It’s important to know how to keep cats cool in hot weather. As pet parents we have a duty of care to our fur babies. Cats are just as prone to over heating as we are. In this post you’ll discover some of the best ways to keep your kitty cool even on the hottest day!
You’ll learn how cats regulate their body temperature, plus, creative ways to cool your cat down. We’ll look at creating shady spots in your garden, as well as how to make a few tasty ice cube treats your cat will love!
Find out Why white cats are most at risk of sunburn, and should you use sun cream? Also, why black cats feel the heat more. Lastly, one very important point you must never overlook.
How your cat regulates her body temperature
Cats enjoy sunbathing and will seek out warm sunny spots, but they’re also quite sensible and will shelter if it gets too hot. However, they still need to keep themselves cool.
When you get hot your body cools itself by sweating. Dogs pant, but cats have a different approach to keeping themselves cool. Not exerting themselves is the most popular! Finding the coolest spot in your home or garden is another, but grooming is the most effective.
In very warm conditions you may have noticed your cat washing herself a lot more than usual. Saliva from her tongue acts in a very similar way to sweat. However, very hot temperatures can become a problem, especially in the elderly or very young. This of course is exactly the same for humans!
Though your cat doesn’t sweat in the same way as you, she does have sweat glands on her paws. Of course, this is a very small area to have much effect, but nevertheless works. In very high temperatures you may have noticed damp paw marks on the floor.
Though cats don’t pant like dogs, in exteme heat your cat may start to pant. This is a bad sign though, and if you see this, you need to move your kitty to a cool place immediately.
She’s using every way possible to cool down and may be in imminent danger of heat stroke. Make sure she access to fresh drinking water and stroke her with wat hands. This will help cool kitty down.
How to create a shady spot in your garden
If your kitty has access to a garden that’s great. However, if there’s no shade it could become a problem in very hot weather. If you don’t have any trees, plant a few shrubs. They soon grow and provide excellent spots for your cat to hide under and keep cool. If your garden is mostly concrete, consider buying a few large tubs. Use these to plant colourful shrubs, providing cool shady spots for your cat.
They work a bit like parasols, and also provide shelter from rain. Also, use one of the tubs for planting cat grass. It’s great for your cat’s digestion, and nibbling on grass blades is normal for kitties.
Cats need somewhere to hide if they feel threatened, and foliage from shrubs and bushes make ideal spots. Adding shrubs not only makes your garden cat friendly in the hot weather, but it gives you something pretty to look at as well!
A garden table with large parasol provides both an ideal place for you to sit and drink your morning coffee, as well as a place for your cat to shelter from the heat.
Keeping the house cool for your fur baby
In very high temperatures it’s a good idea to keep your cat indoors during the hottest part of the day. The same goes for elderly people and young children. If you’re going to be out at work all day don’t leave your cat outside in the heat
make sure you draw the curtains to keep the hot air out. If you can, leave a fan on at cat height. Running a fan doesn’t cost much and will give your cat somewhere comfortable to sit. Even better, if you have air conditioning, leave it on at a reasonable temperature. It doesn’t have to be icy cold, just fairly cool.
Wrapping a few ice packs in towels and placing them in your cat’s bed gives your kitty somewhere cool to rest her head. Cats always find any cool spots in the home such as marble floor tiles or kitchen worktop!
Add a few ice cubes to your cat’s water bowl to keep it cold, and make sure it’s topped up before you go out. You could even leave a few ice cubes on the floor for your cat to play with! They’ll cool her paws, and she may even decide to lick them.
Open a tin of tuna in spring water, and give her a tasty treat. Then, instead of pouring the juice down the sink, fill a small ice cube tray and freeze. Boil chicken carcases left over from your dinner. Strain the juice and freeze. Don’t use stock cubes though, as they contain salt and other ingredients not suitable for pets.
