Keeping your cat cool during warm weather

Unlike us, cats only have sweat glands in their paws and around their nose which makes it difficult for them to regulate their temperature – this can lead to overheating and heat stroke on hot days. Here’s a helping paw on how to keep your cat cool on warmer days.

To help keep your cat cool…

Make sure they have cool shaded areas to relax in and plenty of fresh cool water available – a fresh water fountain will help provide refreshing water for your cat. Keep your house cool and if you travel with your feline friend, never leave them in a hot car.

Keeping your cat cool - a young girls holds a kitten at sunset

Heat stroke in cats

All cats can suffer from heat stroke, although they are pretty savvy in seeking our places to cool down. Still, it’s worthwhile knowing the signs:

  • Fast and heavy panting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Increased pulse and heartbeat
  • Vomiting
  • Dark-coloured (red or purple) gums or tongue
  • Excessive thirst
  • Very high body temperature
  • Weakness, unsteady or collapse
  • Seizures or unconsciousness

If you suspect that your cat is suffering from heat stroke, move them to a shaded area and call your vet urgently.

How to cool your cat down

Never immerse your cat in very cold water as this can lead to shock. The best way to cool your cat is by temporarily placing cool wet towels across their body and/or positioning them next to a fan.

Allow your cat small amounts of water to drink and continue to cool them until their breathing starts to settle. Wet towels should not be left on for more than ten to fifteen minutes, otherwise they can start to heat them up rather than cool them down. Take them to the vet immediately for further treatment.

Please do not, under any circumstances, leave your cat unattended in a car during a hot day.

For more information about heat stroke, please call your veterinary surgery.

How to keep your cat cool infographic

In case of unexpected illness or injury, it’s always worthwhile having a cat insurance policy in place.

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