Cats are extremely sensitive to heat. They may enjoy a little bit of lazing about in the sunshine at first, but the heat will soon get to them pretty quickly. I mean, poor cat. Imagine having to wear all that fur in this heat (on second thoughts, DON’T – fur is only for those that are born with it!)
So what should you do to keep your cat cool, comfortable and safe during the summer months?
- Make sure your cat has a shady area to hide away from the sun at all times (both indoors and out, and especially if you are going to be out of the house all day). Don’t lock the cat up in any room that can get extremely hot during the day (like a conservatory). Let your cat find the coolest place in the home to cool down. If your cat is an outdoor cat it’s best to keep them inside during the hottest part of the day.
If you have a white cat please be aware that they can be prone to skin cancer so ensure that you apply a high factor sun cream to their ears and nose. Don’t use one that’s meant for humans as the chemicals contained could prove harmful if ingested by your cat. Instead, ask your vet, who should be able to recommend a cat-friendly one.
Groom your cat daily (especially if it is long haired).
Change wet food and litter trays regularly to help keep flies and foul smells away.
Make sure your cat has plenty of water to drink. An automatic water fountain is great to have, especially if you are out of the house for a long time during the day. On really hot days you could place an ice cube in the cat’s water bowl to cool it down.
If you have an indoor cat and you can’t open the window for fear of him escaping you must make sure to cool your home down with fans or air conditioning. This is good for the cat and it’s good for you too.
NEVER leave your cat (or dog) in the car even if windows are left slightly open. This is deadly.
Wipe your cat down with a cool, damp cloth or towel.
If your cat is an outdoor cat it’s important to know that some garden plants are extremely dangerous for cats.
Keep a look out for heatstroke. Signs are:
- Anxiety, possibly demonstrated by pacing
- Increased heartbeat
- Respiratory distress or hyperventilation
- Increased internal body temperature Your cat’s internal temperature should be between 100.5° and 101.5° F. A temperature of 104° or more is a definite warning sign
- Bright red tongue
- Red or pale gums
- Thick, sticky saliva
- Vomiting – sometimes with blood
If your pet is showing any of these signs you must call your vet or get him to one immediately .
Photo Angus MacKaskill -Flickr
Disclaimer: I am no vet. This article is provided for general information only. Please contact your vet if you are in any way worried about your pet.