Do Cats Shiver?

Do you ever wonder if your feline friend shivers like we humans do? As a cat lover, you’re probably curious about every aspect of your furry companion’s behavior. Cats are known for their grace, agility, and ability to keep themselves warm, but when it comes to shivering, not all cats are created equal.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the question of whether cats shiver and explore the reasons why they might. It could be due to cold temperatures or fear, or it could signal a more serious health issue. We’ll also take a closer look at the body language of a shivering cat so that you can recognize the signs that your kitty is feeling uneasy.

Furthermore, we’ll differentiate between cats shivering and trembling and explain what it means for their well-being. You’ll even discover how to keep your feline companion warm during chilly weather by providing them with a cozy bed or adding an extra blanket – or maybe even dressing them up in a cute sweater.

Finally, we’ll share some tips on how to calm down your cat if they’re shivering due to fear or anxiety. With our help, you’ll be able to take care of your beloved pet during the colder months and ensure that they stay happy and healthy.

So sit back, relax, and read on to learn everything you need to know about whether cats shiver.

What Causes Cats to Shiver?

Although it’s not a common occurrence, shivering in cats can be caused by several factors. Some are completely normal, while others may indicate an underlying health issue. Let’s dive into what causes cats to shiver and how you can help keep them happy and healthy.

Temperature Changes

Just like humans, cats can feel the cold and may shiver as a way to generate heat and keep themselves warm. This is especially true for hairless breeds or those with short hair.

Conversely, cats may also shiver due to overheating, which is their way of cooling down. If you notice your cat shivering during a temperature change, it’s best to provide them with a warm and comfortable environment to help them regulate their body temperature.

Anxiety and Stress

Cats that are scared or nervous may start trembling as a physical manifestation of their emotions. This could happen during a visit to the vet, when meeting new people or animals, or when experiencing loud noises such as thunderstorms or fireworks. To help reduce your cat’s anxiety, provide them with a safe and familiar environment.

Pain or Discomfort

Shivering in cats could also be a sign of pain or discomfort. For instance, if your cat is suffering from an injury or illness, they may begin to shiver as a way to cope with the pain. It’s important to seek veterinary attention if you notice your cat shivering for an extended period of time or in conjunction with other concerning symptoms such as lethargy or loss of appetite.

How to Tell if Your Cat is Shivering

Here, we will explore five subtopics that will help you determine if your cat is shivering and understand its causes, importance, and prevention.

Behavioral Signs of Shivering in Cats

Cats tend to hide their discomfort, making it challenging to tell if they’re shivering. One way to tell is by observing their behavior. If your cat appears restless, more active than usual, or is seeking warm spots, it could be a sign of shivering. By paying attention to your cat’s behavior, you can determine if they’re feeling cold and take necessary steps to keep them cozy.

Physical Signs of Shivering in Cats

Another way to tell if your cat is shivering is by touching them. If their fur feels cold or their body temperature feels low, it could be a sign of shivering. Check for tremors in their muscles or limbs, which are common signs of shivering in cats. It’s also crucial to take their temperature using a thermometer. A healthy cat’s temperature should range between 100.5°F and 102.5°F. If their temperature falls below this range, it’s best to contact a veterinarian for advice.

Causes of Shivering in Cats

Cats can shiver due to several reasons such as cold temperatures, anxiety, fear, and excitement. If the temperature drops, cats may shiver to generate heat and stay warm. Additionally, cats who are stressed or nervous may shiver as a way to release tension.

It’s important to identify the cause of your cat’s shivering so that you can provide them with a safe and familiar environment to help reduce anxiety-related shivering.

Importance of Recognizing Shivering in Cats

Recognizing the signs of shivering in cats is crucial for their well-being. If your cat is shivering excessively or for an extended period, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue.

By observing their behavior and checking their body temperature, you can determine if your cat is shivering and take necessary steps to keep them warm and comfortable. If you suspect any underlying health conditions, it’s always best to seek professional veterinary advice.

Prevention of Shivering in Cats

Keeping Your Cat Warm and Comfortable

While cats are known for their ability to regulate their body temperature, sometimes they need a little extra help from us. Here are some tips on how to keep your cat warm and comfortable when the temperatures drop.

First, make sure your cat has a cozy bed to sleep in. A heated bed or one with plenty of blankets and pillows can provide much-needed warmth during chilly nights. You might also consider placing the bed in a sunny spot in your home, as the sun’s rays can provide additional heat and comfort.

Second, keep your cat indoors when it’s too cold outside. This will not only keep them warm but also protect them from harsh winter weather. Provide them with plenty of toys and activities to keep them entertained while they’re indoors.

