Shorthair cats in particular enjoy lying in the warm sun, forest cat breeds like the Maine Coon and other long-haired fur noses like the Persian cat usually prefer shady spots. Why is that?
Cats love the warmth of the sun
If you look at where the ancestor of our domestic cats comes from, it quickly becomes clear why the house tigers like to relax in the sun. The falcon cat lives in Africa and is perfectly equipped for living at high temperatures in the desert. Their long limbs and short fur give off body heat quickly, and they use a lot of valuable energy to maintain their body temperature.
The normal body temperature of cats is between 38 and 39.3 degrees Celsius, which is higher than that of humans. They like to stay in warm places so that their bodies are warmed up from the outside and they use less energy. They save additional energy if they rest in the warm places or even sleep. So cats love to sleep in the sun because they save valuable energy. The cats in the following video have perfected this energy saving principle:
The situation is different with long-haired fur noses, such as forest cat breeds, which have developed at lower temperatures. Her physique is stockier and sturdier than that of her ancestral falcon. This physique and its thick fur are ideal for storing body heat even in colder climates without consuming a lot of energy.
In return, long-haired cats are usually too hot in the sun in summer. They prefer to make themselves comfortable in the shade, for example on the cool bathroom tiles, and stretch all fours of themselves to give off as much warmth as possible.
Ten cats enjoying the sun to their heart's content
Do cats produce vitamin D in sunlight?
Humans can produce the vital vitamin D themselves when sunlight shines on their skin. Cats also need vitamin D, but do they benefit from the sun's rays? The source situation for this is not clear.
It is only clear that the velvet paws cannot produce the nutrient by the sun shining on their skin. On the one hand, the fur is too thick for this, on the other hand, unlike the human body, the cat organism is not designed for vitamin D self-production.
However, there is a theory that certain oils and fats in cat fur react with the sunlight and split up to produce vitamin D. When the house tigers clean themselves, they lick the nutrient out of their fur. However, this assumption is controversial. If the diet is appropriate to the species with high-quality cat food or if the bass is correct, additional vitamin D is usually not necessary anyway.