What Do Cats Do When It Rains?

Cats hate getting wet and avoid rain whenever possible. If your outdoor cat is out exploring during a thunderstorm, it will quickly find a hiding place. This is ideally located inside your home.

When it rains, cats usually look for the most convenient hiding place; if that can’t be found, they will choose the closest option. This can be under cars, in houses, garages, alcoves, overhangs, and decks and porches. Cats also seek out abandoned buildings, sheds, and junk piles if necessary. Bushes and hedges also provide good shelter from rain. If necessary, a cat can hide in a variety of places.

Cats can usually find their way home during a storm, but the rain could also affect their ability to orient themselves.

Your cat will be fine if temperatures are warm or only slightly cool. However, the cat may become hypothermic if temperatures become too cold or freezing.

Letting cats out in the rain is usually okay if they want to. However, you should not let them out if the weather is really bad.

Where Do Cats Hide When It Rains?

Since most cats don’t like water, they will likely seek shelter when it rains. This is true for young and old, outdoor and indoor cats.

Cats know they are in danger when exposed to harsh wind, lightning, rain, and other adverse weather conditions.

A cat prefers to choose the safest place to hide. If your house is within reach, their place with you is obviously the best option. This is warm, dry, shielded from outside noise, and offers good food.

Apartment cats will even prefer your home to nearby hiding places as long as they think they can make their way there.

If the cat realizes it is too far away, it will try to choose the second-best option. This includes the closest, coziest place, like a parked car or a neighbor’s house.

Of course, a newly adopted stray cat may specifically choose old haunts that she knew before she came to you.

After all, she knows these are tried and true hiding places when it rains. She may not yet know that your home is even better.

Do Cats Come Home When It Rains?

Most house cats come home when it starts to rain. The cat knows her home is the best place to stay during a storm.

The cat will probably turn back as soon as she realizes the weather is getting bad.
It’s also likely that it’s not far from home at all.

Feral cats have a relatively small range of action, which is probably true for apartment and outdoor cats.

This means that when your cat goes outside, she won’t stray too far from your apartment or house. That way, she can return at the first sign of a downpour.

Can Cats Find Their Way Home in the Rain?

Cats can find their way home using their keen senses and because of their limited range. However, rain can interfere with their ability to do so.

Rain changes the appearance of the terrain by breaking up the ground and forming mud. It can also wash away scent markings that your cat has left to help her find her way.

For this reason, your cat may be able to find its way home even when it is raining. However, this may be more difficult than on a sunny day.

Your cat may hole up in a temporary shelter until the rain stops. Once the impairment of her senses has subsided, she will try to find her way to you.

Where Do Outdoor Cats Go When It Rains?

Cats are excellent at finding shelter, especially in a pinch.

If your outdoor cat doesn’t come home during a storm and you’re worried, she’s probably hiding somewhere. There are many places she could be hiding.

Under Cars

It can be difficult to find shelter in an urban area due to the lack of trees or other natural hiding places.

However, cars are standard in cities and suburbs. There is always a dry area under them where cats can set up camp.

Even better, the design of cars channels water away, so cats don’t get soaked even in a heavy downpour.

Predators can’t reach a cat from below because cars are relatively low to the ground. That’s why many outdoor cats prefer them as an ideal shelter.

Some even climb into the engine compartment, especially in cold weather.

If you hear a cat meowing near your car but don’t see anything underneath, it’s probably holed up in the underbody.

It may come out independently, or you may need to free it. However, you should not start the car.

Look under all the vehicles around your house when looking for your cat. Be sure to call out to her as you search.

If your cat is in the engine compartment, she will probably meow when she hears your voice. You can then coax her out, try to free her, or, in the worst case, call the fire department for help.

In Homes

Similar to cars, houses also provide shelter from rain. Your cat may take refuge in a neighbor’s basement, in niches along the foundation, or under small overhangs.

Your cat may even be holed up somewhere in your home.

It can be difficult to find your cat, but there is good news. If the cat manages to get in, it can also get out.

You can try to lure the cat out with food or toys. Or you can wait for her to come out on her own later.

In Garages

Some people leave their garage doors open, and a cat might sneak in during a rainstorm and seek shelter.

If the person closes the garage door and there is no escape, your cat may be stuck there. Hopefully, the garage owner will soon find the cat and let it out.

However, it is also possible that your outdoor cat has been hiding in your garage. She may have lowered her standards if she couldn’t reach the cat door before the rain started.

Cats are especially inclined to hide during noisy thunderstorms. If you assume your cat is in the garage, check these places:

  • Under the car
  • In the engine compartment of the car
  • Under tables or workstations
  • Behind or in boxes

Under Alcoves Or Overhangs

Overhangs are located above doors or along roofs. They provide shelter from rain so that a cat can seek protection under them.

Depending on how well your cat can climb, it may even have crawled into the niches directly under the overhangs. If you run out of ideas, don’t forget to look up.

Your cat may also seek shelter under an alcove, such as on a windowsill. These places direct water away from the window and leave a dry area underneath.

