Why do cats lie next to radiators?

Their body temp is a few degrees higher than ours.  I doubt this is the whole reason, because dogs also have a higher body temp than we do.  Dogs don’t sleep with their bodies up against hot radiators for hours on end. One of my cats used to sleep on top of a very hot steam radiator in an old house. For her that radiator was like a hit of kitty Nyquil.

I ordered a heated cat bed for my 15 year old, Emma.

I was just reading some research from the 1960’s on cat sensitivity to heat. While reading, I realized I’d forgotten that sensitivity will be different depending on body location. Face more sensitive than back, most likely.  One study, a behavioral one, found that paws do have sensitivity to temperature. They could tell the difference between stimuli with as little as 1 degree celsius (1.8 degree fahrenheit).

What’s really cute is that they received pieces of fish as a reward!



Genetic tests for feline sociability and tameness?

In the future, will adoptable cats be pre-sorted via genetic tests? Cats who have gene(s) contributing to tameness could be chosen for adoption by families with small children or fragile seniors. Instead of basing an adoption decision on cuteness, the decision would be based on data. This is one of the possibilities being investigated by researchers at UC Davis.

“A secondary goal of the research is to identify regions of the genome that may be involved with the domestication process of the cat. The project could identify genes that are contributing to boldness and tameness that are influencing cat domestication. Genetic tests could feasibly be developed that would help select the more tame and social cats that would be more suitable for adoption and nursing care interactions. The investigators already have the required samples available and have collaborated on similar studies in dogs. The data analysis would be feasible within the year.”

D12FE-505, Leslie A. Lyons, Ph.D., University of California/Davis
“Genetic Estimation of Introgression Between Domestic Cat and Wildcat Populations”

Click here to read the study summary.