With temperatures across the UK soaring we’ve been looking for ways to beat the heat here at Natusan HQ. We asked our resident vet and star of This Morning and Vet on the Hill Dr. Scott Miller for his advice on how to keep cats cool.
As the weather gets warmer, it is important to take extra steps to keep your furry friends safe and comfortable. In a recent survey by the British Veterinary Association, 64% of vets reported treating animals that were affected by heat-related conditions during the summer’s record-breaking heat, with over half being treated for heat stroke.
As a pet owner, it’s important to know the signs of a cat at risk of overheating, and how to cool down a cat in summer. The majority of cats have thick coats and produce very little sweat, and although some cats are able to tolerate the heat more than others, we’ve put together some tips to help you prevent your cat from overheating and keep them hydrated.
How To Keep Your Cat Cool
Prevention is always better than cure, so it’s important to be prepared in hot weather and know how to keep cats cool when the temperatures start to rise. There are a few simple steps you can take at home to help your cat cool down.
MAKE A "KITTY COOLER”
When it comes to how to cool down a cat, you can turn to their beloved cardboard boxes. Use a box to create a shady mini cave for your cat to take refuge in from the heat. A few frozen water bottles wrapped in towels can provide something cool (but dry) for them to snuggle against.
GET A BREEZE GOING
If you don't have air conditioning and prefer not to leave fans running, it can be well worth investing in some window screens so you can leave your windows open without your cat popping out for an impromptu sunbathing session!
A well ventilated house will keep both you and your cats cool. Drawing the curtains to block out the sun can also help to keep temperatures cooler indoors during the hotter parts of the day, creating a shady refuge from the heat.
KEEP YOUR CAT HYDRATED
Staying hydrated in hot weather is just as important for our cats, so make sure your cat's water bowl is topped up regularly. Some cats prefer to drink running water, so it might be worth investing in a kitty water fountain - and your water bill may thank you too!
PUT ICE IN THEIR WATER
You can also pop a few ice cubes in your cat’s water to cool them down, and encourage them to hydrate. It can also make for a fun game batting around an ice cube - although not so great for the kitchen floor!
This goes for everyone, really. The more you move, the hotter you get, so reserve playtimes for the morning or evening when it isn't so hot. When considering how to keep cats cool, much of the same advice applies to both cats and humans!
KEEP YOUR CAT WELL GROOMED
You might have asked yourself: “how do cats cool down?”. Cats don’t sweat much (mostly through their paw pads) so they mimic it instead by grooming themselves. The saliva evaporates and has a cooling effect, much like how sweat works for humans!
Keeping cats well groomed, getting rid of excess shed fur from both short and long coats, and tangles and mats from longer coated cats, can help to keep them more comfortable. If you’re not sure about grooming, take a look at our article on grooming your cat to find out more.
Cat Overheating Symptoms
You may have already noticed a decrease in your cat’s daily activity and eating habits. Be sure to look for the signs of overheating in cats, which include:
- Appearing restless, agitated or in distress
- A large amount of saliva coming from the mouth or nose
- Being unsteady on their feet or staggering as if dizzy
- A very bright red tongue
- Muscle tremors or seizures
- Not going to the toilet, or going too much and showing signs of diarrhoea (find out more about how often a cat should go to the toilet)
- Panting - this is a real warning sign that a feline is under heat stress!
If any of these symptoms occur, get in touch with your vet right away!
And one last thing: don’t forget the sunscreen! This is especially important with pale cats, as they are particularly vulnerable to sun damage.
When it comes to how to keep cats cool, keeping them indoors is the best way to combat the heat. Make sure to provide them with plenty of water, a cool spot in your home, and don't forget the litter tray if your cat usually goes outside!
Are cats OK in hot weather?
Cats have ways of keeping themselves cool in warm weather, but once the temperatures start to rise, they can be at risk of heatstroke. Keeping them indoors, in the shade, and with plenty of access to fresh water can help to keep them safe.
What temperature is too hot for cats?
If you feel like it’s hot, then chances are your cat does too. In general, temperatures into the 30s are when cats may start to struggle with the heat, but some cats may be more heat sensitive than others.
Do cats like fans blowing on them?
Yes, many cats enjoy sitting in front of the breeze from a fan. All cats are different, but you might find that your cat appreciates the cooling breeze from a fan blowing on them.
What temperature should a house be for cats in the summer?
In general cats prefer temperatures above 16 degrees and below 26 degrees. All cats are different, so you’ll know best whether your cat prefers things on the cooler or toastier end of that scale.
14/08/2020 by NatuTeam