Sleeping all day in the sun. It’s a human’s dream, and a cat’s never-ending reality! Find a nice spot of sun in your home, and generally you’ll find your cat there too lapping it all up.
So why do cats like to hang around in the sun so much?
A full fur coat isn’t always enough to keep cats warm. They love to lounge in sunshine, snuggle in blankets, and perch atop a heat vent. So why is this?
Even in warmer climates, or where there’s mild winter, it’s often too cold for cats. Cats have a higher body temperature than us humans (a nice, toasty average body temperature of 39°C to be exact!).This begs the question: “Why do cats crave warmth?”
Before we domesticated them, cats lived in hot or desert areas—that’s where they developed a high heat tolerance. At this time in history, most were short-coated and long-bodied, which enabled cats to function in high temperatures.
A good percentage of the nutrients a kitty gets from their daily food intake (approximately 30%) is devoted purely to making their skin and coat supple and fuzzy. Plus, cats like to feel warm and secure before they fall asleep, and they do a heck of a lot of sleeping – usually 12-16hrs a day!
They also use the sunlight to help make up for the slight drop in body temperature that happens once they fall asleep. Some cats will even change their sleep positions to follow the movement of the sun, so they never miss out on that sweet sunlight-y goodness!
But the sun can’t shine every day, so what do cats do if there are no sunbeams to soak in?
Cats will look for alternative sources of heat, including blankets, lamps, heating vents, a warm lap, or even a car engine. You can help your cat keep warm by providing plenty fleece blankets and beds for your cat to nap in.
Where’s your cat’s favourite place to soak up the warmth of the sun?