As a cat lover, and fur parent of two cats, I pay very close attention to their every move. After a long day at work and away from my kitties, I spend the first several minutes of arriving home seeking them out for some much needed love and cuddles.
If my search comes up unsuccessful in the usual spots of slumber, cat beds, and countertops, then I know exactly the next place to look, in front of the windows!
As someone that overheats when the temperatures rise above 80, I have always been puzzled by my cats curious habit of seeking sushine even in the most unbearable heat. In fact, when I find my cats in the sun and I rub their fur, it can be hot to the touch!
How on earth is that comfortable, especially for sleeping conditions? The scientist in me decided to see if my cats are either broken or if they run on solar power.
Cats maintain a higher body temperature than humans do. They usually sit at a toasty 100-102.5 degrees.
Like all mammals, cats use a portion of their caloric food intake to maintain their body temperature. The problem with cats is that almost a third of their calories are used to maintain their skin and coat.
If their diet isn't as high in protein as they need it to be, they can fall short of the nutrients they need to stay healthy and warm.
One thing we know very well about cats is they love to nap! Did you know that when a cat falls alseep, they experience a drop in their basal metabolism and loose heat?
Due to this, cats want to stay warm and seek out spots like the window, lamps, and unair-conditioned spots like the garage. In the winter, cats will even climb into cars to get warmth from a car engine!
Seeking sun and warmth is not just about staying warm, its about conserving energy. If a cat can find an external source of energy to stay warm, they can conserve their energy for other bodily functions.
Given the fact that cats use the sunshine to conserve energy, you could say they run on solar energy in a way!
With all of this said, please remember that even though cats love the warmth, they should never be left in a hot car or any space where they can't seek more comfortable conditions as needed.
As a meteorologist I am happy that I can use my knowledge of weather and scientific reasoning to further disect the inner workings of my cats.
I accept that my obsession over these fur balls may be a bit odd to others, but as any fellow cat lover will agree, our love for our cats is a powerful thing!