Third, some cats may benefit from wearing a sweater or jacket during colder months. Just make sure the clothing isn’t too tight or uncomfortable for your feline friend. Not only will it keep them warm, but it’ll also make them look stylish.

Fourth, offering warm food to your cat can help them feel more comfortable and cozy on cold days. You can microwave their wet food for a few seconds or add some warm water to their dry food to make it more palatable.

Fifth, heating pads or blankets can be placed in your cat’s bed to provide extra warmth. Just make sure the pad isn’t too hot and that your cat can’t chew on it.

Lastly, exercise can help your cat generate body heat and stay warm. Encourage playtime with toys or take them for short walks indoors. This will not only keep them warm but also promote their overall health and well-being.

Signs of Excessive or Prolonged Shivering

But if you notice your cat shivering excessively or for prolonged periods of time, it could be a sign that something is wrong. Shivering is a normal way for cats to generate heat when they’re cold, but it can also be a red flag for an underlying health issue.

One possible cause of excessive or prolonged shivering in cats is hypothermia. This occurs when a cat’s body temperature drops below normal levels due to exposure to cold temperatures. Hypothermia can be life-threatening if left untreated, so it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention if you suspect your cat may be suffering from this condition.

Another possible cause of excessive or prolonged shivering in cats is fever. When a cat’s body temperature rises above normal levels, it can cause shivering as the body tries to cool itself down. Fever can be a sign of an infection or other underlying health issue, so it’s important to take your cat to the vet if you suspect they have a fever.

In some cases, excessive or prolonged shivering in cats can be a sign of pain or discomfort. Cats may shiver as a way of coping with pain or discomfort, especially if they are unable to vocalize their discomfort in other ways. If you notice your cat shivering and displaying other signs of discomfort, such as vocalizing or avoiding certain activities, it may be time to take them to the vet for an evaluation.

It’s essential to pay attention to your cat’s other behaviors and symptoms if you notice excessive or prolonged shivering. Lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and coughing are all possible signs that your cat may be suffering from an underlying health issue. By staying vigilant and taking action when needed, you can help keep your furry friend healthy and comfortable during the colder months of the year.

Other Reasons Why Cats May Shiver

Cats are fascinating creatures that exhibit various behaviors that leave us wondering about their underlying reasons. One such behavior is shivering. Although feeling cold is one reason why cats may shiver, there are several other potential causes behind this behavior. In this blog post, we’ll explore five subtopics that explain why cats may shiver.

Feeling Stressed or Anxious

Cats can experience stress and anxiety, just like humans. When they’re stressed or anxious, they may shiver as a way to release tension. Stressful triggers for cats include changes in their environment, new people or animals in the house, or loud noises. If you notice your cat shivering without any apparent reason, it’s essential to consider whether they’re experiencing stress or anxiety.

Suffering from Pain or Discomfort

If your cat has an injury or is experiencing an underlying health issue, they may shiver as a symptom of pain or discomfort. It’s crucial to pay attention to other signs of discomfort, such as limping, vomiting, or lethargy, and seek veterinary care if necessary. If your cat is shivering along with other symptoms of discomfort, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Experiencing Excitement and Anticipation

Cats may also shiver when feeling excited or anticipating something exciting. For instance, when a cat sees its favorite toy or food, it may start shivering with excitement. Similarly, when you’re about to play with your cat, they may shiver with anticipation and excitement.

Dealing with Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions like hyperthyroidism or kidney disease can cause muscle tremors and shivering in cats. If you notice your cat shivering along with other symptoms like weight loss, increased thirst, and urination, it’s essential to take them to the vet for a checkup. It’s crucial to diagnose and treat these medical conditions early on to prevent any further complications.

Facing Old Age and Neurological Conditions

As cats age, they may experience muscle weakness and tremors that cause them to shiver involuntarily. Additionally, certain neurological conditions like feline hyperesthesia syndrome or cerebellar hypoplasia can lead to tremors and shivering. If you notice your senior cat shivering more frequently than usual, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health concerns.


In conclusion, cats have a multitude of reasons for shivering, ranging from cold temperatures to medical conditions. As a responsible cat owner, it’s essential to keep an eye on your feline friend’s behavior and physical signs of shivering to identify the cause and provide appropriate care. You can ensure their comfort by providing a cozy bed, warm food, exercise, and keeping them indoors during cold weather.

However, prolonged or excessive shivering may indicate underlying health issues such as hypothermia or fever. If you notice any other concerning symptoms along with shivering, seeking veterinary care is crucial. Also, paying attention to your cat’s body language can help you recognize signs of anxiety or stress and create a safe environment for them.

Understanding why cats shiver is fascinating as it reveals their complex behaviors and emotions. Whether they are feeling excited or experiencing old age or neurological conditions, cats exhibit unique responses that add to their enigmatic nature.