What to do if your cat gets heat stroke
Heat stroke is a serious medical condition in cats as well as humans. However, it’s quite rare in a healthy cat. Most at risk are those who are very frail and elderly. Aging cats often suffer from arthritis giving limited mobility. They’re less able to groom themselves and so find it harder to keep cool. The same goes for obese pets.
- Signs of heat stroke in cats
- Rapid panting
- Agitation such as pacing
- Bright red tongue
- Rapid heart rate
If your cat is showing signs of mild heat stroke move her to a cool place immediately. Provide a bowl of fresh water and let her drink plenty. Try stroking her with a wet cloth. Though she may hate getting her fur wet, it will have a cooling effect. You should also get your cat checked by a vet.
Finding your kitty in a state of collapse is distressing, but you need to act fast. Place ice packs between the legs and damp the fur down with cold water. Take her to the vet immediately. With swift action your cat should make a full recovery.
Why white cats are most at risk of sunburn
Just as blonde people with fair skin are at greater risk of sunburn, so are white cats. Even if your cat is predominately another colour, any patches of white are at risk. White ears or noses, and white streaks on the face can all suffer burning.
Even light coloured cats are at risk. Pale or white fur like pale skin lacks melanin. This is a pigment which protects the skin from the sun’s harsh rays. Just as people with darker colour skin have more melanin, so do cats with darker colour fur.
Many vets recommend putting sun cream on your cat, but the only problem with that is they can lick it off. Toxic, chemicals can be ingested which may prove harmful to your kitty. You can however buy non toxic sun cream especially for pets. My Dog Nose It Moisturizing Sun Protection Balm for Dogs Noses can also be used on cats.
Happy Pet Dog SPF Spray is also safe to use on your cat. This product may be more suitable for using on kitties with thicker fur as it’s not a cream and won’t go sticky. It’s eco-friendly and formulated by veterinarian Dr Evan Antin. All ingredients are holistic and not tested on animals.
Why black cats feel the heat more
You may be surprised to learn that black cats feel the heat a lot more than those who have lighter colour fur. While wearing black clothing keeps us cooler, it has the opposite effect on cats. If you have a black or dark colored cat she’ll feel the heat more as her body temperature can rise to a higher level. Her black fur will offer greater protection from the sun though.
Why hydration is so important and getting your cat to drink
Keeping hydrated in the hot weather is important not only for us but our pets too. Though your cat will drink if thirsty, she will be reluctant to drink water that’s stagnant or stale. Lack of water can soon lead to dehydration, affecting the kidneys and other main organs. Providing a cat water fountain gives your kitty constant access to fresh, aerated water. Running water is attractive to cats. You may have noticed how your kitty prefers drinking from a dripping tap to the water in her bowl!
Keeping your cat cool in hot weather isn’t hard
Knowing how to keep cats cool in hot weather will keep your kitty healthy and happy. As you’ve discovered, cats are basically good at keeping themselves cool, but need a bit more help in very hot temperatures. You’ve learned how your cat cleverly regulates her body temperature, and if she sweats.
We’ve also discussed how to create shady spots in your garden, making it comfortable and enticing for your kitty. Protecting your home from soaring temperatures provides a sanctuary for your cat. Keeping her indoors during the hottest part of the day reduces the risk of heat stroke. As mentioned previously, the elderly can’t deal with excessively high temperatures. Poor mobility makes grooming difficult.
I can never emphasise the need for water enough, both for yourself and your cat. Providing fresh, clean drinking water at all times is essential. Lastly, we mentioned the benefit of cat water fountains, and why your kitty will prefer one.
I hope you’ve learned how to keep cats cool in hot weather, and found some of the tips useful. It’s important to make sure all your pets are ok during a heatwave. Lastly, always check greenhouses, sheds, and garages are safely locked, keeping your cat out. If your cat ever goes missing it’s always worth getting your neighbours to check their sheds.
Please feel free to share any experiences, and leave your comments below.
Wishing you a purrfect day:)