Cooling off on a hot summer day makes a lot of sense, so when the thermometer begins to rise, it’s common to see people getting out the fan or turning on the air conditioner to make an otherwise warm room more comfortable. But do you know what your furry friend prefers? Contrary to conventional wisdom, you may be surprised to learn that your cat prefers a colder temperature.
Cats like air conditioning because they can’t produce enough sweat to cool themselves off. However, even though they’re capable of maintaining a stable body temperature, being exposed to AC for an extended period will cause their body to lose more heat than it can generate.
Apart from your air conditioner, have you ever noticed your cat dying to sit in front of an open refrigerator? Probably, yes! But why? Because low temperatures keep cats cool.
This is the reason why cats like air-conditioned rooms, especially during the summer months.
Besides, we don’t unusually turn the AC on to uncomfortably low temperatures. However, it would help if you also remembered that not all cat breeds could regulate their body temperatures naturally. The same goes for kittens as well.
Table of Contents
- Is Air Conditioning Bad for Cats?
- Can Cats Live Without Air Conditioning?
- What Temperature Should You Leave Your AC on For Your Cat?
- How Do Cats Cool Down During Summer?
- Can Cats Catch Cold?
- Why Do Cats Like Air Vents?
- Why Do Cats Sniff at Air Conditioning Vents?
Is Air Conditioning Bad for Cats?
Air conditioning isn’t bad for cats since it’s not considered a health hazard for them. AC vents provide the ideal temperature that reduces heat stress for adult cats. However, cold temperatures for prolonged periods can negatively affect a cat’s health.
Whether or not air conditioning is good for your cat also depends on their age, breed, body mass, and amount of fur they have.
Also, AC’s can sometimes be bothersome for most cats if the air is blown directly on them.
For instance, cats hate it when strong gusts of air blow straight on their face, either from the fan, the window, or the air conditioning unit.
Although the gust of wind won’t hurt your furry pet, they’ll sometimes find it irritating and annoying.
We recommend that you keep your cat away from direct air blows, especially from AC units, and you can do this by changing the direction that the air vent is pointing in and aim it towards the ceiling.
So, the next time your kitty creeps into your room, and you have the AC turned on, ensure that the air gust is not directly blowing on them.
In other words, an air conditioning system can reduce the risks of extreme heat being accumulated in the cat’s body during hot days.
If you heard about the popular myth saying air conditioning can make pets sick, including both cats and dogs, then it’s time to stop giving ears to such misconceptions.
The fact is that air conditioning won’t make your four-legged friend sick, provided the AC is cleaned regularly.
Living under dirty, mouldy, or old air conditioners is not only harmful to your pets but for yourself too!
So, cleaning out the buildup of dust and dirt from your AC filters is extremely necessary for a healthy living environment.
However, air conditioning is not recommended for pets with a weak immune system because it’ll deteriorate their health while making them susceptible to catching a cold more easily. Hence, it’s best to keep them cosy and warm.
Can Cats Live Without Air Conditioning?
Cats can live without air conditioning because they’re able to naturally cool themselves off by licking their fur since their saliva can give their coat a cooling effect when it evaporates.
Cats can also use panting to cool themselves off when they’re overheated since it allows them to maintain a stable body temperature.
Air conditioning is not mandatory for cats during the hot months.
Indeed, living in hot and humid rooms would be uncomfortable for them at times, just like us, but they can live without it.
However, if your home is overheated during the summer, it’s safer to go for air conditioning since excessive heat may cause dehydration and heat exhaustion in your feline pet.
This is often equivalent to a cat sitting in the heat outside under the scorching sun rays for too long.
If your cat spends most of their time outdoors, you should leave some cool water for them outside. It’ll at least save them from dehydration or heat exhaustion.
What Temperature Should You Leave Your AC on For Your Cat?
An average AC temperature between 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit would be comfortable for adult cats. However, kittens prefer a warmer environment, and an average temperature between 75 to 80 degrees would be ideal.
How Do Cats Cool Down During Summer?
During the summer, cats rest in shady spots such as the basement or laundry room of the house since these areas are cool even during the hottest part of the day.
While air conditioning helps cats keep themselves cool, not all felines are lucky enough to live in air-conditioned spaces. So, how do their bodies respond to heat during days with warmer temperatures?
You may immediately think of sweating like we do to keep our bodies cool in hot climates.
But interestingly, felines don’t sweat like human beings! Instead, they regulate their body temperature by sweating through their paws.
The popular methods for cooling down include panting and grooming.
Therefore, cats will find it extremely uncomfortable to live in enclosed spaces that have no proper airflow.
On top of that, if the enclosed area is hot, the furry fellow would not cool down.
This is the reason why experts and veterinarians suggest that pet owners shouldn’t keep cats in small and unventilated rooms, sheds, greenhouses, or enclosed cars.
It’s also a bad idea to leave your kitten in an enclosed space where there’s a lot of sunlight coming in.
It will only take around 10-15 minutes for your cat to collapse due to heat exhaustion or even suffer from heatstroke. If there’s humidity, the situation will grow worse.
In extreme situations, the constant exposure to heat may also result in death.
Yes, felines can’t tolerate sunshine on hot days, just like us. After all, they, too, are homeotherms (warm-blooded).
By the way, did you know that cats have lower heat sensitivity than us? This is why they can tolerate heat temperatures around 100-112° Fahrenheit. On the contrary, the ideal temperature for your room during the summer should be below 95° F.
Don’t worry; if your cat gets a bit chilly from the AC temperature, they’ll warm themselves by curling up with a warm and comfy blanket. This would be a better solution for your cat to survive the hot months.
Can Cats Catch Cold?
Air conditioning may be just another way for humans to control the environment, but it can have a very different effect on our feline friends.
As with people, cats can get sick from changes in temperatures, so when the temperature outside drops, remember to keep a close eye on your kitty to adjust the thermostat to keep them comfortable.
Felines, especially short-haired ones, can easily catch a cold compared to those with long hair.
If you have a long-haired feline, you may have probably seen them chilling in an air-conditioned room lying on their back with their legs spread open.
The reason is simple. Cats with long hair or a thick fur coat rarely feel cold, even in the summer…
A good example would be Persian cats since they’re known for their long and thick fur, but short-haired cats will catch a cold easily since they don’t have enough fur, even though it’s enough to keep them warm to some extent.
In short, the furrier your pets are the warmer their gonna stay.
If your kitty has short hair, avoid letting them sleep under the air conditioner unit; otherwise, they’ll eventually catch a cold.
In such a case, it’ll be a good option to keep them in a heated bed or try building out a small living space beside a window that has a moderate amount of sunlight.
You can use a thermostat to regulate your indoor temperatures. Most cats would be comfortable in room temperatures around 70° Fahrenheit. However, the ideal room temperature for older short-haired cats would be around 78° Fahrenheit.
Why Do Cats Like Air Vents?
Think of all the places you’ve ever seen a cat sleep. They tend to be tucked away in a warm cosy bed or next to their favourite human, but recently, you’ll probably see them lounging or curled up next to the air conditioning vent. If you’ve ever owned a cat, you know that they can become obsessed over certain spots in the house, so why do they like air vents?
Cats like air vents because of the gentle breeze they receive from it since this not only soothes but relaxes them; however, cats don’t like air blown directly on their face since they find it very annoying or irritating.
Why Do Cats Sniff at Air Conditioning Vents?
It’s possible that when you return home from work and turn the AC on, you’ll notice your cat doing something silly – sniffing curiously at the air vents as if they can smell a pest.
Cats sniff air vents because they can smell their prey since most rodents and insects dwell in these areas of the house.