A Real Cool Cat

Supposedly, our furry housemates descended from wild cats that lived in arid conditions in and around the Levant. I know my own cats would rather lounge on the front porch on the hottest of days than inside, being cooled by the AC. And when I mean “lounge,” I mean lounge, as in semi-conscious. I used to think this was the strangest behavior, until I came to understand it simply is their nature. To them, the porch is a relatively cool spot, and they’re just hanging out, trying not to get stepped on by a camel.

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10 responses to “A Real Cool Cat”

  1. I didn’t know cats sweated through their paws until I was transporting one in my warm car and it walked across the dash. She left little wet pawprints.

  2. Won’t give a lecture here, but we and other endotherms [= critters that regulate their internal temperatures by regulating internal heat production] vary the details a lot. In general, smaller endotherms have higher internal temps than related larger endotherms, but there are variations in toleration of variation [= lability; e.g., we’re in serious trouble much above or below our norm, whereas camels tolerate much greater deviations]. There is also hibernation [chipmunk] vs. winter sleep [black bear], seasonal variation [white-tailed deer], and taxonomic variation [marsupials generally have lower temps than similar sized placentals inhabiting the same region]. If I remember, many bats find a cool but relatively stable place to hang up in a cave, then turn the thermostat way down. Expect you can find more than you want online, and probably end up more up to date than I am. Peace,

  3. When we lived in a house with central air/heat and had floor vents, the cats would stretch out in front of or on the vents. Smart cats.

  4. Ours lay on top of the steam radiator in winter (there is a board on top of each).
    Rarely do they go to cellar (the coolest part of house) in summer.

    Each is different in their preferred laying spot.

  5. I have a cat who figured out the “sit on the furnace vent” trick, which was annoying for several reasons. For one thing, it significant decreases the efficiency of the furnace in actually heating the air in the room. For another, a cat seated on the vent that blows warm air into the room means cat hair distributed throughout the room. But, on the plus side, I could predict the current location of the cat with fairly high precision during those months when the furnace was on. Also, that location was NOT in front of the alternative cat-warming device, the PC sitting on the floor under the desk, which ALSO did not appreciate an abundance of cat hair in the moving-air components.

  6. OB: Perhaps some residual territoriality there: “I’m in my laying spot and she’s NOT.”

    We got a free border collie mix, 6 mo. old bitch, so JHS daughter could have a pet. Melanie was neurotic, likely due to previous owner. Later we got a stray tomcat [both subsequently neutered]. Only place Spinoza did not dominate Melanie was at M’s food dish. Both favored the same laying spot, end of a sofa, stage left. If M. were contentedly lying up there, S. would pace back and forth until M. got down, then S. got up. Pathetic.

    M. slept with daughter; S. showed no interest in that. M. was daughter’s dog, but that giant w/ the bass voice was definitely the alpha male, which put daughter’s nose out of joint a bit. Daughter, now in Chicagoland, has had other dogs of her own since.


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