Usually the hot days in the Southwest come in late summer. But sometimes a heat wave will surprise us, such as the upcoming week of 100+ temperatures! I try to believe that outdoor cats are “street wise” and find shady spots to nap out the day hours and know where to find some water to drink.
Meanwhile, as the temperatures rise your indoor cat can be susceptible to dehydration and heatstroke. Cats don’t sweat by panting- they have sweat glands in their paws. On a hot day you might see them grooming more than usual. By licking they leave saliva on their fur and when it evaporates they will cool down. Cats will also seek a cool spot to lie down such as a sink, bathtub, potted plant or tile floor. (Haven’t you seen your cat stretch out completely flat on your kitchen floor?)
Here are a few other tips to help your kitty keep cool:
- Make “Catsicles”. Put some wet cat food or dry food mixed with water in a plastic cup in the freezer overnight. Pop out and put in your cat’s bowl for a special treat!
- Keep your cat out of your car if possible. For short trips, bring plenty of cold water for it to drink. Never leave your cat in the car unattended!
- Brush daily to avoid matting and allow the air to flow through the fur.
- Refresh the water dish often to keep cool water for your cat.
- Create cool play such as chasing ice cubes on the floor
- Keep a shady spot available for your kitty to nap in.
How can you tell if your cat is nearing a heatstroke? Symptoms include agitation, extreme distress, stretching out and panting heavily, vomiting, glazed eyes and drooling. If you notice any of these signs get your cat to a veterinary clinic immediately. Untreated, he could collapse into a coma and die.
If you can’t get to a clinic right away get your cat in a cool environment and keep him calm. Spray or pour water over him very carefully. Cover with wet towels and keep his head wet and cold to protect the brain but do not immerse your cat in water. Get to a vet as soon as possible.
Thanks for reading these reminder tips from Georgia’s Gifts. We know keeping your cat cool will insure that you’ll both enjoy a safe and happy summer!