Now that summer’s here, it’s important to make sure your cat doesn’t get overheated! Here are the top 5 ways to keep your kitty cool and content during the summer months.
It’s important to keep water bowls full of fresh, clean water. Put a few bowls around the house to ensure they’re within easy reach. Seeing these “easy-access” water bowls will also encourage them to drink. Throw a few ice cubes in the bowls before you leave for work. This will keep it cool. Leaving the tap dripping is another way to encourage cats to drink water since they seem to prefer “moving” water.
2.) Shady Outdoor Spots
If your cat likes to go outdoors, keep it to a minimum, especially during the hottest hours of the day (between 11-4). Make sure there are plenty of shady spots for her to lay in. Cats usually find a nice, shady spot on their own, but if there aren’t a lot of trees around, you can create a cool spot by placing some cloth or cardboard over an area to keep the sun out. You can even create your own “cat tent.” Instructables.com has instructions for an easy DIY Cat Tent that uses cardboard, a T-shirt, and wire hangers.
3.) Brushing Your Cat
Even if your cat doesn’t have long hair, it’s important to brush them, especially during the summer months. Matted hair traps heat, so keep them groomed as much as possible. Plus, most kitties really like being brushed, as you can see from the above GIF.
4.) Use Damp Towels to Cool Them Down
According to VetsNow, cats tend to be warmest on their bellies, their armpits, the pads of their paws, under their chins, and the outside of their ears. Even though many cats don’t like getting wet, most of them will tolerate being stroked with a wet towel when they’re overheated. Start from the head, and then gently stroke them down their back to the end of their tail.
5.) Keep Air Circulating
Having fans on throughout the house during warm days is essential. Turn on all the ceiling and window fans to keep air moving. If it’s above 80-85 degrees outside, turn on your air conditioning to keep your kitty cool during these hot months.
A Hot Car
It goes without saying (but let’s just say it anyway) that you should NEVER leave your cat in a hot car, not even for a quick errand. Just don’t do it!
Signs and symptoms include: excessive panting and rapid breathing, weakness, lethargy, inability to stand, tremors, and possibly seizures. The cat’s paw pads will feel hot to the touch. If you suspect your cat is having a heat stroke, place her on a cool surface right away, like a tiled floor. Turn the fan directly on her. Cool her down by putting damp washcloths over her paws. Provide water for her to drink. If she won’t drink, moisten her gums with a damp cloth. (Avoid ice water, however, because the temperature difference from extreme hot to extreme cold may send her into a form of shock.)
But most importantly, if you suspect your cat is having a heat stroke, call your vet right away.