There are several things that your cat enjoys throughout the day in order to have a happy and comfortable life.
Everything from eating, napping, and sunbathing falls on the shortlist of their happiest pastimes.
When the sun is shining bright, and you have the blinds open on your window, you can bet your cat will be out lying in the sun, no matter how warm or cold it is.
You may notice that they get very still and move as little as possible.
There are some good reasons and benefits to your cat lying in the sun, so you do not have to worry.
Why Do Cats Lay in the Sun?
Like their human counterparts, cats also absorb vitamin D and generate a number of health benefits that affect their coat, reproductive system, and pain management among other benefits. Other reasons include regulation of body temperature and building up their protein and energy.
Cats are known to have a very high metabolism compared to humans and other animals that we know and love as pets.
Because their metabolic rate is so high, and they are constantly burning energy, they need the warmth from the sun to establish a new supply of energy within.
Since cats burn their energy very fast, they need a resource to replenish this energy and allow them to continue their activities once the sunbathing is over.
When they sleep, their metabolism drops, further requiring the need for direct sunlight.
Body Temperature Regulation
Since cats are believed to have their origins in the Middle-Eastern Desert, they naturally have a higher body temperature than other animals.
Because their internal temperature is higher than others, they lose heat faster.
This 102-degree average body temperature forces them to always look for warmth and find those sunny spots in front of windows and doorways.
These animals will be susceptible to cooler temperatures if they are not in an area where they can get sun and warmth.
Vitamin D Necessity
Like most mammals, vitamin D is essential, and this is no different for a cat’s overall health. When they generate it through the sun, however, the vitamin is produced on the cats’ fur.
It comes out as an oil, broken down from the sun’s rays. They consume the vitamin D when they groom themselves, replenishing what they have lost and restoring their energy.
This is why they spend time lying in the sun and then groom themselves after they are done.
Female cats especially have a need to sunbathe and keep their hormones maintained.
Being able to adequately synthesize proteins and vitamin D means that their hormones are in order throughout the season.
Since hormones encourage their coats to shed at the right time, they need this sunbathing to properly shed their winter coats when the weather starts to warm.
Energy and Protein Build-Up
When your cat is enjoying its time lying in the sun, it is consuming energy that it has spent previously being active before deciding to lay down.
The heat from the sun restores the energy in your cat so that if their energy decides to drop later from excessive use, they have a build-up of energy ready to keep them going.
While the energy is building, so is the fusing of the proteins that your cat has eaten.
Most of a cat’s diet is protein, but it does need to be fused and digested properly by your cat.
With the help of the sun, the heat will blend these proteins during digestion and use minimal energy.
As older cats start to mature and develop conditions like arthritis, the need for pain relief is around the clock.
As they absorb the warmth from the sun, the discomfort from these conditions is soothed and calmed, allowing them peaceful sleep and the ability to rest comfortably.
Frequently Asked Questions About Why Cats Lay in the Sun
Can My Cat Get Too Much Sun?
While your cat may enjoy sunbathing on most days, there are some effects of getting too much sun. For example, your cat can get sunburned for sleeping long periods in the direct sunlight, especially when it is hot outside. Sun poisoning can also develop for cats much as it does for humans. You may need to have your cat see a vet if you believe they have a sunburn on their body from too much sun.
Should I Feed My Cat After They Have Been In The Sun?
It is perfectly safe to feed your cats after they have been lying in the sun for an afternoon. They will be warm, happy, and their energy restored. Your cat enjoys eating their food at that time. Make sure to keep some cool water nearby though, so they can start to cool down after they eat.
Will My Cat Lay In The Sun During The Summer?
While cats spend more time sunbathing throughout the Spring and Fall seasons, they do try to sunbathe year-round. It is important to watch the amount of time they spend sunbathing in the summer to avoid sunburns and too much exposure since days are longer.
There Is A Reason To Your Cat’s Need To Lay In The Sun
In most cases, you do not need to worry about your cat wanting to enjoy the warmth of the sun.
Since they are naturally colder than humans, your home may just be a little chilly to them while you are comfortable.
The sunlight is important to your cat’s health, so giving them a couple of hours in the sun most days can only keep them happy and healthy, even if it is a little weird.