Image Credits: Pixabay
Cats do sweat. Yes, their popular image is that of a fluffy ball either always sleeping or jumping here and there. However, felines do sweat but not in the way humans do. When your cats sweat, it does not do so through the armpits, but from their paws. The paw pads of the cat have sweat glands, unlike humans whose glands lie all over the body. This is the reason cats leave wet prints during extremely hot weather. If this happens, your cat is sweating buckets. Cats sweat not only due to high temperatures but also if they suffer from anxiety or stress. Now you know why your cat leaves patches of wetness at the vet. Those are not pee, but sweat.
Scientists also hold the opinion that the function of the cat paws is more than keeping the body temperature of the cat down. A number of theories proclaim that the cat paws deposit pheromones. These are cat-specific signals which the felines use to communicate with each other.
The function of cat sweat is the same as humans and other animals. The process helps to regulate the body temperature of the animal. There is one problem though: since cats have only four small paws to sweat, the area of sweating may be insufficient. The felines then seek out other methods to cool themselves. You will see your cat seek out a shady place to sleep. Lying down and sleeping means less energy is expended and thus, the body temperature does not move up. It is, therefore, a smart move for cats to sleep all day long.
Dogs pant in hot weather. Cats, however, do not slack. If you see a cat panting, it is an abnormal sign. A feline pants only when it is in pain or extremely afraid. A panting cat signifies a respiratory or a metabolic problem. When a cat pants, it is blowing extra carbon dioxide to maintain its body’s acid-base balance. A typical, healthy cat does not pant in hot weather. Instead of only relying on her paws for internal temperature regulation, the feline also grooms itself. Many think the cat is vain, but it is not so. Your cat grooms itself by licking, and as the saliva evaporates, the heat is taken away, and the body temperature of the animal is kept at acceptable levels. This is yet another heat management tactic adopted by kitties to keep themselves cool in blazing hot weather. Do keep in mind that scientists continue to study the weird habits of cats and there are many things which continue to puzzle them. One of them is why cats like to lick the sweat off humans. There is apparently nothing to be gained by this action.