What temperature do cats prefer

Sara Farell
Sara Farell
Dr. Lorna Whittemore, MRCVS (Vet), reviewed and fact-checked this statement.

According to the most recent veterinary research, the data is current and accurate.

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Cats prefer a temperature between 86 and 97 degrees Fahrenheit, or 30 to 36 degrees Celsius, and we frequently adjust our thermostats as the seasons change without taking this into account.They can tolerate temperatures outside this range, but they need a place to warm up or cool down; this is their thermoneutral zone, where they do not need to expend energy to either heat up or cool down.It may be an indication of illness if they are struggling to regulate their body temperature or adapt to their environment. We often change our thermostats as the seasons change without taking into consideration our cat’s preferences. Cats are most comfortable at a temperature between 86 and 97 degrees Fahrenheit, or 30 to 36 degrees Celsius. This is their thermoneutral zone where they do not need to expend energy to either heat up or cool down. They can tolerate temperatures outside this range, but they must have a place to warm up or cool down. If they’re having difficulty maintaining their body temperature or adjusting to their surroundings, that can be a sign of illness.

This article includes everything you need to know about figuring out if your cat is too cold, too hot, or just right! As a cat owner, it's your responsibility to keep your cat comfortable and recognize when they need help. However, part of doing that requires understanding what temperature cats like and how they maintain their body temperature in the first place.

What Is the Body Temperature of a Cat?

While some felines' body temperatures fall within the normal range of 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, or 38.3 to 39.2 degrees Celsius, anything above 104°F (40°C) or below 99°F (37.2°C) requires a trip to the veterinarian.

Even though the summer sun makes us sweat, cats are comfortable if they have a good shady spot to retreat to because they have a higher body temperature than we do.In contrast, cats may find it difficult to adjust to the difference between their internal and external temperatures during cold weather.

However, a cat's body temperature isn't the same as its preferred environment; if your home were kept at 101°F, both you and your cat would be roasting!

What temperature do cats prefer
Image Credit: Piqsels

What Mechanisms Cats Use to Control Body Temperature

Cats are adept at controlling their body temperature by altering the amount of heat they produce and utilizing their surroundings to maintain a constant temperature.

How to Stay Cool in Summer

If you find your cat sprawled out on the cold tile of the bathroom floor, they're not being lazy; cats stay cool by releasing heat into the environment when the outside temperature rises.By sprawling out, your cat increases the area of their body that is exposed to air, allowing more heat to escape.

When a cat is exposed to intense heat, they can perspire through their paw pads and nose, which causes their body to cool as the sweat evaporates.Cats frequently groom themselves more in hot weather because it dampens their fur and helps them cool off. Grooming has a similar effect.

What temperature do cats prefer
Image courtesy of Shutterstock and ippiLongstocking

Winter Warmth Maintenance

Hairless breeds cannot keep themselves warm at all, and short-haired breeds are less effective at retaining their body heat than long-haired breeds are. Cats can regulate their body temperatures in cold weather, but they are not as good at it as they are in the heat.

If you consider where you might find feral cats in the winter, they are almost always under a deck, in a shed, or in other hiding places where they can curl up and protect themselves from the elements.

Cats will shiver in cold weather as part of their increased metabolic activity to produce heat, but they will also eat more food.If you notice that your cat eats more in the winter, this is because eating more food provides them with the energy they need to produce heat.

What Temperature Is Best for Cats?

Although cats can endure a wide range of temperatures, this does not mean that they are always at ease.

Several variables affect your cat's ideal room temperature.

1. Breed Breed

What temperature do cats prefer
Image Credit: Hepper

The breed of your cat has a significant impact on how well they can control their body temperature.

  • In contrast to the fact that long hair makes it difficult to cool off in hot weather, long haired cats like Maine Coons, Persians, Himalayans, or Ragdolls have thick fur coats that insulate their bodies from the cold.
  • Cats with short hair, like the British Shorthair, Bombay, Russian Blue, or Manx, have a fur coat that keeps them warm, but isn't so thick that it prevents them from cooling off in the heat.
  • To make up for their lack of fur, hairless breeds like the Donskoy and Sphynx have body temperatures that are almost 4° higher than those of other cats. However, because they lack insulation, these cats are unable to withstand the cold and are frequently observed curled up in heating vents.

2. Age Age

The age of the cat should be taken into account when determining the ideal temperature for that cat. Kittens younger than 4 weeks must be kept warm from external sources.Anything below that raises the risk of hypothermia for kittens; the ideal temperature range is between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Keep an eye on older cats, and if they appear cold, consider providing them with additional bedding or raising the thermostat by one or two degrees. Senior cats also require warm temperatures, particularly during the winter months.

3. Size Size

What temperature do cats prefer
Credit for photo: DieGambe, Pixabay

Size is mostly determined by breed and genetics, so there's not much you can do to change it. The bigger, the better when it comes to staying warm, but that doesn't mean your cat should be overweight.However, because they have more fat and muscle mass to produce heat, large breeds of cats (like the Maine Coon) can withstand the cold much better than small breeds.

4. Health Conditions Health Conditions

The ability to regulate one's body temperature is greatly influenced by one's health, and thyroid issues in particular can affect a cat's ability to tolerate heat or cold.

Guidelines for Keeping Your Cat Comfy

You may be wondering how you can keep your cat comfortable in all seasons now that you are aware of the various factors that can impact how they regulate their body temperature. Here are some suggestions.

What temperature do cats prefer
Nynke van Holten provided the photo for Shutterstock.

Cooling Down Cats in the Summer

  • Keep your home well-ventilated or use the air conditioning.
  • Provide an endless supply of water.
  • a shady area.
  • Avoid overworking your cat.

Winterizing Cats: Keeping Them Warm

  • Provide a balanced diet.
  • Start playing and working out.
  • Make a warm bed and warm bedding available.

Our Hepper Nest Bed is designed for maximum coziness if you've spent hours looking for a bed that your beloved pet will actually enjoy. Our Hepper Nest Bed is created for maximum coziness.

Click here to order yours today. With a cozy bowl shape to cradle your cat or dog and a fleece insert, you'll have a hard time waking up your pet from their daily naps. Click here to get yours today.

What temperature do cats prefer
Kimberrywood provided the photo for Shutterstock.

How to Tell If Your Cat Is Too Hot or Too Cold

Cats can overheat or get hypothermia even in an environment that is properly controlled, so knowing the symptoms gives you a chance to seek assistance.

These are some indicators that your cat is too cold:

  • icy to the touch
  • napping near radiators, vents, and sunny areas
  • hiding behind cushions or blankets

Indicators that your cat is overheating include:

  • Excessive panting
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Lethargy and altered behavior
  • Vomiting and diarrhea (a sign that your cat has heatstroke and needs to see a veterinarian right away)


Since cats have an excellent ability to regulate their body temperature, it's usually not difficult to keep them comfortable. The ideal temperature for cats in a house is between 60° and 70° Fahrenheit to allow for preferences of humans, though they would prefer warmer temperatures.Remember that different cat breeds will have different needs, and that age, health, and size can affect a cat's ability to tolerate a range of temperatures.In times of extreme weather, keep an eye out for your cat's overheating or hypothermia symptoms and call your vet if you have any concerns.

Credit for the Featured Image: New Africa, Shutterstock

temperature cats prefer

Sara Farell Twitter

Social media ninja. Subtly charming troublemaker. Wannabe entrepreneur. Reader. Typical travel fanatic. Internet trailblazer. Extreme communicator.

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