Keeping Your Cat Safe in the Heat
Most cats enjoy basking in the sunshine. Whilst this looks sweet, it’s important to know that overheating can be lethal. For cats who go outside, it can be hard to manage their exposure to the sun, however, there are a few important things that you can do to keep them safe throughout the remainder of Summer.
How to Keep Your Cat Cool:
There are many different ways to keep your cat cool this summer, read on to find out.
Grooming can be a great way to cool down your kitty. Brushing your cat daily allows for air to move more freely throughout their fur whilst also removing dirt, grease, and dead hairs.
If your cat has long hair that has become matted, clipping your cat's hair may also be an option to relieve the heat and also reduce the chance of skin infections and parasite infestations.
Hydration is of course essential always, but particularly throughout the warmer months. Always make sure your cat has access to fresh water. We suggest putting ice cubes in water bowls to help cool the water whilst the temperature rises throughout the day. Alternatively, if you’re likely to be out all day, provide two water bowls for your cat. One with frozen water, and one with fresh water. This way your cat will always have access to cold water as the day goes on.
If you struggle to get your cat to drink, pet water fountains can also provide a constant cycle of water and help encourage your cat to drink more.
Another way to keep your cat safe this summer is to provide shaded areas. Placing your cat's bed in a shaded area, such as under bushes, or on a porch can help encourage them to stay cool. Avoid putting the bed on concrete on hot surfaces and these can heat up quickly. Raised beds can also be handy to allow for extra airflow.
You can also consider making a DIY shaded area (both out or inside), by using old bed sheets to provide extra shade.
Fans are a great way of helping air to move around and bring some relief in the hot weather. Placing a bowl of cold water with ice in front of the fan can help cool areas down.
Cats love to lay on cool tiles or cooling mats when it is really hot. You can find a variety of cooling mats online. Or you can purchase a large marble tile from your local supplier, as these stay cool in the heat your cat may find it enjoyable to lay on.
Extra Cooling Tips
Alongside these tips, if your cat seems to be overheating, you can cool them by wiping a cold, wet/damp cloth over the fur of your cat. If they will allow you to, using a spray bottle of cold water can be useful to help dampen and cool their fur. Furthermore, cold compressors over your cat's neck can help them cool or placing a bag of something frozen (i.e. a water bottle or pees), wrapped in a towel, in their bed can help them de-heat.
Signs of Overheating
Heat exhaustion can set in very quickly, particularly in cats with darker fur as they absorb the sun’s rays more intensely. Having said that, light-coloured cats can also be at risk of sunburn, so it’s also important to keep them away from direct sunlight.
Signs your cat is overheating include:
Excessive grooming to cool off
What to Do if Your Cat Overheats
If you suspect your cat is overheating, it’s best to act quickly and contact your vet immediately.
If you can, take their temperature. A normal temperature for a cat is between 38°C and 39.16°C but do not attempt this if this will stress your cat out further. If your cat's temperature is more than this, call your veterinarian for advice whilst taking steps to cool them off. For example, cooling their fur with water.
If their temperature reaches 41.1°C seek veterinary care immediately as this could lead to permanent damage and/or death.
For more advice on preventing heatstroke, read our blog ‘How To Prevent Heat Stroke’ here.