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Do Cats Like Air Conditioning? What You Should Know

Many cats will enjoy air conditioning if it’s used on a hot day. It helps them stay cool and prevents specific health problems, which can potentially be deadly. In a natural setting, many cats will be inactive during the hottest parts of the day. They will usually find somewhere cool to rest until things cool down, at which point, they’ll go hunting.

When domesticated, felines don’t need to hunt. However, they may remain inactive if they get too hot. They’re simply trying to retain their energy. Plus, no one likes doing things if it’s too hot.

Air conditioning can help keep them comfortable, so they may feel like doing things. If your cat seems to be sleeping on the cool floor and not doing much during the day, then you may need to turn up the air conditioner.

Of course, if it is cold, your cats probably won’t want the air conditioner on. Just like people, they enjoy it best when their environment is at a suitable temperature. Sometimes, an air conditioner is required for that.

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Do Cats Need Air Conditioning?

cat sitting by the door_Lauren Hudgins, Pixabay
Image Credit: Lauren Hudgins, Pixabay

Sometimes they do, depending on the temperature. If it gets sweltering in the summer, it is easy for cats to overheat if they are not provided with a place to get out of the sun. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your cat needs air conditioning. However, any enclosed areas that you provide are likely to get hot and unusable in the sun if they are not cooled down properly.

In moderate temperatures, you can use insulation to provide a cooler temperature in some cases. However, you may need to utilize an air conditioner on scorching days.

Whether your cat needs air conditioning depends on your climate. If your cat has regular access to an indoor area that is cool, they likely won’t need a separate area outside that is also air-conditioned. Your cat simply needs somewhere to cool off to prevent overheating. Otherwise, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are possible.

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Do Cats Like Warm or Cold Rooms?

cat feeling cozy
Image Credit: Pixabay

People prefer different temperatures and cats also have their preferences. They may prefer it to be at different temperatures at different times. If they have just come in from a warm area, they may want to lie in a cooler area to cool down. It mainly depends on the situation and the particular cat’s desires.

Generally, cats are most comfortable between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. However, they can handle temperatures on both ends of this spectrum. Cats with health conditions may be unable to handle certain temperatures, though. If your cat has an underlying health condition, be sure to ask your vet if you should keep the temperature on the warmer or cooler side.

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What Temperature Can a Cat Tolerate?

young black cat lies on a cork floor_wolfness72_shutterstock
Image Credit: wolfness72, Shutterstock

Cats are often good at withstanding severe temperatures. When the average daily temperature is under 45 degrees Fahrenheit, it is generally recommended that the cat has access to somewhere warm. While your cat can still wander around at this point for short periods, they typically need a warmer area to rest and warm up. The lower it gets from this point, the less that your cat can tolerate.

When daytime temperatures get under 45 degrees Fahrenheit, then nighttime temperatures will be even lower. Therefore, you should allow your cat in at night. Otherwise, they may be unable to tolerate the lower temperature for extremely long periods.

Cats typically have a body temperature ranging from 100 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Breeds with longer coats typically have higher temperatures, since their coat keeps in extra body heat. A temperature over 105 degrees Fahrenheit, however, is typically considered dangerous and can lead to heatstroke and similar issues.

Once the temperature exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside, cats can begin to lose control of their temperature. Cats with longer fur will be unable to tolerate even slightly lower temperatures than this, as they can’t dissipate heat quite as well. Of course, strenuous exercise in high temperatures can also cause serious problems even if the temperature isn’t technically above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

The best way to determine if your cat is overheating is to check for symptoms. If your cat is panting, they are likely boiling. Cats usually don’t pant unless they have to. Restless behavior and continuous meowing also indicate that your cat is distressed and too hot. Irritability can show that your cat isn’t having a good time, which may sometimes indicate that your feline is overheated. Lethargy, high heart rate, and sweaty paws are other common symptoms.

If your cat becomes too hot, you can cool them down quickly using a wet cloth, air conditioning, and plenty of fluids. If the cat’s temperature continues to rise, then your cat may experience heatstroke. This requires veterinary attention, as the cat may be unable to lower their temperature without serious health care. Furthermore, if the cat’s temperature drops too suddenly, they can experience hypothermia. Therefore, it is best to leave the cooling up to the vet.

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Are Cats Scared of Air Conditioners?

cat staring at the distance_mh-grafik, Pixabay
Image Credit: mh-grafik, Pixabay

Some cats may be scared of the noise that air conditioners make. It depends primarily on whether they were around loud noises growing up. If your cat has been raised around your loud air conditioner, it probably won’t bother them that much. However, if they were adopted as an adult, it makes sense that the noisiness of the air conditioner may bother them.

If a cat suddenly is exposed to a loud air conditioner, they may be scared of the area until they become used to the noise. For some cats, this never happens. You can use positive reinforcement to help get the cat used to the noise, though. Other times, the cat will get used to the noise independently and won’t require any special training.

Cats are rarely scared of air conditioning vents in the house, as these don’t tend to be that noisy. Many will even lay on the vents to cool off.

Even if your cat is scared, you can provide the appropriate training to help them. You can also use anxiety-reducing measures until the training starts working. There are many options for calming cats down, including pheromones and special treats.

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Can Cats Survive Without AC?

cat and vet. II_Stock-Asso_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Stock-Asso, Shutterstock

It depends on the temperature. If a cat is shorthaired, they may become unable to stay cool after the temperature reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside. They may first experience hyperthermia and then heatstroke. Sweaty paws and panting are severe warning signs in cats, as these indicate that your cat is having a severe problem with regulating their temperature. If not treated, this can lead to death.

Often, once a cat hits the heatstroke range, veterinary care is a requirement. If the cat is overheated, you can potentially cool them down using an air-conditioned room and wet cloths. Be sure not to cool them down too fast, though, as this can cause hypothermia. Often, their self-heating system won’t be able to kick back in right away, so they may cool down a little too much.

Heat in an enclosed space is hazardous, as there won’t be enough airflow for the cat to cool themselves properly, which can cause them to overheat at a lower temperature.

Furthermore, cats with long fur will overheat faster. They cannot release quite as much body heat as other cats, so they can get too hot at a lower temperature.

Cats only need AC if the area gets hotter than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In milder weather, they may not need it at all. Tropical areas will require AC, though. Remember to consider humidity to determine if your feline is capable of withstanding hotter temperatures.

Always watch your cat when the temperature begins to climb. Some cats may overheat at a temperature lower than 100 degrees Fahrenheit if they are more active, in an enclosed area, or simply more susceptible to heat. If your cat shows signs of being too hot, like panting or having sweaty paws, then they likely need AC to cool down.

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Final Thoughts

AC is typically recommended for cats in situations where humans will also appreciate the AC. However, cats have higher body temperatures than people, so they can generally withstand hot temperatures. If the temperature bothers you, though, it is probably bothering your cat too. They may not require AC, but they will likely appreciate it if the temperature gets about 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

AC is required if the temperature begins pushing into the upper 90s. If the temperature hits 100 degrees Fahrenheit, then the cat will need somewhere to cool down. Anytime that it is hot outside, you should keep an eye on your cat for signs of overheating. Some cats may overheat at lower temperatures if they are more susceptible to heat or have longhair. You should always judge whether your cat needs a cooling area based on their behavior, not necessarily the temperature outside.

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Featured Image Credit: Kristi Blokhin, Shutterstock