I have had many cats and dogs.

I have noticed that when I can share some food with my furry friends, my dogs will gobble it up without worrying about the temperature, but my cats will sit there and stare at the food for several minutes until the temperature goes down a bit.

I have taken into consideration that normal body temperature for cats and dogs is more or less the same at 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius), but cats have more sensitivity to IR.

Is it just because dogs are more piggy? Or are the mouths of cats more sensitive to heat?

  • I feel like this pets.stackexchange.com/questions/28416/… is tangentially related.
    – Kai
    Commented Jan 15, 2021 at 2:08
  • you should not give food to your animals, before it is save to eat (for example not frozen/boiling, not unpacked) It is dangerous for them, to follow their instincts and eat it despite the risks of injuries by temperature or swallowed packaging material Commented Jan 15, 2021 at 12:58
  • I don't give my animals any food that is too hot for me, so I think it shouldn't be too hot for them .It just seems the cat is more picky about temp. @Allerleirauh Commented Jan 15, 2021 at 13:46
  • 1
    Good to know :) I want to clarify this, because you wrote about "steaming hot food" Commented Jan 15, 2021 at 13:49

1 Answer 1


I thought about this question a lot and if someone has a more scientific answer please don't hesitate.

I think what might be important is not the body temperature of the animal itself, but the body temperature of their prey. I checked out vermin like mice and they have a body temperature of about 36-38°C while a deer has a body temperature of 38-40°C.

This might be the reason your cats hesitate at "high" temperatures while your dogs do not care. I also think that most cats will move their prey after a kill which will give it time to cool down, while dogs (afaik) usually eat their prey where they kill it, at least if it is big prey that was hunted in a pack.

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