Many regions are currently in the grips of heatwave-like temperatures and, although it may not last long, it’s imperative for cat owners to know the signs that their pet may be struggling in the hot weather – and just how to keep them cool.
As you are probably feeling right now during the hottest days of the summer, the heat can be very extreme and intense and also difficult to deal with for humans and we all have means of cooling ourselves down to make it more bearable. Your four-legged buddy might need a helping hand.
These are the main signs to look out for from your cat – along with some helpful advice on taking the heat off so they can enjoy summer too:
If a cat is unhappy in the heat, they will probably exhibit the following signs:
1.) They may be panting heavily
2.) Their tongue and gums may be bright pink or even red
They could start drooling
3.) They may lay down more often than usual and breathe more heavily
4.) Cats may vomit
5.) They may be more restless and constantly be trying to find somewhere cooler to spend their time
6.) Their paws may be sweaty
7.) They may be grooming themselves more than usual to try and cool off
8.) Cats may stumble and seem disorientated
What to remember:
Just like us humans, cats can lose their appetite somewhat in the heat and may eat less. This is not automatically a cause for concern unless there is a severe and noticeable drop in how much they eat or if they vomit after eating
By nature, cats are more adapted to hot weather than dogs and humans so will cope slightly better – and it isn’t unusual to see them sitting in their litter tray as, originally being desert-dwelling animals, they know that sand can help to cool them.
Obviously, you should never lock a cat in the car, no matter what the weather and don’t leave your cat trapped in the conservatory either as this acts almost like a greenhouse and can get unbearably hot in the sunlight.
How you may help your cat:
Be sure they have access to plenty of fresh water
Brush your cats regularly – they will mat more in the heat to lessen their coat so brushing will help get rid of that extra hair that might be heating them up.
Turn on a fan or air conditioning unit to keep areas cool.
If your cat is too warm, you can always move them somewhere cold (such as kitchen tiles) and use a wet cloth to pad them and cool them down.
Make sure there they always have access to a cool and sheltered area inside.
You may also consider restricting your cat from going out in the hottest hours (usually between 11am and 4pm)
Feed your cat little and often as wet food left out in the heat can attract flies and quickly build up bacteria which may upset their stomach.
Cats can also become sunburnt, so you may apply sun lotion to their ears, particularly if they don’t have much hair covering them.
You may also consider clipping your cat’s coat to make hot weather more bearable if they have a lot of hair.