Updated: August 8, 2022 by Kristen Chapple
When the hot sunny days of summer arrive, everybody feels like throwing away their clothes, enjoying ice cold beers by the pool or going to the beach to cool off. And sometimes not even that is enough. But what about those furry little friends of ours? How do they get through those hot summer days? How do cats cool off?
When you think about that thick fur coat of a cat, knowing that they don’t sweat, you might become curious on how can they cope with all that heat and rising body temperature. Especially since they don’t consume beer at all.
How Do Cats Cool Off
It’s a known fact that cats don’t sweat and the belief that they sweat through their tiny little paws is a misconception.
The cooling off mechanism of cats is a little bit different than what we might know. They have several ways to drop their body’s temperature as summer goes on.
In sweltering weather, you might find cats laying around on cold surfaces in an attempt to cool down their bodies. Conduction is simple physics. By contact with a surface of a different temperature than their body, there’s an exchange of heat that goes on there, balancing the temperatures of both the surface and the cat’s body.
But that is a process that happens all the time with anything in nature.
The process of grooming doesn’t have only a cleaning role but also reproduces the same cooling effect that the evaporation of sweat has on our bodies.
The saliva on a cat’s tongue acts in the same way sweat acts on our bodies. It moisturizes the skin under the fur coat and produces the evaporation that leads to a drop in temperature on the part of the skin where the saliva evaporated.
Another important role of grooming is that it aerates the fur and allows for a better air flow through it, thus acting as a cooling down mechanism for the cat.
The Fur Coat
And if you think of shaving your little fluffy friend in an attempt to help him cool off during those torrid summer days, well, think again. They need that fur.
A cat’s fur coat acts as a thermal regulator by slowing down the heat absorption in their bodies. The fur keeps cats warm in the winter but protects their skin from the sun and slows down dehydration during summer.
So next time when you feel sorry for your little furry friend for not being able to have a beer with you, don’t. He’s fine with all that fur of his.