Do Cats Like Hot or Cold Weather? (An Owner’s Guide)

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Summer sun shines and your cat basks blissfully, absorbing every ray. Come winter, that same feline seeks warmth, curling up cozily. Ever wondered what temperature your cat truly prefers? Dive into this guide to feline comfort and discover how to keep them content in any climate.

Key takeaways:

  • Ideal Temperature: cats prefer indoor temperatures between 70°F and 80°F.
  • Weather Preference: domestic cats don’t strictly favor hot or cold but are leaning toward warmer conditions.
  • Summer Tips: prioritize hydration, offer shaded spots, and consider frozen catnip toys.
  • Winter Precautions: Avoid drafts, invest in cat-safe heated beds, and monitor antifreeze use around the home.
  • Signs of Discomfort: Monitor changes in behavior, check their body temperature, and observe their resting spots.

brown and white cat sleeping on wooden porch

What Temperature Range Do Cats Prefer?

Cats are fascinating creatures with an inherent knack for seeking out the coziest spots in our homes. But what temperature range do they naturally gravitate towards?

While they’re descendants of desert-dwelling animals, domestic cats typically prefer temperatures between 70°F and 80°F (21°C to 27°C). This comfort zone stems from their need for a stable internal temperature.

It’s why you might find your cat snuggling near the heater during cooler months or lounging in the shade during hotter periods. So, the next time you’re setting your home thermostat, bear this range in mind.

We like to remind you that every cat is an individual, so some might have slightly different preferences based on their fur length, age, or health.

Hot Weather or Cold: What Do Cats Enjoy More?

The age-old question. Do cats love the warmth of summer or the chilly embrace of winter? 

While it’s true that cats have evolved from desert ancestors and possess a coat designed to fend off the cold, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have a preference for one extreme.

Cats are opportunists at heart. On hot days, you’ll often find them stretched out in shaded areas, enjoying the cooler ground, whereas, on cold days, they might burrow into blankets or seek out sunny spots.

However, if we had to pinpoint a favorite, most cats might lean slightly toward warmer conditions. Their internal temperature runs a bit higher than ours, and their furry coats serve as insulation.

But, as always, it’s crucial to monitor your pet and ensure they have options to cool down in summer or warm up in winter. After all, while they might enjoy basking in the sun or snuggling on a chilly evening, extremes in any direction aren’t ideal for our whiskered companions.

How Can You Keep Your Cat Comfortable in the Summer?

Ah, summer, with its balmy days and sultry nights. While we humans might be reaching for the nearest ice-cold beverage, our feline friends have their own ways of cooling down. But how can you make their summer experience even better?

  1. Consistent Fresh Water Supply. Cats can be a tad finicky about water, but during summer, hydration is key. Ensure their bowl is always filled with fresh water. Some cats even enjoy ice cubes in their water on especially hot days – it’s a cool treat and a source of entertainment!
  2. Cool Retreats. Offer shaded spots around the house. You can set up a light cotton blanket or sheet, creating a little tent-like structure for them to lounge under. It’s simple, yet so effective.
  3. Frozen Catnip Toys. Now, here’s a unique tip that not everyone thinks about: freeze catnip toys or wet toys. Cats love playing with these chilly toys, and it helps to cool them down. You can wet catnip toys or take soft toys and freeze them, providing a coll plaything for your cat during hot weather. There are also cooling pads or mats available.
  4. Grooming. A well-groomed cat is a cooler cat. Regularly brush your cat to remove excess fur which can help them regulate their temperature better.
  5. Climate-Controlled Environment. While it’s tempting to save on electricity, it’s worth keeping the air conditioner or fans running during the peak heat, especially if you’re away.

Pondering about summer comfort is more than just cute ways to pamper your feline; it’s about ensuring their well-being during the warmest part of the year.

white kitten sleeping next to ventilator near window

Precautions to Take for Your Cat in the Winter

When the leaves fall and a chill takes over the air, it’s time to switch gears and think about our whiskered companions’ comfort during the colder months.

  1. Heated Beds or Pads. Consider investing in a cat-safe heated bed or pad. They’re cozy, safe, and cats absolutely adore them. It’s like the ultimate winter treat!
  2. Draft-Free Zone. Cats love cozying up in warm spots, but drafts can make certain areas cold. Ensure your cat’s resting spots aren’t near drafty windows or doors. A simple seal or weatherstrip can work wonders.
  3. Mind the Antifreeze. This is vital. Antifreeze is deadly to cats but is often used in winter. Car radiators, and home plumbing systems in vacation homes where pipes might freeze pose a risk. Antifreeze has a sweet taste that can be enticing to pets, but even small amounts can be deadly if ingested. Ensure any spills are cleaned up promptly, and store containers out of their reach.
  4. Moisturize Their Paws. Here’s a tidbit not everyone considers: the cold can dry out your cat’s paws. Invest in a cat-safe paw moisturizer or balm to keep those toe beans soft and supple.
  5. Regular Play. While it’s cold outside, your cat can get restless indoors. Regular play keeps them active, ensuring they stay warm and burn off any extra energy.

The winter wonderland might be a sight to behold, but it’s essential to take these precautions, ensuring your feline feels nothing less than purr-fectly comfortable.

How to Tell if Your Cat Is Too Hot or Too Cold?

Every cat owner wants to ensure their feline friend’s ultimate comfort. But unlike us, our cats can’t just tell us when they’re too chilly or overly warm. Still, they give away hints, if you know where to look.

Check their body temperature. The ideal body temperature for cats ranges between 100.4°F to 102.5°F. If it veers outside this range, it’s a clear sign they’re either too hot or cold.

Look for behavioral changes. Overheated cats might pant, become lethargic, or excessively groom themselves to cool down. On the flip side, cold cats may huddle, seek out warm spots, or even shiver.

Check their ear and paw pad temperature. A cat’s ear and paw pads are excellent temperature indicators. If they’re too warm or cold to your touch, it could signal a temperature issue.

Notice any appetite changes. Just like us, cats may not feel like eating when they’re too hot. If they’re cold, they might consume a bit more, trying to gain energy to warm up.

Are they seeking shelter or sun? Does your cat often hide in cooler, shaded spots, or is always lounging under sunlight? They’re showing you their comfort preferences right there.

As you continue to journey with your feline, remember that their well-being is a blend of intuition and knowledge. Observing their behavior and knowing the signs makes you the best advocate for their comfort.

Now, to wrap up this warm (or cool) guide, keep in mind that cats, just like us, have their own unique comfort thresholds. The wisdom you’ve gained here will help you tune into their needs and create a haven, whether it’s a sunlit corner or a cozy winter alcove. And always, trust in the bond you share with your pet. It’s the unspoken language of care and understanding.


What temperature is considered too cold or hot for indoor cats?

Indoor cats are most comfortable in temperatures ranging from 70°F to 80°F. Extremes beyond this can be distressing for them.

Do cats like air conditioning?

Cats generally appreciate a cooler environment during hot days so they might find solace in air-conditioned rooms, but they shouldn’t be exposed to cold drafts.

Should you leave the air conditioning on for your cat?

If it’s excessively hot, maintaining a comfortable room temperature using air conditioning can benefit your cat, but ensure it doesn’t get too chilly. A room temperature between of about 76°F ensures your cat’s well-being and comfort.

What temperature is too cold for cats?

Anything below 45°F can start to be uncomfortable for many cats, especially if they are exposed for prolonged periods.

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