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Health & Wellness

Do cats sweat?

The answer might surprise you

During the summer, or after a rambunctious play session, cat moms and dads may be a little sweaty. And while you’re cooling down, you may wonder: Do cats sweat, too? 

The short answer is yes. Veterinarian and pet health advocate Dr. Aliya McCullough explains how cats cool themselves down. 

How do cats sweat? 

Do cats pant when they’re hot? Unlike dogs, who sweat by panting, cats sweat through their paw foot pads. If you feel wet paws or see paw prints throughout your home (without them going into the water), chances are they’re sweating. 

When do cats sweat? 

Cats sweat when it’s a hot day and if they’re anxious or afraid. If their body temperature is above their normal ranges (100 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit), it can trigger sweating.

Is cat sweat a sign that something is wrong? 

Not necessarily. Cats, like humans and dogs, sweat to cool themselves down. On any hot day, make sure there are shaded areas for your cats to relax or keep them out of the heat altogether.

Signs your cat is experiencing heat stroke: 
  • Panting (they could also be extremely distressed) 
  • Bright red tongue
  • Dark red or pale gums
  • Drooling
  • Lethargy or depressive symptoms
  • Anxious behavior
  • Vocalization

Do certain cat breeds sweat more than others? 

Certain brachycephalic breeds, like Persian, Himalayan or Burmese cats, are more sensitive to heat and may sweat more. 

If your cat is pregnant or nursing kittens, obsese, very young or old or has underlying medical conditions — you may notice more sweat than what’s typically normal. If your cat is excessively sweating, especially in a cool environment, reach out to your cat’s vet as it could be a sign of anxiety or an underlying medical condition.

How to help a sweaty cat cool down

Limit any triggers if your cat’s sweating is related to anxiety. You can also talk to their behavioral therapist and vet about anti-anxiety medication. On hot summer days, be sure your cat is in a climate-controlled environment and has shaded spaces. 

Overheating is uncomfortable and avoidable. With these tips, your cat will feel cool (in more ways than one). 

The Dig, Fetch's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.

Photo by Eric Han on Unsplash

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