It’s a fact, cats love basking in the sun. As soon as they find a warm surface on which to lie down, they do not hesitate for a second. It can be a radiator or even a table heated by the sun, as long as they feel a gentle warmth flooding them. But why do they like it so much?
Blame it on their body temperature
Cats have a slightly higher body temperature than ours. Indeed, it is between 38 and 39°C, compared to about 37°C for humans. This explains in particular the fact that they tolerate heat better than us.
But, when they sleep, their body temperature tends to drop. And this despite their fur! Thus, they must absolutely compensate for this loss of heat in order to maintain their body at a high temperature, even during their sleep. For this, they then go in search of the warmest places in the house.
However, be careful, in their absolute need to warm up, our feline friends may not be aware of the heat emitted by heating devices and may burn themselves. Indeed, their fur being insulating, it can prevent them from realizing that the radiator on which they are lying is heating up. For this reason, it is necessary to always keep an eye on them when they lie on such surfaces. Or put an extra layer on them, like a blanket, that will prevent direct contact with the device.
And the sun, why do they love it so much?
As soon as your cat sees a ray of sunshine, it is irresistibly attracted. It then does not hesitate to lie down in the only place of the house bathed by the sun. But what can explain such adoration?
In reality, cats originally come from the most desert regions of the planet. This may partly explain their unconditional love for the sun. But also the fact that they can withstand a temperature of up to 50°C. Plus, feeling the warmth of the sun’s rays on their skin just makes them happy.
But there is also another explanation that could justify such a need for sunlight: vitamin D, provided by the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Indeed, cats need vitamin D, essential, among other things, for good bone health. However, they have such a dense coat that the sun’s rays barely manage to penetrate their skin. However, if it does not receive enough sunlight, their body is not able to synthesize vitamin D. Hence the interest of cats in staying in the sun for a long time.
However, it is also necessary to check that their diet contains enough vitamin D because tanning sessions are not enough.