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It is most unlikely to see a cat sweat. However, when you see such an incident occurring it might be an issue of concern as such perspiration in cats might be indicative of hypothermia or a heat stroke. It is understood that cats have sweat glands which, although covered by their fur, help their skin in cooling the body with its sweat. In fact, a cat's paw pad has the largest number of sweat glands. Many a time during the summers, you might have witnessed paw stamps on the floor left by your cats. Cats lick themselves to regulate their body temperature. They are known to "beat the heat" by resting and avoiding exerting themselves.
Panting is another way that cats can cool themselves down. The functioning takes place by allowing heat from the hottest part of the body, or the inner thorax, to escape through moisture created by mucous membranes of the tongue, mouth, and throat.
Although it is the most efficient way of cooling, panting is not a common occurrence in cats like it is in dogs. A cat exhales the moist air resulting in the process of evaporation, cooling down the cat. Only extremely heat-stressed cats will pant, so if your cat is panting, you need to be concerned that she is too hot. Help your cat to cool herself by wetting her fur with cool water, providing cool water to drink, and moving her to a cooler area. You can learn more here: "Heat Stroke and Hypothermia."
When there is an increase in outside temperature, a cat gets excited or stressed or has been recently active. The body gets a signal from the brain to send out the excess body heat. This is achieved by the cat sweating as well as stretching out the body or even drinking cool water, which are primary ways for cats to cool down. As a matter of fact, the body temperature of a cat is controlled by the brain.
Symptoms of fever or just heat
A temperature consistently over 102.8° F is cause for concern in cats. Signs of fever include reluctance to move, increased frequency of breathing, depression, anorexia, and lethargy or listlessness. Hyperthermia is an increase in body temperature. This may occur because of increased outside temperatures or excitement or exercise, or other causes. It is sort of a false fever. If one is unsure whether the cat actually has a fever, have it take rest for 20 minutes, then check its temperature again. If the cat is normal other than panting and having an increased temperature, chances are it is hyperthermia and not a real fever.
Reasons behind the Increase in a Heat Stroke Risk in Cats
- Being overweight
- Being young
- Being elderly
- Heart or lung disease
- Any sickness, even a cold
If your cat seems to be overheated or is not acting normally, contact your veterinarian immediately. Continued panting after cooling measures have been performed is abnormal. Heat stroke is possible in cats and can be lethal. It might lead to multiple organ failure. Applying cool water to the groin of a heated cat and its armpits and front of the neck will cool it. The vet needs to be informed at that moment, and without wasting much time, the cat should be rushed to the pet care infirmary.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do cats sweat when stressed?
Cats do sweat, but not in the same way humans do. Unlike humans, cats do not have sweat glands all over their bodies. Instead, they have sweat glands on their paw pads and around their chin. These glands secrete a watery substance that helps cool down the cat's body temperature. However, cats do not necessarily sweat when they are stressed. Instead, when cats are stressed, they may exhibit other physical signs such as dilated pupils, panting, increased heart rate, and grooming behaviors. They may also exhibit behavioral changes such as hiding, avoiding people or other pets, or becoming more vocal.
Do cats sweat to cool down?
Yes, cats sweat through their paw pads and, to a lesser extent, around their chin to help cool down their body temperature. When a cat's body temperature rises, the sweat glands on its paw pads secrete a watery substance that evaporates and helps to dissipate heat from the body. This is similar to how humans sweat to cool down. However, sweating is not the primary way that cats regulate their body temperature. Cats primarily regulate their body temperature by panting and through other behaviors such as seeking out cool places to rest. Additionally, cats have a higher tolerance for heat than humans, and their bodies are designed to conserve water, so they do not need to sweat as much as humans do to regulate their body temperature.
How do I tell if a cat is too hot?
Cats will pant to cool themselves down when they are feeling too hot. Your cat may be listless or have low energy when they are too hot. Your cat's breathing may become more rapid when they are feeling too hot. If your cat is dehydrated, their mouth may feel dry to the touch. Your cat's body temperature may rise to over 103°F (39°C) when they are too hot. Your cat may seek out cool surfaces such as tiles or the bathroom sink to lay on. Your cat may lick their fur excessively when they are feeling too hot. If you notice any of these signs, you should take measures to cool your cat down. Move your cat to a cooler area with good airflow, offer fresh water, and dampen their fur with a wet towel. If your cat's symptoms persist, you should consult a veterinarian, as they may be at risk of heatstroke.
Does cat sweat smell?
Cat's sweat glands are concentrated on their paw pads and chin, and the sweat they produce is very different from the sweat produced by humans. The sweat produced by cats does not typically have a strong odor, and it is unlikely that you would notice any smell unless you are in very close proximity to your cat's paw pads or chin. However, cats have other scent glands on their bodies that they use for communication and marking their territory. These glands can produce a variety of odors, such as pheromones, which are used to communicate with other cats. These odors can sometimes be noticeable and may be more prominent during times of stress or excitement. If you notice a strong or unpleasant odor coming from your cat, it is important to have them checked by a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues. Additionally, keeping your cat's litter box clean and providing regular grooming can help minimize any odor from your cat's body.