5 ways to keep cats cool on hot days
Summer has arrived!
Let’s take a look at how to keep cats cool and comfortable as the weather grows hotter.
The danger of extreme heat
Just like dogs, cats can only sweat through their noses and the bottoms of their paws.
As they're covered in fur everywhere else, they're at a much bigger risk than humans of heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
Your cat may love to sunbathe, but it's important to keep an eye on them during warm summer days. Here are our top 5 ways to make sure they stay cool and comfortable.
When it comes to preventing heat exhaustion, keeping hydrated is key.
Make sure your cat's water bowl remains full of clean, fresh water throughout the day. Cats enjoy fresh, running water, so if you're home and pottering about in the kitchen, why not enourage them to drink from the tap?
Cats are natural explorers but make sure they can come back into the house for a drink when they want to. If you don't have a cat flap, remember to keep at least one window open - preferably near their water bowl.
You can give your cat some frozen treats too! Nothing with any sugar or sugar-substitute xylitol, but your cat will have plenty of fun with a frozen water bottle or ice pack.
Read more: 5 enrichment ideas for your cat.
Cats can get sunburnt too, especially those with white or pale fur.
Keep them protected by making sure they have access to shade at all times. If your cat is out exploring in the garden, they should gravitate naturally towards shaded areas but in the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest, think about bringing them indoors.
If your cat has white fur or their fur is very thin, treat them to some special sun cream! For more details on this, have a chat with your vet.
If you’re concerned about your cat wandering off during the summer months, a good way of making sure they pop back to the house regularly is to feed them little and often throughout the day.
You can even train your kitty so that when they hear a certain noise coming from the house, a bell or whistle for example, they’ll know it’s feeding time and will come back to you.
Read more: Letting your cat out for the first time.
Many garden flowers are poisonous to cats so before the season of BBQs and sunbathing arrives, consider a spot of gardening.
Outdoor activities like BBQs may be great fun for humans and animals alike, but they do pose some threats to our furry friends. Make sure you take care, that your cat has somewhere safe to escape to and that poisonous/harmful substances or objects are stored safely away from them.
Read more: BBQ safety: 7 tips for pet owners.
These things are always important… but especially during the summertime when cats are interacting with the great outdoors, with other cats, other people and insects.
- Are they up to date with their vaccines and boosters?
- Are they microchipped?
- Are they protected against fleas?
- How about worms?
What are the signs of heat stroke in cats?
Your cat may have heat stroke if they display any of these signs:
- Restlessness and excessive panting
- Sweaty paws
- Excessive grooming
- Difficulty walking
If this happens, remove them from the heat as fast as you can. Offer them lots of water but in small, easy doses. Cool their fur with a damp cloth but avoid splashing them with water as this may cause shock. If you’re concerned, contact your vet.
Need more info?
To find out more about keeping your cat protected during the warm weather, have a chat with your local vet.