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Helping Your Kitty Beat The Summer Heat
May 1, 2024

Summer is coming up quickly. While the worst of the heat may not arrive for a few months, plenty of fun summer activities are already kicking off. As the temperature warms up, pet owners will need to take a few precautions to keep their pets cool. Continue reading for advice from a local Fayetteville, NC veterinarian on how to keep your kitty friend cool during hot weather.

How Can I Keep My Cat Cool During The Heat?

Dogs have a few more options here: you can help Fido cool off on hot days by taking him swimming, splashing in a kiddie pool, or playing in the spray from a hose. Needless to say, those aren’t going to go over well with Fluffy. We have a few other options instead.

Hydration

First and foremost, ensure that your kitty companion gets sufficient water. If you have more than one cat or your property has numerous levels, leave extra water dishes out. On warmer days, you can add an ice cube to your cat’s dish. Some cats enjoy drinking from fountains, so try that as well.

Water is a must, but you can also offer your cute pet some sodium-free broth. This is a fantastic option because it contains electrolytes. Pour some into an ice cube tray. 

Give Your Feline Pal A Cooling Mat

Many pet retailers sell specifically designed items for this purpose. You can also save a few towels in the freezer and place them on Fluffy’s bed.

Let Fluffy Play ‘Pawkey’

Do your cats occasionally bat ice cubes around? This may be enjoyable for your kitty companion, but it is also a technique to assist her beat the heat. Those charming little toe beans help cats maintain their body temperature. Cats can only sweat through their paw pads.

Give Your Cat A Cool Snack!

Even cats like a refreshing cold treat on a hot day! Fluffy may like a cold dinner! Keep your cat’s canned food in the refrigerator so she can have a chilly dinner. Another option is to split canned cat food into small portions and freeze them. (You may need to mix pate formula foods with water to thin them out slightly.) 

If you really want to get that little motor going, drizzle tuna or salmon juice over crushed or shaved ice or mix it in a blender. (Only utilize fish that has been preserved in water, as oils can be too fatty for your feline companion.) You can also get soft, lickable snacks in pouches for your kitty companion. Store them in the refrigerator or freezer. Or, make your kitty her very own ice cream. Combine plain, fat-free yogurt with canned or shredded tuna, chicken, turkey, crab meat, or fish. You can also add some parsley. Portion into tiny servings and freeze. (Tip: Bottlecaps work well when measuring them out.)

Offer Your Kitty A Cool Bed (Or Ten)

Cats are skilled at finding cozy places to sleep. In the summer, you may find your pet laid out on the kitchen or bathroom floor, or even in the basement. Tile flooring stays cold when it’s heated, which can assist Fluffy stay comfortable. Just keep an eye on her and don’t unintentionally lock her in!

Another option is to get your pet a hammock or high bed. You can buy them, or you can create your own by connecting a piece of fabric to the legs of a table. These are cooler than traditional beds because air can travel beneath them.

Brush Your Cat Cats are often responsible for their own grooming needs. However, Fluffy will welcome some assistance. Brushing your cat’s coat removes dead fur, dust, and dander. As you may guess, these things can make cats itchy and uncomfortable. There’s also a bit of a bonus here: your pet will have fewer hairballs since you will be brushing the fur before she swallows it.

Allow Your Pet to Find a Cool Spot

Cats are very, very, very good at becoming comfortable. Make sure your cat has access to rooms with fans or air conditioners, and allow her to find a cool area.

How Hot is Too Hot for A Cat?

You may have noticed that cats love finding warm sleeping spots. However, there is definitely a sweet spot here. As a rule of thumb, any temperature above 80 degrees Fahrenheit is too hot for Fluffy. It is way too hot if it exceeds 90 degrees, and it is dangerously hot if it exceeds 100 degrees.

How Can I Tell if My Cat Is Overheated?

Overheating can be extremely dangerous for cats. Fluffy can’t cool herself down by panting; therefore, she can only sweat through her paw pads—and on top of that, she’s wearing a fur coat! It is critical to know what to look for.

  • Uncharacteristic Vocalizations: While some cats are unquestionably more talkative than others, the majority have a typical voice or meow pattern. Cats that are overheated or anxious may meow in an urgent, distressed tone. Fluffy may just not sound like herself.
  • Panting: This is usually the first thing you notice. Cats, unlike dogs, do not ordinarily pant; therefore seeing a kitty panting is always cause for concern.
  • Drooling: Cats rarely drool, though they may dribble while napping. This is another sign that something is wrong.
  • Restlessness: If Fluffy becomes overheated, she may pace or walk around constantly. She may also appear restless or irritated.
  • Respiratory Distress: Overheated cats may have difficulty breathing. You may observe your pet taking shallow breaths, gasping, or breathing in an unusual manner.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea can also be signals of heat stress, especially when paired with other symptoms. 
  • Discoloration: You may also notice Fluffy’s tongue is bright red, and her gums are either redder or paler than normal. 
  • Confusion: Fluffy may exhibit disorientation, confusion, and discomfort. She may appear dizzy and stumble or stagger when walking. 
  • Weakness: Lethargy is another warning symptom. We know that cats spend the majority of their time lying about. However, if your pet appears listless, limp, or just feeble, she is not just having another snooze.

Other serious indicators include muscle tremors, seizures, collapse, decreased urine production, and coma. If you notice any of the following, contact your Fayetteville, NC veterinarian or the local emergency clinic right away.

What Should I Do If My Cat Is Too Hot?

If you know or think that your cat is overheating, you should act quickly. Your pet will require veterinary care, but you must take steps to calm Fluffy down. You do not want to submerge her in cold water since it may cause her to go into shock. Hold her in front of a freezer. Alternatively, position her in front of a fan and spritz her with water. Another approach is to gently wipe her fur with a cool, damp cloth. Contact your Fayetteville, NC veterinarian while you’re doing this to get specific instructions.  

Make An Appointment With Your Fayetteville, NC Veterinarian

Have you got any questions about your cat’s health or care? Is your kitty companion due for a checkup? Contact your Fayetteville, NC pet clinic today!