Keeping pets cool in hot weather – cats

Please note that this is a collection of helpful things, this is NOT a medical or vet approved guide.

If you have any reason to think your pet is in any sort of difficulty then contact your vet ASAP! If you have questions regarding your specific cat then your vet is a good place to go!

Heatstroke is very bad and as the weather starts heats up it is a good time to be prepared and take precautions – I would say prepare in advance but I didn’t actually expect to see any summer weather given June’s endless rain!

cat-sun

The standard American answer to prevent a warm cat is air conditioning, however if you are based in a country where this isn’t normal then you have to be more inventive!

Cats don’t sweat like humans, although they can release some moisture through their pads (feet!) but this is normally a sign that things have got pretty bad already – so please start solving the heat problem BEFORE you see soggy little feetmarks.

All cats are different and some a fussier than other (all cats are fussy to at least some degree) so it will take trial and error to find what works for you.

A few things that work for my two are:

  • A low plastic box with ice cubes in
  • Water fountain – running water is a firm favourite, in addition to multiple water bowls.
  • Access to the bathtub – preferably without water, it is the cool surface they want. Also works for tiled areas.
  • Climbing in the fridge or freezer – this doesn’t tend to be something I’ve intended to allow, but if the door if left open for a couple of seconds then F will park his butt in it!
  • Stroking with wet hands then rubbing vigorously with kitchen towel – G loves, F does not…
  • A frozen bottle of water to play with

A few things that don’t work for my two are:

  • Ice pack in a sock
  • A hot water bottle filled with cold water
  • Towels or sheets on the floor – dry ones, to create a (theoretical) barrier between floor and fur.
  • Ensuring the lots of shady spots in the garden.
  • Damp towels on the floor

Other things that might help

  • Brush the cat daily to remove loose hair
  • The cat having the freedom to move to another room/area – confined spaces aren’t fun when you are too hot!
  • Try to keep the house cool generally – which benefits humans and cats! Keeping blinds/curtains drawn during the day/direct sunlight, air the house when it is cooler, fit curtains which block sun and/or heat (a bit expensive but it really can help).

Some symptoms of heatstroke in a cat include: heavy panting, vomiting, the cat feels too hot when touched, drooling, unable to walk properly, being overly lethargic.

As ever, if you think you see any signs of distress or being unwell in your cat then contact a vet ASAP!

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