but your cats should have a big bowl of cool water outside when they’re outdoors. A big self-waterer in a shady place will work, too.

When Cats Lose Their Cool


This has never happened to me, thank goodness, but cats can overheat. Our average temperature range is between 99.5 and 102.5 Fahrenheit. If your cat’s temperature reaches 105, it could be fatal. You can always check his temperature with an ear thermometer, but he probably won’t appreciate that at all. But there are other ways to tell if he has hyperthermia or heatstroke.

We don’t cool down by panting the way dogs do. So if you see your cat panting, you’ll know he’s way too hot.

Other signs of heatstroke include

Cooling Off A Hot Cat

If your cat shows signs of overheating, he needs to see a vet right away. This can quickly become a medical emergency. In the meantime…

Helping Your Outside Cat Beat The Heat

When I’m too hot, I hang out in the woods. It’s always much cooler there. But if you don’t have woods or a big patch of trees at your house, here are some ways to help your outside cat beat the heat.

I hope this helps, Concerned Cat Mom. If you’ll excuse me, I’m headed outside now. It’s getting cooler, and Muffitt is already under a big bush watching the dogs and their people go by.

Read More About Cats And The Weather

Do Cats Know When It’s Going To Rain?

How Cats Cope In Cold Weather

How The Weather Affects Cat Behavior

I'm so excited. Our lost cat is home! He was…