Cat Sweat: Do Cats Sweat?

Where do cats sweat?

Cats have a thick coat that can withstand temperatures of up to fifty degrees without damage. This does not mean that they are immune to heat. They are also familiar with sensation, but their bodies have different mechanisms for dealing with it and regulating their temperature.

The sweat glands of kittens are much smaller in number than those of humans. Ours cover the entire surface of the dermis, that is, our entire body. Cats’ sweat glands are located in very specific places: their chin, lips, anus and the pads of their paws. This is one of the reasons why it’s hard to see a cat’s sweat, and part of the explanation why some people still mistakenly think cats don’t sweat.

Hairless breeds sweat more

Hairless cat breeds, such as the Sphynx or Peterbald , are an exception. These cats have sweat glands all over their body and so they usually sweat all over their body , just like humans.

How do cats sweat?

The sweating mechanism of cats is the same as that of humans and other animals. When your body experiences a rise in temperature and becomes overheated , your brain sends a signal to the sweat glands to go into action, start sweating and release sweat to cool your body down and lower your temperature.

In addition, cats sweat in similar circumstances to humans: when they are hot, yes, but also when they are nervous, afraid, stressed, or even when they are sick or undergoing intense physical activity. Then your body temperature rises and the sweating process begins.

How do you know if cats are sweating?

There are several ways to directly detect if your cat is sweating. The sweat that cats shed through their pads will leave a trail on certain types of surfaces they walk on or on which their paws rest. These wet trails are easy to spot and indicate that your pet is perspiring. In addition, cat sweat emits a specific, sweet smell, which is easily detectable by humans. Once you learn to identify it, it’s easy to know when your cat is sweating.

What do cats do when they are hot?

Another indirect way to tell if your cat is sweating is to recognize your pet’s attitudes and habits when he or she is hot , as your pet is much more likely to be sweating under these circumstances.


Cats like to take care of themselves. They love to comb and lick their fur or wash their paws to maintain body hygiene. However, cleaning is also a mechanism they have developed that is related to temperature control. It is especially useful in species with dense fur. When it is very hot and your pet is carefully licking its paws and all over its body, it can be a clear sign that it is getting hot and probably sweating. When the saliva evaporates it helps to lower their body temperature and helps to cool them down.

extended rest

Another attitude that also indicates that cats may be hot, and therefore more likely to sweat, is their increasing apathy. On particularly hot days, they spend much more time inactive and resting. They like to lie in the shade or in cool places and don’t move around much. This is because your body works less and generates less heat, so your temperature is more easily regulated.

Drink a lot of water

An increase in water consumption on hot days is absolutely normal. It is due to the need for hydration and is a great way to lower the animal’s core temperature and cool down. If you notice that your cat is drinking a lot more than usual on a very hot day, it is likely that he is also sweating.


Panting is a mechanism that cats share with other animals, such as dogs, when it comes to keeping themselves cool. It allows the heat from your chest to escape through your mouth and is cooled by the moisture in your mucous membranes. It is not, however, a common mechanism in felines, since their physical activity is much lower than in dogs and when it occurs it is because they suffer from a really high temperature.

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