Picture this. It’s a Sunday morning in early summer, Mr & Mrs Pet Parent are enjoying a bit of a lie in as the sun gradually edges it way across the floor. Pussa & Soph have taken up their positions against the window enjoying their post-breakfast snooze. Hours after the Pet Parents have gotten on with their day Pussa and Soph are still stretched out like long pieces of spaghetti in the increasing heat of the sun. It’s hard for us to fathom, especially considering they’re wearing a fur coat, why your Favourite Feline would willingly appear to heat themselves to the point of internal combustion. As is often the case with things cat, the reason your cat loves the sun is really quite logical.
As a fellow mammal your warm-blooded cat likes to run with an optimum body temperature of between 37.7° and 39.1°. Humans are about 37°, sans the fur coat. By our standards cats have a high tolerance to heat which probably stems from its origins in the deserts of the Middle East. One way cats regulate their body temperature is by grooming as the evaporation of the saliva your cat leaves on its fur has a cooling effect on the skin. It also follows that cats with shorter coats will disburse heat quicker and easier than those with longer coats which will trap heat. If Pussa and Soph were long haired Persian types I doubt they’d be quite as exuberant about their sun baking as they appear to be. So this explains how they can tolerate the heat, but why does your cat love the sun?
Why your cat loves the sun:
- Part of your cat’s daily energy intake will be used to maintain its body temperature. If puss-cat can aid that effort by lying in sun she’ll utilise less energy to do so
- The inbuilt hunting instinct of cats requires a switched on brain. That brain requires loads of energy to function and another reason why your supposedly lazy cat will lie in the sun to save on energy
- Just like humans, when your puss-cat sleeps certain body functions slow down, and so if they can get their body to act as a solar panel it’ll help negate the drop in their basal metabolic rate.
This is essentially the same explanation as why cats gravitate to cardboard boxes, cupboards or wall cavities! I have to say that Soph has less heat tolerance than Pussa and in fact she has worked out quite a clever system for herself. She lies under our bed with her back paws and tail in the sun, while keeps her little pink nose and ears out of it. She’s obviously been heeding the sun-smart advice from those beauty pages she likes to read.
Those sunny spots which are favoured by your feline companion can end up being the collection point for a whole heap of cat hair. Keep all that fur under control with one of our Feline Futons which are machine washable and can be moved around as the sun beckons your Favourite Feline.