Where Do Cats Go When It Rains? Tips and Tricks to Find and Help Cats in the Wet

By Phil / April 19, 2019
Where Do Cats Go When It Rains

Ever wondered, where do cats go when it rains? Do you worry about your cat and hope they are somewhere safe and dry when it’s raining? I know I do….

We all know that cats don’t like getting wet. Who can blame them I say, I don’t like it either!

This article should help put your mind at ease. I can explain why cats don’t like to get wet, where they typically find shelter outside in the rain, how you can better protect them from the rain, and more.

Why Do Cats Not like to Get Wet?

Apart from the obvious, which is that no one really likes to get soggy, here are the main reasons why cats hate the water and getting wet:

It Lowers Their Core Temperature – When a cat’s coat gets wet, not only is it hard for them to dry off, it lowers their core temperature.

When their temperature drops below 100 degrees F, cats are at risk of some serious health issues. Not least hypothermia as I explain in more detail later in the article.

Their Coats Get Water Logged and Heavy – Temperature aside, it’s incredibly uncomfortable for a cat to have a heavy, waterlogged coat.

Just imagine what it feels like to wear a coat drenched in water. It’s not a nice thought, is it?

Can Cats Sense When It’s About to Rain?

Can Cats Sense When It's About to Rain

There are loads of theories around cats, and other animals for that matter, and their ability to predict the weather, sense dangers, and even know if an earthquake is impending.

I find the topic interesting and I’ve done endless research and found out some really interesting things and seen some compelling evidence….

However, can cats really sense when the weather is about to change or if rain is coming?

Not exactly.

They do however act differently when there is a change in the air, and there is some evidence to suggest cats can sense changes in the weather.

Not through a 6th sense, however. It’s more so that cats have heightened senses and are able to detect changes in temperature and humidity long before we can.

They will also start to associate changes in temperature and humidity with rain if this is what usually follows. And a cat that doesn’t like the rain might look visibly anxious for this reason.

Do Cats like Rain?

Are Cats Ok in the Rain

I’ve never met a cat that likes rain, and I’m sure you haven’t either.

I did have a cat that would not move when it started raining and would happily lay or sit there getting soaked through, but that’s to do with being stubborn and lazy rather than liking the rain.

You may notice your cats being a little restless indoors too when it’s raining outside. This is usually because the noise of rain is irritating to their sensitive hearing, and quite frankly, disturbs them sleeping.

Are Cats Ok in the Rain?

Cats are typically not going to be in any more danger than normal when it’s raining. Things can get a little scary if you live near a busy road and it’s a dark, wet winter night, but typically a soggy cat catching a cold is the worst outcome.

I always go looking for my cats when it’s raining so I know they are inside in the warmth. I also have a small outhouse in the yard they can use for shelter near the back door if I’m not in to let them in.

If you’re worried about your cat being out in the rain when you’re not home, consider doing some of the following:

Put an outhouse in your yard like I have. Cats are stubborn about where they seek shelter, but it’s better to have somewhere available than not.

Make a space in your garage or large outhouse and add a cat flap so your cat can have access. Much better than a small pet house to keep out of the wind.

Leave a small window open to give access to your home. My parents do this with their bathroom window, it leans down so rain doesn’t run it but their cat can climb through.

Where Do Cats Go When It Rains?

Where Do Cats Hide When It Rains

If it’s raining outside and you want to go and find your cat, or just have that peace of mind that they are somewhere safe and dry, here are some of the common places cats take refuge in bad weather:

Under vehicles – I know that I can almost always find one of my cats under my car parked on my drive. It’s one of the most obvious and easily accessible places for cats to keep dry, and even warm if the engine is still hot from running.

Garden sheds – This is one of the typical hiding places for cats, and one of the first places to look if they don’t come home on time. If you’re concerned about your cat being trapped in a shed, please read my article – how long can a cat survive locked in a shed.

Wooded areas – I’ve found shelter under trees enough times to know that it’s a place to go to get out of the rain. Let’s not forget that cats are smarter than us, so if you have a wooded area near your home don’t be surprised to find your cat there when it’s raining.

Doorways – Ever noticed how cats like to sit on the doorsteps of houses? One of the main reasons is because doorways are typically sheltered so people can stand at your door without getting soaked.

Sheds/Garages – Sheds and garages are the first place you should be looking for a missing kitty. They love hiding in these spaces, and usually find plenty of space and some quality shelter.

Related – How long a cats survive locked in a shed?

How to Spot Signs of Hypothermia in Cats and What to Do

How to Tell If a Cat Has Hypothermia

In cold temperatures, and especially in rainy conditions, cats can catch hypothermia.

PetMD is a great resource for all things related to cats and medical conditions. I’ve read through their cat hypothermia pages and summarized everything you need to know:

How to Tell If a Cat Has Hypothermia

If your cat has been out in the cold for a long time or has been soaking wet in cold weather conditions there is a risk of hypothermia.

Hypothermia is defined as the body’s temperature going below 100 degrees F. When this happens, it causes their heart rate to slow, along with other organs, and if not treated can be fatal.

The first signs will be shivering. This is the way a cat’s body will try to generate some warmth. If you feel your cat the coldest parts will be at their extremities, such as their paws and ears.

The next stage is usually labored breathing as their heart rate keeps on dropping. If your cat is laying down and struggling to breathe you need to take action immediately.

How to Treat Suspected Hypothermia

If you suspect your cat is suffering from hypothermia or at risk of doing so you need to act quickly. Here are the steps outlined on PetMD:

Move your cat to a warm place. If they are wet wrap them in towels and soak the excess water off them.

Don’t go to an extreme with warmth, but using hot water bottles, warm blankets, and things like that will help raise their temperature.

If possible, check your cat’s rectal temperature. Between 100.4 and 102.5 is a normal temp for a cat.

Call your vet, give them as much detail over the phone as you can and get your cat booked in as soon as possible.

Prevention Is the Best Cure

Hopefully, this information has helped raised awareness of hypothermia and other potential health issues cold and wet weather conditions pose.

The best solution is not to let your cat out in extreme conditions. If this is just not possible, then set up a couple of sheltered areas outdoors where they can stay out of the rain and wind.

Finding Your Cat in the Rain

Hopefully this article has helped you better understand where your cat may hide when it’s raining, why cats don’t like rain, and the things you can do as a cat owner to help them out.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading – where do cats go when it rains? If you have any questions or feedback just drop me a note below, thanks!

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