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Why do cats like to lay in sunlight?

Many of our furry feline friends love to sunbathe. In fact, behind the curtains of a sunny window is the first place many pet sitters will look for a sleeping kitty. Yet, have you ever wondered why, even on the hottest days, cat seem to bask in the sun?

They’re creating vitamin D

Cats create vitamin D the same way humans do. When we go into the sun, our skin produces an oil. This oil is broken down by the sun’s radiation, creating vitamin D3. Then, the vitamin is reabsorbed into our skin. Cats create the same oil, but it remains on their fur and doesn’t come in contact with their skin after it’s broken down. Instead, they ingest the vitamin when they groom their fur.

They prefer the warmth

Another popular theory is that cats simply prefer to be warm. The domestic cat’s ancestor is the African wildcat, which is a desert dwelling feline whose body is designed to operate at peak efficiency in warm climates. A cat’s body temperature is also much higher than ours, at 102 degrees Fahrenheit. That could make them more susceptible to feeling chilly than we are, at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

They’re storing energy

While a cat is sleeping, his or her high metabolism will drop. According to Canidae.com, “The sunlight helps overcome a drop in basal metabolism associated with shutdown during sleeping.” Meaning, a cat can store and save the energy from the sun in order to compensate for the decrease in metabolism. Then, they can use this bonus energy for activities later. How cool is that?

Are you looking for someone to help maintain the perfectly warm environment for you sun-loving kitty? Give us a call to be matched with the perfect pet sitter today!


Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

Photo by photochur on pixabay.

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