As the weather gets warmer, it’s important to keep an eye on your cat’s health and make sure they’re staying cool. Cats are prone to heat stroke, so it’s essential to take steps to keep them comfortable in the summer heat.
In this definitive guide, we’ll share some tips for how to keep cats cool in the summer. We’ll cover everything from choosing the right food and water bowls to creating a cooling station in your home. By following these tips, you can help your cat stay safe and comfortable all season long.
Why it’s important to keep cats cool in the summer months
Summer brings an increased risk of heatstroke for cats. Unlike humans, cats don’t sweat. This makes it harder for them to dissipate heat and regulate their body temperature in hot weather. Other factors like age, fur coat length, and even underlying medical conditions can also put cats at a higher risk of experiencing heatstroke and other associated health problems.
That’s why it is imperative that we take steps to ensure our beloved feline companions stay cool and safe throughout the season. With the right knowledge and preparations, you can keep your cat comfortable while enjoying the warm weather.
Some ways to keep cats cool
Here are some tips on how to keep cats cool in the summer:
Make sure your cat has access to plenty of fresh, clean water
Cats need access to plenty of clean, fresh water during the summer months. Make sure your cat’s water bowl is in a cool, shady spot, and refill it regularly throughout the day.
Provide frozen treats
Offer your cat some cold treats like a kitty popsicle or ice cubes on hot days for an extra cooling boost.
Create a cooling station
Set up a cool, shady place indoors with easy access to food and water. This could be near an air vent or open window, or in a room with running fans.
Schedule playtime for the cooler parts of the day
Try to avoid playing with your cat during the hottest hours of midday. Instead, plan playtime for early mornings or later evenings when it’s cooler outside.
Choose metal or ceramic food and water bowls instead of plastic
Plastic bowls can retain heat from the sun and make it difficult for your cat to stay cool. Metal or ceramic bowls will help keep things cooler.
Limit exposure to the sun
Try to keep your cat indoors during the hottest days of summer. If they must go outdoors, make sure there are plenty of shady spots available so they can take a break from the heat.
Place cooling mats, towels, or even a damp T-shirt in areas where your cat likes to sleep or relax
Cooling mats are specially designed to help keep cats cool. If you don’t have one, placing a damp towel or T-shirt in a cool spot can be just as effective.
Create a cool spot in the shade
If your cat likes to spend time outdoors, create a cool spot in the shade for them to relax. This could be as simple as setting up a chair or umbrella in the shade.
Brush your cat regularly
Regularly brushing your cat helps reduce shedding and prevents mats from forming in their fur. This can help keep them cooler since mats can trap heat and make it harder for them to stay cool.
Swap dry food for wet food
Feeding your cat wet food instead of dry can help them stay hydrated in the summer heat. Just make sure you’re providing plenty of fresh water as well.
Apply cool water to her paws
You can help cool cats down faster by applying cold water to their paws and ears. This will help them regulate their body temperature more quickly.
Stroke your cat with a damp towel
If your cat is feeling too warm, taking a damp cloth and stroking it down their fur can help them cool off faster.
Keep an eye on your pet
Whenever you’re in the sun with your cat, make sure to keep an eye out for any signs of heatstroke or overexposure. Heatstroke can be fatal if left untreated, so if you notice any signs of distress in your cat, bring them indoors and contact your vet right away.
Speak to your vet about summer hazards
Work with your veterinarian to make sure your cat is up-to-date on all their vaccinations and that they don’t have any underlying medical conditions that could put them at risk during the summer months.
Signs your cat is too hot
Here are some signs that your cat might be too hot:
Panting or rapid breathing: Cats don’t typically pant, so if you notice your cat doing this it could be a sign of heat stress.
Drooling: Cats will occasionally drool when hot or stressed.
Lethargy and lack of energy: If your cat is too hot they may become sluggish and have difficulty moving around.
Fur coats that feel hot to the touch: Take your hand and place it on your cat’s fur. If it feels hot, they may be getting too warm.
Bright red gums or tongue: If your cat’s gums or tongue are bright red, this could be a sign of dehydration or heatstroke.
Vomiting or diarrhea: Heat stroke can cause your cat to become nauseous and vomit. Diarrhea is also common in cats that are too hot or exposed to extreme temperatures for too long.
Seeking out cooler areas: If your cat seems to be seeking out cooler spots, such as under furniture or near vents, they may be trying to cool off.
Loss of appetite: Cats may lose their appetite if they’re too hot, so watch out for any changes in eating habits.
Excessive grooming: Overgrooming is a sign that your cat is uncomfortable and attempting to cool off.
Dry nose and eyes: Heat exhaustion can cause your cat’s nose and eyes to become dry.
Glazed over eyes: Glazed-over eyes are another sign of heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
What to do if your cat becomes overheated
Overheating can be a life-threatening emergency for cats, so it’s important to be vigilant during the summer. If your cat shows signs of overheating, there a few steps you can take to cool them down:
Move your cat to a cooler area
This could be indoors, in the shade, or even in the bathtub.
Apply cold water or ice packs
Apply cold water or an ice pack to your cat’s fur and paws. Make sure not to use ice directly on their skin, as this could cause frostbite.
Provide plenty of water
Make sure your cat is getting enough fluids and offer them fresh water regularly. You can also add some low-sodium broth or tuna juice to the water to encourage them to drink more.
Monitor your pet closely
Keep an eye on your cat until they’re back to their normal temperature and energy levels.
Seek medical help
If your cat shows signs of distress or is unresponsive, contact your veterinarian right away. Heatstroke can be fatal if it’s not treated quickly.
Prepare an emergency kit
It’s a good idea to have an emergency kit ready in case your cat ever becomes overheated. This kit should include an extra water bowl, a cold pack, and contact information for your vet.
The best way to prevent heatstroke is to take preventive measures before it happens. You can keep your cat cool by making sure they have plenty of shade, access to fresh water, and access to a cool area in your home. You can also groom them regularly to prevent their fur from becoming too thick and hindering their ability to regulate their body temperature.
With proper care, your cat can enjoy the summer months
By following these tips, you can help your cat stay safe and comfortable all season long. Remember to take extra caution when it’s especially hot outside since that is when cats are most at risk for heatstroke. With the right knowledge and preparations, both you and your cat can enjoy the warm weather together!
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