When we have hot weather it is important that you help your cat keep its cool. It will naturally take it easy in order to avoid getting too hot but there are steps you can take to help.
Water water everywhere
Hydration is crucial to keeping your cat healthy when it’s hot, here are some ideas to encourage your cat to drink plenty:
- Give your cat choices – have water bowls around your home
- Don’t put water bowls close to their food bowl
- Cats generally prefer glass, metal or ceramic bowls, try to use these instead of plastic
- Try offering a bowl with a large surface area.
- Cats don’t like putting their head into a bowl, so try to keep bowls topped up.
- Lots of cats like drinking from running water, you can buy water fountains specifically designed for cats.
- Cats have sweat glands on their feet, if they are leaving wet footprints then they are sweating and will need to drink to replace this fluid.
Keep your cat from getting hot and bothered
- Make sure there are areas of shade for your cat both outside and in the house. This could be under furniture, under shady plants, or if there is no shade in your garden, create some with some cardboard or cloth. Keeping curtains or blinds closed will keep the sun out.
- Create a cat hidey-hole – you can place a cardboard box on its side and position it somewhere cool and quiet in the house, such as behind a chair or on a cool surface like a wooden floor. Line it with a breathable natural fabric such as a cotton towel.
- Keep your cat out of conservatories and greenhouses as these areas can get dangerously hot even when the weather just feels warm – they block cooling breezes and the glazing magnifies the heat. Cats are also prone to getting accidentally trapped in conservatories and greenhouses.
- Use fans to provide air movement around the house but don’t have them pointing straight at where your cat wants to be.
- Make a cool cat bottle by freezing water in a plastic bottle (allow room for the ice to expand) wrap it in a cloth or towel and put it in an area your cat likes.
- Your cat may appear to groom itself more in warm weather. This is a way for your cat to cool itself – saliva evaporating from the fur, will create a cooling effect.
- Dipping your cats paws in water may help it to stay cool (but it may not like it).
- Cats pant more rarely than dogs, but will pant to take on cooler air if they are particularly hot. Heavy panting could be cause for concern.
Watch out for signs of heat stroke
- Symptoms of heat stroke can include agitation, stretching out and breathing rapidly, extreme distress, skin hot to the touch, glazed eyes, vomiting and drooling. If you’re at all worried about your cat, contact us immediately on 0121 572 6527.
Be sun smart
- Cats can get sunburnt just like humans and they can be at risk of skin cancer. Think about using sun cream for your cat’s nose and ears, you can get pet sun cream, but we suggest using a good quality, waterproof children’s sun cream.
- Bear in mind that the sun is strongest between 10am and 3pm, so if your cat has white/light fur then you may want to consider keeping them inside during these times on hot days.
You can also see our advice on keeping your dog cool here
Advice brought to you by Streetly Vets in Sutton Coldfield