Love Of Paws is reader-supported. When you purchase through one of our links we may earn a commission.
Home » How Hot Is Too Hot For Cats?

How Hot Is Too Hot For Cats?

October 4, 2023

Most cats love hot weather. In our home we regularly find our cats sitting in a sun spot, or pressed against the window. But in some cases, especially for us in south Florida, we need to ask the question “how hot is too hot” when it comes to our cats. 

Well, the short answer is, it depends. Various resources online will give you numbers between 80°F (27°C) and 100°F (38°C), and this sounds like a great general rule of thumb. 

To break this down further, we need to understand our cats better as well as their tolerance levels. 

Factors That Affect A Cats Tolerance To Heat

At a basic level, you should look at three main factors to better determine how much heat your cat can really stand. That would be their breed, their age, and their overall health. 


Some cats, like the Persians, Siberians, and Maine Coon’s have long hair. This makes them primary targets of heat related issues due to the length of their hair. With breeds that have longer hair, drop your ideal temperature down from 100°F (38°C) to 80°F (27°C) or 90°F (32°C) to be safe. 


If it comes as a surprise to you, age is a major factor in a cat's ability to sweat it out. Older cats generally have a harder time breathing, and are easier affected by extreme heats than younger cats. Our recommendation would be to drop your ideal temp down around 80 for older cats as well. 


As cats can have a variety of health issues, this is not a one-size-fits-all answer. It really depends on your cat's health issues, and the severity of them, but it’s extremely important to consider health issues when determining extreme heat for cats. If your cat has heart or breathing problems, is obese, or a flat face, you better drop your temperature down closer to 80 to help them out. 

Signs Of A Heatstroke In Cats

Now, if you are in fear that your cat is having a heatstroke, here’s some of the signs you need to watch out for: 

  • Rapid and labored breathing
  • Persistent panting
  • Marked lethargy, aversion to movement
  • Redness around the tongue and mouth area
  • Elevated heart and respiratory rates
  • Excessive salivation, abnormal drooling
  • Episodes of vomiting containing blood
  • Occurrence of bloody diarrhea
  • Unwillingness to walk, or evident struggle in doing so
  • Sudden collapses, unresponsiveness to surroundings
  • Disorientation, unawareness, uncoordinated movements
  • Body temperature of 104°F or above
  • Noticeable loss of appetite, refusal of food
  • Sweaty paws, indicative of stress or discomfort

What To Do If Your Cat Has A Heatstroke

If you forgot to leave your AC on at home and you come home to find your cat displaying one or several of these signs, the first thing you need to do is get them under a fan and away from direct sunlight and hot surfaces. For whatever reason, cats are like a moth to the flame with sun spots, to the point where it can be dangerous for them. So bring them somewhere cool and out of the sun and make sure there’s a fan or AC on to cool them off further. 

Next, get a cloth and dampen it with room temperature water. You’re probably going to upset your cat with this, so try to get as much water as possible off the cloth before applying it to your cat. Remember, we want the cloth to cool them off, not soak them. 

Get a fresh bowl of water and place it as close to them as possible. We’re not forcing them to drink, we just want to ensure they have fresh, clean water nearby. 

Now, call a vet and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. 

The most important thing to do is not overreact and dump ice on your cat. Dropping their body temperature too fast can cause excessive issues and make things worse. 

Tips For Keeping Your Cat Cool In Hot Weather

We’re in Miami, so our cats are no strangers to heat. They build a tolerance for it, but it’s always important to keep a few essentials ready to go for them in case things get too hot. 

First, fresh water is a must. Hydration is key, as I’m sure you already know. If you don’t have running water available, it’s a good idea to let your shower faucet on just a little to provide some constant running water that’s clean. Cats will find it - Yaki loves it. 

Next, if you’re not a fan of automated AC’s, you should be. When we are out for the day and leave the cats at home, we keep the AC on with temperature control to ensure it never gets too hot in the apartment. If you’re really trying to save money, or will be out for a long time, I suggest setting it higher, somewhere around 78°F - but don’t keep it off. Not only will it potentially get too hot for your cats, it will make your house/apartment miserable when you get back. 

Be sure your cats have somewhere cool to go. If all your shades are open, they might not have much escape from the heat. Find a place in the house or apartment and draw the blinds to keep the sunlight out. Bonus if this is a room with an AC or fan, so there’s a dedicated place for cats to cool down. 

Remember, cats aren’t stupid - they know what’s too hot for them and they will make efforts not to have a heatstroke, you just need to provide the resources for them. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts

Why Is My Cat Always Meowing At The Door?

Cats and doors. We’ve talked about this habit before. If you’re wondering why your cat keeps meowing at the door, you’ve come to the right place. Our cat Naz is famous for this, and we’re going to discuss all the common issues and quick solutions to at least calm this habit down.  First, Why Do […]

Read More
Why Do Cats Cover Their Faces When They Sleep?

A cat sleeping with their paws over their face is close to the cutest image a person could ask for. And while it’s an adorable pose to walk in on, it begs the question why? Is there an actual reason that some cats love to cover their faces when they sleep, or is it just […]

Read More
Cat Safe Air Fresheners

If you’ve ever been concerned that your commercial air freshener is releasing toxins into the air you are absolutely correct, and it’s critical that your cats avoid these noxious smells.  You may not know this, but your cat's body is already working hard to detoxify numerous pollutants in the air. We love keeping our cats […]

Read More
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram