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What’s The Ideal Temperature For A Cat?

Aug 19, 2014 · Updated May 23, 2015 · ·
  1. Anne
    What is really the best temperature for the cat’s room?
    Most cats have a favorite spot - the windowsill, the top of a cat tree, or right in the doorway. They often follow the sun and nearly warm themselves to a sizzle.

    Cats like, and can tolerate, warmer temperatures than dogs and some people. TCS forum member Arlyn says, “If you have no other pets in the apartment, you can keep it quite warm (85-90), and the cats won't be uncomfortable as long as the air is moving. Cats handle heat far better than other pets.” If it’s possible to leave windows ajar and a fan on, the air circulates and keeps rooms at an even temperature.

    Scruffy, also a TCS forum member, says she set her air conditioner at 70, but the high energy bills gave her pause. She was relieved to hear most forum members set the temperature at 78 or a little higher when they’re gone for the day. KKH went with 78, but says her cat, Ku Ku, meows when the air conditioner kicks on, as if to say she’s freezing.

    Judging Your Cat's Level of Comfort

    Abby by AbbysMom
    keeping warm in the doughnut position

    Mouse by member Mservant -
    conserving warmth in the "Cat Loaf" position


    Abby "opens up" in warm weather -
    by AbbysMom

    Some cats are vocal and quick to express their discomfort. If your cat meows constantly at certain times of the day and you've ruled out other reasons, consider the room temperature.

    Cats instinctively compensate by choosing a cooler, or warmer, location. During summertime, you may notice your cat looking for shady and air-conditioned rooms, lying on the bare floor or on a chair or shelf. In wintertime she's more likely to hog a spot of sunshine coming in through the window, and snuggle up on the couch, preferably in between the folds of a warm throw.

    Your cat's body position can also help you assess how warm or cool she is. When feeling cold, a cat tends to curl up, or bring its extremities - paws, tail and face - close to the core of its body. Typical postures are the round doughnut or the "cat loaf". When feeling too hot, a cat is more likely to sprawl, exposing as much of its body to the air.

    All-weather Tips

    A water bowl is mandatory any time, but especially on hot days. If the temperatures are climbing, put ice cubes in a bowl and let Kitty play with the cubes to cool off her feet as well as get a cooling drink as the ice melts. Access to the bathroom will let Kitty chill on the tile floor or in the tub or sink.

    Wintertime, how cold can you go? Kitty will complain at anything lower than 60, some before it even gets that low. Provide fleecy blankets or a tent for Kitty to snuggle in. At night, many people lower the thermostat, sometimes to 55 degrees. An electric blanket or a smaller version the size of a lap robe, placed at the foot of the bed, will keep Kitty and human feet toasty warm.


    In the summer, a cold drink helps to regulate Kitty’s internal thermostat. In the colder weather, warm her food. There are low- or no-sodium broths that can warm Kitty like a hot bowl of soup does a human. Fresh water, room temperature, will be welcome too.

    Older cats often have less body fat and need extra blankets to keep themselves warm. Cats who are chronically ill or suffering from old age and stiff joints will appreciate a bed warmer—check the pet supply stores. The warmers don’t use much energy but will feel wonderful to a chilled cat.

    Also consider the pet sitter if you’ll be gone for more than a couple of days. Sitters like to spend time with Kitty during the visit, but that’s harder to do if the house is hot and stuffy or cold and uninviting. Kitty is also more likely to hide and be unwilling to come out for a visit. Sitters want to check on Kitty’s overall health and happiness so a visible cat is important.

    If you find the temperature uncomfortable when you come home from work, Kitty did too. A digital thermostat that can be programmed is a good way to reduce the energy bill. As an experiment, for the first month lower the temperature by only five degrees and see what difference it makes to the cost. Adjustments can be made accordingly. Weatherproofing the windows and doors will also help Kitty stay comfy while you’re gone.

    All in all, a constant temperature uses less energy than raising/lowering the thermostat and makes for a happy cat.


    Comments? Leave them using the form below. Questions? Please use the cat forums for those!

