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How hot is too hot for cats?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
With summer approaching, I like to keep my AC off while I am out (to save on energy bills). However,if it gets too hot, I will turn it on.

I have a fan going on while I am out to circulate the air at least.

Is there a certain temp that is considered too hot for cats?
post #2 of 19
Great question - I'd like to know as well.

When I'm at home I keep the air on 72 (the absolute highest for me). When I'm not at home I put it up to 77 and since I leave the blinds down and such, I think that it just stays there and the air doesn't turn on period.
post #3 of 19
Yes, very good question. Cats seem to like it very warm. I have a black cat and he will sit on the window sill (windows closed) just soaking up the sun. When I pet him I just can't believe how hot his fur is! But he seems to love it! That is on relatively cool days. Right now NYC is having a heat wave, and despite what I've observed, I left the AC on low when I left for work today. Nevertheless, I believe that as long as the cat can get out of direct sun, and has plenty of water to drink, they will do fine in the heat. I think extreme cold is more of a concern for cats.
post #4 of 19
A subject near and unfortunately dear to my heart: the air conditioning system in my top-floor condo does not work well, and short of spending over $5,000, won't. For example, today with the ac running 24x7, I am hoping it is *only* 85 inside my condo; it's been as high as 94.
I closely monitored the way she reacted to heat all last summerar. Ritz is okay when the temperature inside is around 85. She sleeps behind the sofa, despite it being always around five to seven degrees cooler in my bedroom (because of the way the duct work is designed). She showed no signs of distress, although understandably, she didn't have a lot of energy for playing. A danger sign would be vomiting, in which case I'd take Ritz immediately to the bedroom or the vet.
I have ceiling fans in both the main living room and bedroom, which helps.
For the first time, this year I have a window ac unit in my bedroom, which she is slowly accepting. It takes up half of her favorite perching area--the window sill. I will play with her in that room, but no where else unless the the temperature inside reaches around 80. I've tried putting her food on ice, but she doesn't like the crackling sound. I have tried putting my fingers on ice, and then on to her paws; she didn't like it. A friend has three indoor/outdoor cats, who have gone up to her unairconditioned attic on the hottest time of the day to sunbathe.
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post #5 of 19
Many cats do fine living in temperatures above 90° F. They are descendants of desert cats. They need shade and water, and they will get less active and more cranky at high temperatures.

However, I did have a cat who apparently died of heat related problems. It was my first cat, who I got at age 9. I wasn't there when it happened as I wasn't living at home at the time. My mother took my cat to my grandmother's house for the weekend, which had been done many times before. Falstaff was in his carrier, a pretty closed up one, in the back seat. It was a hot summer day, but the car air was on. I don't know how effective it was for the back seat. The drive was about 2.5 hours. When they got there, Falstaff was panting and in distress. As my grandmother drove, and my mother held him, he died on the way to the vet. He was only 7. I've never gotten over it entirely, and that was about 45 years ago. He may have had an underlying health problem. I don't know.

So, I am careful about my cats in the car in summer. I have traveled across country, for 3 days, in summer, with several cats, several times, with no problems. I keep the air conditioning blowing, use airy carriers, and take frequent breaks in shade to check on them and offer cool water.

I keep my own air conditioning at 78° when I'm not home. But I have, in the past, lived without air conditioning, just fans, with 90°+ temperatures, and my cats were fine, though maybe not so happy.

Robin
post #6 of 19
Temps were almost 90 in my apt when the AC went out. It will also depend on the cat. For example, Neko layed down infront of the fan for almost the entire time our AC was out. She would have been okay in the heat longer. Petey on the other hand would only lay down for seconds at a time. Constantly up and about, panting, trying to sprawl himself out and belly to the wall!! Poor baby...bf used wet paper towels and alternated them from the fridge...draped them on him (which Petey allowed) just to help keep him cool.
post #7 of 19
I don't turn my air conditioner on unless it's well over 90, it's hot and raining, or we're both at work (I don't like to leave windows open when I'm gone). When it's on, I keep it at 82. I keep ceiling fans running all the time and we have a lot of stone/porcelain tile that stays cool for them.

Right now it's 90 here (outside and inside) and some of the cats are laying in the sun. Others are lounging on the tiles. I've noticed that even when the A/C is on, the cats tend to hang out in our sunroom which does not have A/C, and since it faces south, it actually seems to be hotter in there than the outside.

The only time that I've seen cats pant from the heat was when we lived in Houston. It was August and our A/C broke. Our house didn't have many windows to open. It's not only hot there but also very humid. So I don't worry so much about mine overheating without A/C where I live now.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
I don't turn my air conditioner on unless it's well over 90, it's hot and raining, or we're both at work (I don't like to leave windows open when I'm gone). When it's on, I keep it at 82. I keep ceiling fans running all the time and we have a lot of stone/porcelain tile that stays cool for them.
I would melt... whew!
post #9 of 19
I can help on this one
I live in the Mojave Desert and in a travel trail (read: No insulation), in the hottest part of summer, it is not unusual for the temps to reach 95-100 degree INSIDE with both AC units running.
I turn off everything that could produce more heat, and we leave (Walmart, anywhere really) until after dark, afterall, we produced heat too.
We leave cats and dog in the trailer, lots of water available, and I keep my windows blacked this time of year.
What I find is that they do just fine, usually seeking out uncarpetted and unupholstered areas and they stretch out, and become quite lazy until after sunset.

This is also the time of year that I never leave home for more than a few hours.

If you notice a cat is panting and not from exercsion , start worrying.

