cat looking at rain

Where Do Cats Go In Rain, How It Affects Their Behaviour & More

Most cat owners agree that their pets aren’t great fans of rain and water, in general.

When the rain is coming, some cats might even hide under your bed to feel as protected as possible.

Rain can cause a lot of problems for cats and can make them feel particularly uncomfortable. Several drops here and there on their coats might not cause an issue. However, if their coats become drenched, they’ll be heavier and less comfortable. 

In today’s article, we’re looking at how cats react to rain, how a cat can tell if rain is coming, and if there are pets that actually enjoy going out in this type of weather. 

Where do cats go when it rains?

If your cat lives indoors and outdoors, you might be worried that she could end up in the rain without taking cover. 

It’s true that pets whose immune system doesn’t function properly, such as kittens or geriatric cats, might risk getting a cold if they get caught in the rain.

More often than not, though, cats will look for shelter. If you live in a town or in a place where people park their cars, this is the first spot cats will seek out. 

cat sheltering under chairs from the rain

The design of most cars will allow cats to remain protected for as long as the rain lasts by resting underneath them. 

Besides, some cars are lower compared to others, which means that your pet will also be protected against predators. 

The biggest risk when it comes to cats and cars is that they might seek out the warmth of a recently shut off engine, and they could get inside the car’s structure.

If this happens and the car owner comes by and starts the engine again, your pet’s life could be at risk. 

Other typical places where cats will go and hide from the rain are going to be beneath houses, inside garages (if they manage to get in them), or on the decks or porches of various buildings.

Alcoves and overhangs can provide cats with some of the protection they need against rain, but if it pours heavily or for a long time, they’ll have to seek out a different hiding place. 

Abandoned buildings and the areas right under trees can be used as shelters, too.

Finally, when there is really no other option, a cat might go and hide under a bush.

If your cat seems to disappear during rainy weather and you have no idea where they are going we recommend you fit them with a cat tracker, this will allow you to see exactly where they go when it rains!

Can cats sense rain?

Yes.

In fact, many other animals seem to be attuned to the weather in a way that humans can’t be. 

The simple explanation for this is that cats can smell and hear much better compared to people. 

cat on damp cobbles

This is what allows them to sense thunderstorms or significant changes in the wind, which could foretell that rain’s coming. 

It’s not far-fetched to assume that cats can sense other natural phenomena, such as impending storms, changes in the air’s weather pressure, and even earthquakes. 

In fact, many pet owners claim that their cats go and hide right before an earthquake or thunderstorm happens, especially if they’re generally anxious.

Can cats sense rain better than dogs? In most cases, yes.

However, that doesn’t mean that a dog’s senses are less capable than a cat’s senses. 

Dogs are a lot more people-oriented, which means that their human friends and whatever they might be doing can distract them easily. 

wet cat in rain

Even if a storm is coming, your dog might pay attention to you instead of the weather. 

By contrast, cats are a lot more independent and in tune with the general picture. 

In the wild, they had to pay attention to everything around them so as to make sure they don’t become the prey of a larger predator. 

Does rain affect a cat’s behaviour?

It depends on several factors. If a cat is sick, she’s probably not going to care as much about the weather as she would if she’d be completely healthy. 

If a cat is used to being outdoors when it rains and you’re trying to keep her indoors for safety, it’s likely that she will become rather agitated. 

cat sheltering from the rain

Depending on how hard it pours, some cats might be scared and hide behind the furniture or under the bed. 

On the other hand, others might want to get as close to the rain as possible but not exactly step outside. 

This is especially true for cats that are kept indoors only and that maybe haven’t ever had the opportunity to smell the rain air. 

Will your cat get sick if they get caught in the rain?

In most cases, no. 

Cats are excellent when it comes to finding shelter, even in the unlikeliest of places. 

Although people tend to think that if you get caught in the rain, you have a pretty high chance of getting a cold, this is not true. 

Colds have less to do with nature and weather and the amount of rain that one has been exposed to and more to do with a being’s immune system and whether they’ve come in contact with a pathogen. 

cat after being soaked in the rain

So, your cat can get a cold if her immune system doesn’t function properly, and if she has just caught a virus from another cat that she might have been friendly with recently. 

Kittens and senior cats are more likely to get sick if they are left outside in the rain. 

This is due to the fact that kittens do not have a fully developed immune system yet, so any ordinary disease can be more dangerous to them than to healthy adults. 

Senior cats usually have other chronic health problems, which means that an additional one can make it even harder for them to recover or cope with its clinical changes. 

Why do some cats go outside when it starts to rain?

Some cats might simply be used to being out in the rain, especially if they spend most of their time outdoors. 

Others might want to re-mark their territory as they might be able to tell that the water washes away their scent from bushes, buildings, and any other places that they have marked as being theirs. 

cat caught in the rain

If your pet is used to going ‘potty’ outdoors, you simply can’t stop a cat from wanting to use the toilet outside, even in the rain. 

The same rule applies to situations where your cat might be feeling bored or frustrated from spending a lot of time indoors. 

If you regularly go to work and leave your cat in for the day and then let her go outside in the afternoons or evenings, no light drizzle is going to stop your pet from wanting to explore. 

Finally, even though there’s this general consensus among cat parents according to which all cats hate water, this is actually false. 

Here are some breeds that have no problem whatsoever with rain. In fact, they might even like to swim or bathe.

  • Turkish Van
  • Savannah
  • Bengal 

Final thoughts

Cats are more influenced by natural phenomena like rain than other species, including dogs. 

Some might love going out when it’s pouring, whereas others will hide and make sure they are sheltered until the rain stops. 

If you want to prevent your cat from becoming sick, you can keep her indoors at all times. 

Forcing an indoor/outdoor cat to remain inside for the duration of the rain can make her feel frustrated and agitated.