Cats may love to bask in the sunlight on a window sill, but there may be some precautions to take during the summertime, especially in summer heat. When the temperature soars, your cat is at risk of experiencing similar reactions as a human would, including dehydration and heatstroke. These are both severe conditions that can cause illness or death. That is why it is crucial to make sure your cat stays cool during hot temperatures during the summer.
Give your cat a cool place to relax
Make sure you have a shady spot outside for your outdoor cat; even a cardboard box can be helpful. Use a damp towel to lay on and help cool off the warmest part of their body – the tummy, paws, and armpits. Another idea is to fill a hot water bottle with ice-cold water and place it under a blanket to cool your kitty off while they relax. When it is scorching outside, consider keeping your outdoor cat indoors.
Keep your cat hydrated
This is the most obvious way to keep your cat safer during hot weather. Make sure your cat has access to clean water in their bowl regularly and that it is complete. If you go away, make sure your cat sitter is aware that they must do this, or you can purchase an automated water fountain for cats to ensure your cat gets the hydration needed. You can even throw a few ice cubes in the water to keep it cool. Other than drinking water, cats do not have another way to cool themselves.
Make catsicles (popiscles for your cats) for their cat!
Protect your cat from sunburn
If you have a hairless cat, they are in danger of sunburns. You can talk to your vet about sunscreen options.
Never leave your cat in the car
It may seem like only a few minutes to you, but most people don’t realize how hot it can get in a parked car. You may think it is only 75 degrees outside, but that can quickly spike to 160 degrees on a sunny day. It can take minutes for your feline friend to develop heatstroke that can cause seizures, respiratory distress, organ failure, or death. So it is best to leave your cat at home for errands. Here is Dr. Ernie Ward, a Vet, discovering just how hot it can become in a parked car and how quickly it can soar to dangerous temperatures.
Calm your cat down
If your cat or kitten is running around playing and being very active on a hot day, this can lead to exhaustion and dehydration – try to relax your cat when the temperatures soar.
Brush every day
Knotted or matted hair can trap heat; daily brushing can help avoid this.
Signs of heatstroke in your cat
Always keep an eye on your pets on sweltering days.
Symptoms of heatstroke include:
- Glazed eyes
- Extreme distress
- Skin is hot to touch
- Stretching and breathing rapidly
Contact your vet immediately if you suspect heatstroke