DEAR JOAN: During these cold winter months, we try to make it to Thanksgiving before turning on the heat. And even then we keep the thermostat at 58 to 65 during the day and 55 at night.

You get used to it — thermal underwear, warm sweaters and socks, thermal tights, fingerless gloves, be active or cover up with a couple warm throws if you sit down.

But I was wondering; our kitties are getting older now and they seem fine with it, but are they really? I had a cat who slept under the covers, but our current cats don’t. Their coats do seem to be getting thicker and they do lie on us frequently, which sure makes us nice and warm.

Likewise, we don’t have air conditioning so in the summer, it gets up to 86 to 88 degrees in our house. Again, the cats seemed fine with it.

I know cats’ body temps are higher than ours, but were they really enjoying the heat or was something else going on?

Liz Fisher, Pleasant Hill

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DEAR LIZ: To say that cats are adaptable is a bit of an understatement. They seem to manage in almost any condition, save being ignored when they want attention.

The average body temperature for a cat is around 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Short-haired cats have slightly lower temperatures, while long-haired cats have slightly higher. If a cat’s body temperature drops to 90 or below, they can suffer from hypothermia, and if it rises above 105 degrees, they can develop hyperthermia.

Fortunately, the cat’s coat acts as both protection against the cold and insulation against the heat. Vets however, recommend that the temperature inside you house in the winter should be at least 70 degrees, although cats can tolerate room temps down to 50 degrees. It’s just not the best conditions for them.

In the summer, vets recommend keeping the house at 75 to 78 degrees.

Cats might not be able to put on thermal underwear — although we’d probably pay to see that — but they find ways on their own to warm up. They often will lie in a patch of sun, curl up in a corner, snuggle with you or each other, sharing body warmth.

You can help them by putting soft, warm blankets out for them to curl up on, or invest in a heated bed. Companies …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


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