Where Do Cats Sweat?
Cats are very good at resisting heat despite all the fur that covers their body. However, it is likely that even when temperatures are at their highest you have never seen your cat sweat. This does not mean that these animals do not have an efficient cooling system, but it is very different from ours.
Unlike us, who have sweat glands all over our body, cats have them located in specific parts. Moreover, cats also use other systems to expel heat and ensure a proper temperature. Are you wondering how and where do cats sweat? Keep reading this OneHowTo article and you'll learn all about it!
Where do cats sweat? Feline sweat glands
Sweating is an organic process of great importance for us humans and all other animals. In the case of cats, heat, physical activity, fever, excitement, fear or stress can cause body temperature to increase. When this happens, the animal's brain sends out a message to start the process of heat release.
Cats have sweat glands located at specific parts of their body such as the chin, lips, anal area and the pads of their paws, from which they release most of their sweat. When the animal has gone through a situation that raises its temperature it may leave wet footprints which are visible in certain types of soils.
However, this is not the only way for cats to cool down; they have other interesting strategies.
Where do cats sweat? An effective tongue
Surely you'll have noticed that your cat spends much of his day grooming itself, licking its fur to keep clean, a custom which is closely linked to cats and which is actually also related to their way of cooling off.
Although cats sweat mostly through their paws, this system is not efficient enough to work alone and so cats draw on other alternatives, one of which is grooming. This process allows the saliva left on the cat's fur to evaporate and cool the animal when needed, helping to regulate its temperature.
Another option is panting, a way to cool down that is also used by dogs. Panting allows the cat to let off accumulated heat in the chest via moisture produced in the throat, mouth and tongue, helping to regulate temperature. However, unlike dogs, cats are not very physically active so it is very rare to see them panting. Should you detect your pet doing it, it is very important that you pay attention because it could be accumulating heat at dangerous levels.
In these cases it is recommended that you take your cat into the shade and dab some cool water on its lips so it can cool its body faster. If you find that the animal is not behaving normally it is best to take it to the vet as it could be suffering from heatstroke.
What are the warning signs of heatstroke?
As explained above, panting is not common in cats and in most cases this indicates that the animal is actually very hot. To keep your cat from suffering heatstroke, which could endanger its health and even its life, it is necessary to know the warning signs of heatstroke in cats and what measures to take.
Symptoms of heatstroke in cats:
- Panting with intensity.
- Rapid and difficult breathing.
- The cat is groggy, it does not want to get up or move.
- Fast heart rate.
- Gums may turn blue.
- The cat presents muscle tremors, vomiting and in the worst cases collapses.
How to respond to signs of heatstroke in cats:
In the event that your cat is suffering from heatstroke you should:
- Take it to a cool, shady place, especially if there are fans or air conditioning.
- Moisten its lips with fresh water and let it drink alone if it wants.
- Moisten areas such as crotch, armpits, head and neck with fresh water: this will help refresh its fur and lower temperature. You can apply a wet rag in these areas, but do not wrap your pet in it.
- Refresh your cat with a gentle stream of water to reduce its temperature faster.
- Once the cat looks better and more stable, take it to the vet for a check up.
Kittens, obese, dark-haired, flat-faced and older cats are more prone to this condition, so you will need to offer them special attention.
So if you were wondering how and where do cats sweat, here's your answer. They have evolved many different ways to do so!
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