When the rain is hefty, the cat does not like to feel unprotected. It may settle here, only to go elsewhere shortly after that.

In Sheds

Sheds keep the rain out and may have cracks or holes a cat can squeeze through. They are also dark and quiet, which cats prefer during a scary thunderstorm.

If the shed is far from the house, whether your own or a neighbor’s, that’s a good compromise for a cat. The heavier the rain, the more urgently cats need shelter.

Terraces or porches

Patios and porches are among the most likely places for a cat to hide during a rainstorm. Even strays seek out these places whenever they can be found.

This is because they protect the water and wind, are easy to reach, and the cat can stay close to the ground.

If a cat feels threatened, it can quickly retreat to a nearby bush or run away. You may be unable to find the cat if it is hiding here.

But don’t worry; the cats will come out without a problem once the storm passes. Often, they are somewhere in your backyard.

In Abandoned Buildings

Abandoned buildings make great shelters for cats, not just when it’s raining but at any time.

This is because there is no human activity there, often no competitors and the walls can muffle the sound of rain. This creates a dark, cozy, and calm environment for a stressed cat.

Another benefit is that abandoned buildings are usually dilapidated, so cats have multiple access points.

If your outdoor cat found shelter in an abandoned building, it might be challenging to find her.

However, once the rain stops and she is no longer afraid of the storm, your cat will leave the building on her own.

Junk Piles

Junk piles, made of discarded wood, metal, or furniture, can provide your cat with a quick, temporary shelter when it rains.

If you or a neighbor have a junk pile on the property, your cat may have run under it during a sudden rainstorm.

If you are concerned that your cat has been hiding under a pile of junk, call out to her when you are near the pile of junk. You can also offer a strong-smelling treat to lure her out.

It could be dangerous to rearrange items in the pile in search of the cat. The pile could collapse and injure your cat.

Therefore, it is more advisable to use treats or wait until the cat comes out.


Frightened cats will look for high vantage points to feel safe again. Any nearby trees are a good choice. The dense canopy and many branches even provide shelter from rain and wind.

Although domestic cats are good at climbing trees, they are not so good at climbing down. Your cat may be stuck when the rain is over.

If your cat is stuck in a tree, you can coax him down with treats, wait, or call for help.

Bushes and Shrubs

Like trees, the dense foliage of bushes and shrubs can provide shelter from rain.

They are also easy to find in urban environments, as many people use them for decoration or fencing.

If your cat quickly seeks shelter, it can hide under a bush or in a hedge to protect itself from the rain.

Can Cats Cope in the Rain?

Cats only get annoyed when caught in the rain in warm or not-too-cool seasons. Some may even enjoy it.

The water doesn’t harm the cat and dries up again as soon as the rain stops. In the winter, however, it can be dangerous for a cat to be stuck in the rain.

She can get chilled, and if she has no way to dry off, she could die from hypothermia. For this reason, most cats will seek shelter during a downpour.

Outdoor cats will also try to go home where they know they will be warm.

Can Cats Survive Rain?

Cats handle rain well because they can seek shelter. Nevertheless, if a cat gets caught in a freezing rainstorm, their health can deteriorate quickly.

You’d better find your cat quickly then and bring her inside so she can warm up.

If she has managed to return by herself, you should dry her.

Give her warm food and water, and try rubbing her down with a fluffy towel. This will promote circulation and help the cat regain her standard body temperature.

If she shows signs of hypothermia, you better call your vet.

Can Cats Get Sick from the Rain?

Cats do not get sick from the rain itself. A soaked coat can’t do much to your cat in warm weather.

Cats can’t catch colds or other illnesses just from being soaked by rainwater.

In winter, however, your cat’s body temperature can plummet. Since her wet fur can’t properly regulate her body heat, she has no way to fight it.

She is entirely at the mercy of the elements, leading to hypothermia.

Can You Let Cats Out in the Rain?

It depends on your cat and the outside conditions whether you should let your cat out in the rain or not.

If it’s warm and your cat wants to go outside, there’s no harm in letting him explore, water or not. Your cat probably has her reasons for being interested in going outside.

She may even like the water or need to go to the bathroom. It may also be that she wants to go hunting.

However, if it’s raining too hard, a thunderstorm is coming, or it’s chilly, you should keep your cat inside.

Heavy rain can cause your cat’s fur to become soaked with water. This affects their mobility and their ability to stay warm. This is especially detrimental if it’s cold anyway.

Cats tend to get scared during a thunderstorm and hide in less suitable places. You don’t want her to get stuck in a tree or run into traffic while looking for a hiding place.

Can Cats Stay Outside All Night in the Rain?

If you let your cat out for the night and it starts to rain, you may be apprehensive about leaving her to fend for herself. However, as long as it’s not cold, you don’t have to worry.

Cats can find temporary shelters and hole up there. Your porch, garage, shed, or hedges in the backyard are ideal for this.

