Cats are actually better than dogs at adjusting their inner thermostat, but on very hot and humid days they can still become easily overheated. If your cat is outside, he or she will do little more than lie about in the shade and sleep. Indoors, your kitty will need you to keep the house regulated for optimal temperature. Many cats will go into basements and other areas that are cooler. Unlike dogs, cats don’t generally pant unless they are extremely over heated. Thus, if you see your cat panting, get her out of heat immediately. The following steps should help keep Puss comfy during the lazy hot days of summer:
- Make sure your cat(s) always have fresh, cool, clean water available, even if they are outdoors.
- Indoor cats should have access to a basement or cool darkened room if the home is not air conditioned.
- Don’t let your cat run around too much. Most cats won’t in hot weather, but kittens and young cats might not know better. Keep them calm.
- Provide dry food so they can have a nibble when needed.
- No special cool areas? Place ice packs under towels in your cat’s bed or create a bed using a cardboard box (cats love cardboard boxes), or use a hot water bottle with cold water for the cat to lie on. Remember to check on ice and cool water, as it will warm up quickly.
- Be careful not to close a cat into a hot room when going in and out of both indoor and outdoor rooms and buildings. Check before closing the door.
- This can’t be said enough… Do NOT leave a cat in a closed up car in hot weather, not even in the shade. People think of dogs mostly when it comes to hot cars, but if you travel with your cat, he or she will need the same consideration. Even in shade, cars become ovens within minutes on hot days.
- Tiles indoors can feel cool to a cat, so allow them into bathrooms, laundry rooms, etc.
- If your cat is panting or can’t seem to find a cool location, mix rubbing alcohol and water and apply to ears and paw pads. The evaporation will cool the blood that circulates through the ears and reduce the overall body temperature.
- Groom your cat. Keep your cat groomed and get rid of mats! This is especially important in long haired cats. Mats will not allow the heat of the animals’ body to escape and they will overheat more quickly.
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