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  1. jimmycatlover
    My big 18 pound indoor siberian loves the cold. I think this breed loves cold weather. Let me explain. He does stay in the 70 degree house, but also wants to go in the unheated garage which can be anywhere between 40 - 50 degrees during the Winter. His bed is in the garage to cuddle up in, lets me know when he wants to come in by knocking on the door. He seems to be doing fine. If he was uncomfortable there, he just wouldn't stay. I guess it depends on the breed of the cat. Thanks for the article.
      CHATTY KATTY HOME purraised this.
  2. fantisticat
    I'm always concerned when Bonnie heads under the blankets, head and all. How can the girl breathe? But, the article above seems to indicate that I don't have to think my gal is an idiot: she knows what she's doing! (And she does generally peek her head out eventually!)
  3. firsty
    My Norwegian Forest type cat wants to go out at any temp that's 10 degrees F and warmer and absolutely hates any blanket over him.  I keep my house at 62 degrees and sometimes have my wood burning stove going to 70 degrees.  I don't let him out in hot summer weather.  My short hair likes under a blanket sometimes and has learned how to cover himself.  He likes to sleep between us for more warmth. 75 degrees in the summer suits them both pretty well.
      CHATTY KATTY HOME purraised this.
  4. jimmycatlover
    Excellent information article and feedback from the members.
    Thank you (Tuxedo, Baby Brucie)
      CHATTY KATTY HOME purraised this.
  5. mackiemac
    Our cats like it about 78-80 degrees. But we get very hot here in the summer and I do have to watch the Persian with her flat face. I keep it at about 80 in the summer, which feels cool compared to outside temps of over 100 degrees! In the winter, it's about 75 inside. If they get cold, the cats migrate to our heated waterbed-- where a truce seems to exist. They don't all get along as a group ordinarily, but the waterbed seems to be a land of a truce, and neutral or agreed-upon shared territory. There's cool tile in the hallway and kitchen if they get too hot, and there are nest beds around if someone wants to get out of a draft.
  6. grooverite
    My cats meows a lot but not sure if bored, angry, upset, cold, hot, hurting, etc.....
  7. segelkatt
    @dbljj- do you mean over 73 degrees Fahrenheit or  really 73 % of the time?
  8. segelkatt
    @catcom-I have a Persian also but she likes it warm, sleeps on the patio in the sun and at night snuggled on my bed next to me but on top of the down comforter, even in the summer when I still have my comforter but have the fan running in the window. That cat is as weird as I am.
  9. dbljj
    well I am extremely HOT natured and much over 73% I need the A/C turned on.My cat has a nice warm sheepskin type thing by the vent in the cat room, so they are fine. If Opie however jumps on the loveseat he LOVES to be covered with a throw and will sleep for hours under cover...I am hoping he and Ally will eventually curl up together on this thing, it is plenty big for 2 but so far Ally hides behind the book shelf, or the computer desk..
  10. lemiman
    My cat likes to sleep on the cold hard floor and prefers sleeping in his carrier instead of the fluffy warm bed I got him. What a weirdo, he just like hard surfaces, even when the weather is cold.
  11. sparkymema
    I have a black lab 2 cats and a kitten that sleep in my bed during the winter. The Lab loves spooning and the cats and kittens get their way they like to lay between my legs. Happens less often in the summer though since I have a heavy pillow top bed. My other cat and kitten are just kind of crash wherever. 
  12. cat com
    my cat hates heat lol he's a Persian but doesn't like to much coldness .
  13. nebula
    During the winter, I make Xena catnip "TEA". I take no sodium chicken broth, put a couple tablespoons of catnip in it and then heat it slightly above room temp. She loves it!
  14. Anne
  15. jeana
    my cat never meows and when it gets really hot indoors she pants but when we turn even the fan on she shakes anybody know why??
  16. raysmyheart
    This article gets me thinking that it's time to start making preparations for the warm weather.  On really hot days, Speedy likes when I wrap her in a cool towel.
  17. segelkatt
    My black cat will go out on the patio when it is 100F, lie on the rug on his back in the sun, it can't be hot enough for him. On the other hand he will also go out there at night when it's 50F and sleep there all night. He can also be found on my bed on top of the covers but snuggled up next to me. In the winter he hogs the space in front of the space heater.
    My brown tabby Maine Coon mix prefers to lie on the tiles in the entry with the door open when it gets to be anything over 72F.
    The others (Persian and Birman) just go with the flow but also like to sleep with me given the chance if nobody else beat them to it. The black Maine Coon mix which I foster does not seem to have a favorite temp. 
  18. bonepicker
    My former feral likes to go out in the snow and does not seem to like temps over 80.
  19. jd miller
    My cat lets me roll him up like a little baby in a blanket when it's really cold out!
      kommunity kats purraised this.
  20. hagen
    my cats dont like lying on the sun. They prefere low temperature, becoude they are MCO :) rasy kotów are on this site
  21. meowmeow95
    My kitty always steals blankets from everybody, she sure likes the warmth ='w'=
  22. wasabipea
    For whatever it's worth, my kitty likes to sit on her perch by the window. In the AM when I leave, the breeze coming in that window is chilly before it warms up to afternoon temps. I feel bad with the chilly breeze, but don't want to leave the window closed all day, especialy when the breeze warms up later. I put a heating pad set on the second lowest setting under the towel she sleeps on and I keep it on all the time, I think she likes it and it helps warm her old bones to combat the cool breeze a little... I think she will love it in the cooler weather!
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