How do cats sweat?


Countless are the forums in which they mistakenly assume that cats do not sweat and that sweat is replaced by the saliva that the cat produces with the lick, in a thermoregulation process.

Although they do not do it for all their skin, cats do produce sweat, eliminating it and relieving its heat through the few sweat glands that are located in strategic places of their body: angle of the chin, lips, anus and between the pads of his legs.

Its fur can withstand temperatures above 50 ° C without the cat suffering any damage.

But a cat not only sweats when it is too hot but also does it in situations of fear and states of excitement, having an overproduction of sweat that causes it to leave a trail of wet tracks, which are detached by the pads of its paws . That sweat gives off a sweet smell that human smell is able to detect.

To cool off in the heat, the cat licks its entire body, causing the evaporation of saliva and with it a cooling effect on the animal, which is accompanied by an act of gasping with the mouth open.

Feline sweat glands

First, clarify that, indeed, cats do sweat, although they do it to a lesser extent than human beings. You may be surprised to know this, because at no time have you seen your cat covered in anything similar to sweat, much less considering that it is covered by a coat of hair.

The sweat glands of the cat are scarce, and are concentrated in only specific points of its body, contrary to the human, which has them on the entire surface of the skin. As is known, the body generates sweat to release the heat it feels and at the same time refresh the skin.

In the cat the mechanism works the same, but it sweats only through some very specific areas: the pads of his legs, the chin, the anus and the lips.

The fur of the cat can withstand a temperature of up to 50 degrees Celsius without suffering any damage, although it does not mean that the animal does not feel heat. They simply have other mechanisms to relieve the sensation.

Similarly, it is necessary to keep in mind that the cat not only sweats when temperatures rise, but this is also his way of reacting to certain situations that cause stress, fear and nervousness. In these cases, the cat leaves a trace of sweat coming from its pads, which emits a sweet smell that humans are able to perceive.

How does the cat cool?

Despite having the aforementioned sweat glands, these are usually not enough to cool the animal in hot times, especially if you take into account that the fur does not contribute much to keep it fresh.

Therefore, the cat has developed other mechanisms to release heat and maintain a stable temperature in summer, so it is very common that on excessively dry days you see them doing these things:

First, the grooming frequency increases. The cat licks its entire body, and the saliva that remains in the fur evaporates, helping the body to cool.

In addition, on warm days you will avoid making any unnecessary effort, so it will be much more inactive than in other times, so it is usual to find it by napping with the body stretched somewhere ventilated and shaded.

Similarly, will drink more water and want to play less, To try to stay cool. You could add an ice cube in your water container so that it stays cold for longer.

Another way he uses to refresh his body is panting, although you must be aware because this mechanism is more common in dogs, as they perform more physical activity.

How does panting work? When the cat gasps, the inner thorax, part of the body that is warmer, expels heat through the moisture that occurs in the mucous membranes of the throat, tongue and mouth. Thus, the cat can exhale this air that is expelled from its body and take advantage of the steam to cool off.

However, the method panting is not frequent in cats, So if yours does it then it means that it is feeling an excessive amount of heat, and you should help it as follows:

  • Moisten your fur with cold water, wetting the area of ​​the armpits, the English and the neck.
  • Wet your lips with fresh water and let him drink by himself if he wants to.
  • Take it to a more ventilated place, if you can place it near a fan or air conditioner, much better.
  • Consult immediately with your veterinarian.

Why should you take these measures? If even after following the steps described above your cat continues to gasp, you should contact your veterinarian, as it is very likely that the cat is suffering from a heat stroke caused by high temperatures, a condition that could kill him if you do not act quickly.

Why does the heat stroke occur? Under high temperatures, the brain tells the cat's body that it must release body heat, so the sweating process begins, during which blood vessels dilate from the skin to allow heat to be expelled.

However, when this process fails, or if this or any of the other mechanisms to which the cat resorts are sufficient, then the body overheats and is exposed to heat stroke, the consequences of which could be lethal.

If you want to read more articles similar to How do cats sweat?, we recommend that you enter our Curiosities section of the animal world.

How do cats cool?

Cats have some sweat glands, but your skin is covered with hair, so it minimizes the amount of cooling that sweat can provide. Most sweat glands are found in the pads of the legs. You can see your cat's wet footprints after walking on a hard surface in the summer.

Cats too lick their fur to distribute the saliva on it, with the aim of evaporating and getting cool, just as sweat would.

But the most efficient way cats have to cool off is panting, which allows the heat from the hottest part of the body, the inner thorax, to escape through the moisture produced by the mucous membranes of the tongue, mouth and throat. The cat exhales the moist air and the evaporation process cools its body. But, although it is the most efficient form of refrigeration, panting is not a daily occurrence in cats. Most cats do not run outside the home and exercise at the same level as dogs. On a warm day a cat will lie in the shade and take a nap. Only cats that are very stressed by the heat are panting, so if your cat is panting you may have to worry about why it is so hot, unlike panting in dogs, which is very common.

Help your cat cool off by dampening her hair with cold water, supplying her with fresh water to drink, and taking her to a cooler area.

How do cats keep body temperature within the normal range?

Body temperature is controlled by the brain. When there is an increase in outside temperature, or a cat is excited, stressed or has been active recently, the body receives a signal from the brain to lose excess body heat. The main way is through gasps, but there are other important methods as well. Dilation of blood vessels in the skin allows heat to escape when hot blood gets closer to the surface. Sweating, stretching, or getting wet are other ways cats have to stay cool. If they cannot perform any of these processes, or their body overheats too much and they cannot cool themselves enough, heat stroke and even death can occur.

Fever or just heated?

A constant temperature of 39.3 ° C in cats is a cause for concern. Signs of fever include renunciation of movement, increased frequency of breathing, depression, anorexia and lethargy or apathy.

Hyperthermia is simply an increase in body temperature. This may be due to outside temperature, emotion, exercise or other causes, and it is not a true fever.

If you are not sure if your cat really has a fever, let it rest for 20 minutes and then check the rectal temperature again. If your cat is acting normal despite panting and having a high body temperature, it is most likely simply hyperthermia and not fever.

Why does my cat have a temperature rise?

As we have commented previously, body temperature may increase due to many things. Fever develops when the set point (temperature range in which the body's systems can function normally) increases in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that acts as a body thermostat, increasing the body's temperature to help the system Immune to attack external agents, such as a bacterial infection.

With the increase in ambient temperature and other causes of hyperthermia, the body's set temperature is not increased by the hypothalamus, since the body can cool itself in a short period of time and return to a normal temperature, always and when the cooling mechanisms are not overwhelmed by the excess of intense heat.

Med> If your cat seems to be "overheated" or is not acting normal, contact your veterinarian immediately. It is not normal for your cat to continue panting after having performed all normal cooling mechanisms. Heat stroke is possible in cats, and can be lethal. Heat stroke can cause the failure of some organs, blood clotting disorders or death.

If your cat is too hot, apply cold water on the English, underarms and the front of the neck to cool it. You can also use a fan. Provide fresh water to drink and contact your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will give you intravenous fluids and hospitalize you for additional treatments and keep you under observation.

How do cats sweat?

In addition, their sweat glands, make your skin and coat, maintain optimal elasticity and flexibility. Through these glands, they also excrete waste and fulfill one of the most important functions, such as Maintain the microflora of the skin.

Protective barrier through sweat glands

Sweat glands also secrete substances in your dermis, which are going to protect from harmful chemicals and microorganisms They can pose a danger to them. This is a good explanation to avoid bathing cats as much as possible. They also secrete pheromones, very important chemical elements is their behavior and emotional state.

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