Keeping cats cool in summertime

20/9/2018

Your cat can find it difficult to stay cool when temperatures rise during the summer months. But if you follow our useful tips, you can help to keep your cat safe in the sun.

Shade

Although many cats love to lay in the sun for hours on end, it’s still important for them to be able to cool off in the shade when they get too hot. Make sure they can always come back inside when they want to and, if possible, provide access to shaded areas outside if your house gets too hot and stuffy.

Water

Your cat should have unlimited access to fresh, clean drinking water at all times. Leave a few different bowls of water out for them. If your cat prefers to stay outside place the bowls in shaded areas of your garden.

Skin & coat health

White cats, or cats with pale ear tips and noses face a higher risk of sun damage so speak to your vet who will be able to suggest a safe, high-factor sun block for your cat. Applying sun block to these exposed areas of skin when it’s sunny greatly reduces the risk of sunburn.

If your cat has pre-existing damage to their skin, it’s advisable to keep them inside during the hottest part of the day.

Although most cats shed their coat in the summer, trimming the fur of some long-haired cats can help to keep them cooler. Your vet will be able to give you advice about the safest way to do this without causing them any unnecessary stress.

Food

It’s not uncommon for cats to eat less in summer. If your cat is not eating much in hot weather, don’t panic.
If you’re worried that they’re eating too much or too little in general, seek advice from your vet.

Panting

There are three main ways that cats keep themselves cool:

  • Sweating through their footpads
  • Seeking out the shade
  • Licking their coat to allow saliva to evaporate and transfer heat away from their body

Cats only pant to cool down as a last resort, so if you notice them panting it’s strongly advised that you contact your vet straight away.

Heat stroke

Heat stroke and heat stress are, unfortunately, all too common during hot weather, despite it being a life-threatening emergency for pets.

There are some key signs of heat stroke to look out for. If your cat shows any of these symptoms, immediately contact your vet and make sure they have access to clean, fresh water and (if they let you) dampen their coat and paws with a cold compress:

  • Panting
  • Unsteadiness
  • Anxiety
  • Dry gums
  • Vomiting

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