However, you should not let your cat outside at night if it is cold. At this time, it will be the coldest. And then, if it rains suddenly, your cat might get hypothermia.

If the cat comes home soaking wet after a night in the rain, you should check it for signs of illness. Such signs include:

  • Trembling
  • Lethargy
  • Slowed breathing
  • Damp skin
  • Drowsiness

Why is My Cat Sitting Outside in the Rain?

While most cats try to avoid getting wet, some like to stay out in the rain. Certain types of cats even like the water and actively seek it out.

For example, if your cat is a Maine Coon cat, a Turkish Van, or a Bengal cat, he may intentionally venture out into the rain and sit there.

Other cats may not prefer the rain, but they enjoy how quiet and empty it becomes outside once a downpour begins.

A rainy season may be ideal if your cat likes to explore backyards and sidewalks.

It may also be that your cat is sitting in the rain because he is out hunting. It may be easier to catch prey during this time. The sound of the rain can mask the cat’s footsteps, drastically increasing the success rate.

Do Cats Like Rain?

Most cats don’t like rain, and for good reason. Their top coat is water-repellent, but when they are out in a downpour, moisture can penetrate this layer and cause discomfort.

A soggy coat affects a cat’s ability to stay warm, as they lose body heat faster than normal.

In addition, a soaked coat is heavier than a dry coat, affecting a cat’s mobility.

However, there are exceptions to this rule. Certain types of cats are crazy about water and love to play in bathtubs, sinks, puddles, and pools.

This is simply a genetic quirk that can make them lovable little weirdos. Breeds include:

  • American Bobtail
  • American Shorthair
  • Bengal cat
  • Japanese Bobtail
  • Maine Coon cat
  • Manx
  • Norwegian Forest Cat
  • Turkish Angora
  • Turkish Van

Why Does My Cat Like to Go Out in the Rain?

Even if your cat is not one of the breeds listed above, she may ignore her aversion to water and go outside when it rains.

This can benefit them, which a cat may love more than it hates the rain.

The Desire to Hunt

Domesticated cats do not need to hunt; they get their food and nutrition from their owners at home.

Still, many outdoor cats hunt even if they don’t need to because it is an instinct. Your cat may want to go outside because he knows that the rain:

  • Hide their steps and movements from prey.
  • Lures certain types of prey out of their hiding place
  • Limiting the number of rivals or predators it encounters by itself

Going to the Toilet

Some cats don’t like to use the litter box indoors. Instead, they prefer to do their business outdoors.

If your cat is like this, it will try to go outside in any weather when nature calls.

If it’s raining hard or thundering, encourage your cat to use a litter box.

However, let your cat do what it wants if it is warm and the showers are light. It won’t do any harm.

Maintain Her Routines

Cats are creatures of habit. They like structure and routine and preferably no change.

If your cat has habitually gone outside at a specific time every day, he might try to keep it up regardless of the weather.

Despite the need for routine, your cat may return home after a short time or sit outside in a shelter during bad weather.

She doesn’t like getting wet almost as much as she doesn’t like having her routine changed.

Marking Territory

Cats mark their territory using urine and feces, but rain can wash away these scents. Therefore, your cat may be urged to go outside when it rains or shortly after that to mark her territory again.

Depending on the cat, she may be very impatient about this. She may fear that other cats will invade her territory in the meantime.

Can Cats Sense the Rain?

Cats have heightened senses that can sense changes in air pressure with their inner ear.

Slowly falling air pressure indicates rain, while rapidly falling air pressure indicates an approaching storm.

Because cats can sense these fluctuations, they may be able to foresee lousy weather. They will return home or seek shelter in time if they do so.

Cats also have a better sense of hearing and smell than humans. Thus, they can smell the rain in the air and hear the rumble of thunder in the distance. This warns them long before we can perceive the storm.

Do Cats Like the Sound of Rain?

Some cats like the sound of rain because it reminds them of nature.

Playing natural sounds like rain or birds chirping to your indoor cat may make him feel more relaxed and calm.

Other cats, on the other hand, don’t like rain sounds. They may react to it with loud meowing, paws in their face, or general nervousness.

It might remind them that they once got uncomfortably caught in the rain or warn them that it’s about to thunderstorm.

Do Cats Get Sleepy When It Rains?

Cats need to sleep for 12 to 16 hours per day, much more than humans.

It may seem that your cat gets sleepy when it rains, but that is not the case. Cats don’t get sleepy because of a thunderstorm.

Instead, they may become bored with the lack of outdoor activities and decide to rest to pass the time.

The air pressure or humidity doesn’t matter.

Why Do Cats Sleep When It Rains?

Cats often sleep when it rains because they want to conserve their energy. As predators, they know they need fast, effective movement to make prey.

To ensure their energy stores are complete, they sleep whenever possible.

Since many cats don’t like to get wet, they tend to stay indoors when it rains. If they have nothing else to do, a nap is ideal.

Even if they have several outdoor shelters, sitting out the downpour in the living room is much more comfortable.