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Why Do Cats Like Warm Things So Much? 5 Likely Reasons

Jana Blagojevic

By Jana Blagojevic

domestic cat lies on the floor in morning sun rays

If you are a pet parent, specifically a cat owner, you’ve probably noticed how your cat’s body is always much warmer than yours. As you can guess, our feline and canine friends have a much higher body temperature than ours, which is also why they seek warm things to cuddle against. Your cat may enjoy the warmth for plenty of reasons, and some may even surprise you.

Read on below to find out the true meaning behind this strange behavior of cats and what you, as the pet parent, can do to ensure your cats are always warm and comfy.

The 5 Likely Reasons Cats Like Warm Things So Much

1. Cats Have a Higher Body Temperature

If you have ever noticed that cats and dogs are constantly warm to the touch, that is because their body temperature is much higher than ours. Since cats have a faster metabolism than humans, their body temperature is higher, usually around 102°F, while a human’s normal body temperature is 98.7°F. This may not seem like a big difference, but to our touch, a cat will always be much warmer, and the difference in the temperature is noticeable.

Since a cat’s body temperature is much warmer than ours, you will probably notice they seek warmer and even hot things to cuddle next to. They will enjoy cuddling against a radiator, a warm blanket, or in direct sunlight.

cat lying near the radiator
Image Credit: EspritX, Pixabay

2. Inherited Behavior

If you notice your cat is all cuddled up against you, wrapped in a blanket, while you are sweaty and wondering how it is not hot, there might be a logical explanation that goes back to when it was a kitten. During the first few weeks of the cat’s life, the kitten cannot regulate its own body temperature, which is something its mother takes care of. To stay warm and not get hypothermia, the kitten’s mother must lick their body until they can regulate their own body temperature at 4 weeks old.

For this reason, you will probably notice your cat cuddling against you even when it is a mature adult cat—it is an inherited and ritualistic behavior that stays with them even when they grow up.


3. Health Problems

When you notice your cat seeks warm or hot spots to hang out in more than usual, something might be wrong. If the behavior is strange and unusual, there might be an underlying condition your cat is trying to conceal. If the heat-seeking behavior is followed by lethargy, lack of enthusiasm, and a loss of appetite, we advise you to check your cat’s health with your vet. While cats generally seek warm items and areas, if this habit is accompanied by other strange behavior, another issue might be the cause.

sick cat covered in blanket lies on the window in winter
Image Credit: Germanova Antonina, Shutterstock

4. Natural Instincts from Their Ancestors

Since our feline companions originate from wild cats that had to endure extreme temperatures to survive, some of that natural instinct may have been left behind even with our domesticated cats. This is why you will usually cat your cat sleeping in a sunny location near a window, basking in direct sunlight throughout the day. Warmth is what provides cats with a sense of security. You can frequently notice your cat lying around on a warm blanket, freshly dried laundry, heaters, or a windowsill.


5. Aging

Similar to humans, cats become more susceptible to the cold as they age. While newborn kitties need their mother to regulate their body temperature and stay warm, older cats may experience needing hot items or areas for additional warmth. To stay warm, you’ll see senior cats rolling in a ball to preserve their temperature. They may additionally seek warmth by cuddling up in their owner’s lap, keeping them warm and comfy.

cat sleeping on owner's lap
Image Credit: Karpova, Shutterstock

How To Provide Your Cat with Warmth

There are several things your cat may enjoy to keep it warm or places that will allow them to enjoy additional sunlight. If you have an area in your home where the sun passes through windows daily, your cat will surely adore spending time by that window.

  • Declutter the area where sunlight reaches the room, allowing your cat to lay undisturbed.
  • For additional warmth, place your cat’s pillow, a blanket, or a comfortable rug on the floor where the sunlight is strongest.
  • For plenty of added comfort and accessibility, install a window perch where your cat will have privacy and unlimited sunlight access throughout the day.
  • To keep your cat warm during the cold seasons, you can purchase a cat heating pad, which provides heat in an entirely safe way.
  • Place a pillow near a heating device, such as a radiator, while making sure your cat is safely distanced and not getting burned.
  • Cuddle with your cat as much as possible, especially during cold days.
  • Reduce drafts in the room where your cat is resting. Drafts can be quite unpleasant for humans, let alone for cats.

Conclusion

Your cat is a majestic creature that deserves all the love in the world, and you will probably do anything to ensure your cat is safe and warm. A cat’s desire to stay warm stems from a variety of reasons but is mostly down to instincts. Luckily, there are plenty of creative ways to incorporate warmth into your home, keeping your cat happy and satisfied.


Featured Image Credit: oleg_aryutkin, Shutterstock

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