Best way to quickly cool them off is rubbing alcohol to the paw pads and insides of ears and room temperature baths (provided they tolerated it as stressing them is bad when overheated).
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
I don't turn my air conditioner on unless it's well over 90, it's hot and raining, or we're both at work (I don't like to leave windows open when I'm gone). When it's on, I keep it at 82. I keep ceiling fans running all the time and we have a lot of stone/porcelain tile that stays cool for them.

Right now it's 90 here (outside and inside) and some of the cats are laying in the sun. Others are lounging on the tiles. I've noticed that even when the A/C is on, the cats tend to hang out in our sunroom which does not have A/C, and since it faces south, it actually seems to be hotter in there than the outside.

The only time that I've seen cats pant from the heat was when we lived in Houston. It was August and our A/C broke. Our house didn't have many windows to open. It's not only hot there but also very humid. So I don't worry so much about mine overheating without A/C where I live now.
Hooboy, as warm as is today I would melt to a puddle in your house! Honestly, though, I don't have much choice seeing as how my A/C doesn't work right and can maaaybe keep the house at 78 if I'm lucky.

Peanut doesn't seem to mind the heat, he's always laying in the sun... and he's kind of a sloth anyway, so I'm not sure if I'd notice one way or the other if he wasn't active.
post #11 of 19
We don't have air conditioning, which is very uncommon in central Europe. It sometimes gets up in the 90s, but usually fans are enough to keep the house fairly comfortable, i.e., below the mid-80s. We open the windows and balcony doors upstairs at night and downstairs in the morning, then close them and the shutters before it gets hot again. Most of our floors are stone tiles or laminate, and that's where Jamie lies if he's hot. If he's really hot, he goes down in the front of the cellar where it's always cool.
The main problem we have is convincing him he shouldn't be lying out on the tile floor of the southside balcony on hot afternoons.
post #12 of 19
Digital AC control units are very inexpensive and easy to program.

Don't turn your A/C off, just turn it up.

I wouldn't go above 85oF, as your AC is not just cooling the air, it is filtering it and more importantly dehumidifying it. Too high of humidity which is a problem in a lot of the US can and will damage a home.

If you have an older home, inexpensive cellular honeycomb shades provide great window insulation by their inherent design and blocking the sun from shining in the house can really reduce cooling costs.
post #13 of 19
I was just wondering the same thing myself today.
We're having a really bad heat wave here, and while my cats are used to colder temperatures, my long haired foster mother cat seems to be struggling with the heat, even panting once in a while. And there's nowhere else in the house to move them. Their room seems to be one of the hottest in the house. I feel bad.

I can't get a fan at the moment, so I'm going to have to stick with aluminum foil on the windows (looks like hell, might make your neighbors think you're crazy or doing drugs, but it really helps keep the room cooler) and frozen plastic bottles of ice for her to lay next to. And, of course, lots of water.

I think your cats will be fine though.
post #14 of 19
My two felv + kitties do not deal with the heat very well. Their room has 2 fans and an air cooler. It is not an AC unit, but a water evaporator that you put frozen pacs into a water pan. Anyway, it blows cool air... I purchased real marble flooring tiles, they stay cool all the time. The girls will lay out flat on their tiles. This also works for my other cats that have no air conditioner... they love the tiles. Strangely, ceramic tiles HEAT UP! I tried them also...

It has been extremely hot here, in the midwest.... 90's and its only JUNE!

My cats that DO have access to the air conditioner...hang out in the hot hallway..., go figure....

Stay cool..., I also wet a paper towel and wipe them down with it. The only way a cat cools itself off, is thru cleaning themselves. I figure since they then groom themselves after I get them damp... they are getting extra water in the bargain.

Lisa and kitties......
post #15 of 19

Hi!

Just a side note:

When a cat pants, it is not always an indication that the cat is hot.  Sometimes, cats pant when they are under stress.  The only time that I travel with my cats in my car is when they need to go to the vet's (another stressor :)  )  because they don't like it and it causes them stress.  The first time that I saw my cat, Abby, pant was on our way to the vet's (fortunately because I know didn't how to help her...other than not panic).  I told the vet about it and she suggested pre-medicating her about half an hour before we travel.

I just wanted to share in case someone saw their cat panting and thought it was from hot temperatures instead of the possibility of it being from stress. 

post #16 of 19

Yea, it sounds like the cat may have had another health problem,

and being an enclosed carrier made it worse. I've been in back

seats myself that were horribly hot, despite the A/C being on.

The people in the front sometimes only put the fan on low

which does nothing to the back seat, especially in larger vehicles.

post #17 of 19

I'm not sure what the farenheight is exactly, but when it's 27C/80f my place, Matt gets miserable. I always turn on the A/C by the time it reaches there-because I understand that we've git humidity on top if the heat, and he's got REALLY thick fur. I set the A/C to 25/77, so it cleans the air, but doesn't make it so much cooler than outside, that we are uncomfortable with the difference.

WE had no choice but to get A/c, since the inside temp was getting to 33C/92f on a regular basis, and the cats were getting lethargic.

post #18 of 19

I usually keep my place at 78 in the summer. But the ladies like to go out on the back porch and lay in the shade when it is over 100F outside. I was having trouble with my A/C a while back and noticed that they started getting lethargic and panting when it hit 85 inside.

post #19 of 19

My interior temperature is usually around 80 (I don't like a/c because I get chilled, so I actually would rather it be 80 than that cold a/c feeling) but sometimes it hits 85 in here overnight (Texas). She seems to prefer it, because as soon as I turn on the a/c in the morning, she goes and finds the warmest corner she can to get away from the cool air. She's a long haired kitty and I was sure I'd have to get her a lion cut for the summer, but she made it through and never seemed too warm or uncomfortable. Luckily when we head back to CA it won't be that hot.

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