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Helping Cats Beat the Summer Heat

May 1, 2024

Summer is quickly approaching. With the arrival of warmer weather, it’s crucial for pet owners to start taking necessary precautions to protect their feline overlords from the heat. Continue reading as a local Metairie, LA veterinarian offers some tips on safeguarding your beloved cat from the dangers of heat stroke.

How Do You Keep Kitties Cool During Hot Weather?

Dog owners have a few more options here. To help Fido cool down when he’s feeling hot, you can take him for a swim, let him have fun in a kiddie pool, or let him play in the refreshing spray from a hose. Obviously, none of these options are appropriate for cats. When it comes to cooling your kitty off, you’ll need to consider an alternative approach.

Here are some suggestions for you:

Water, Water, Water

First and foremost, make sure that Fluffy always has an ample supply of water. It’s a good idea to have additional water bowls available if you have multiple cats or a multi-level home. On hot days, you can cool down your kitty’s dish by adding an ice cube. Additionally, you may want to consider offering your furry pal the option of drinking from fountains.

Treat Your Feline Friend To A Refreshing Snack

On a scorching day, even cats enjoy indulging in a refreshing icy treat. Here are some options you can provide for your beloved pet:

Easy Treat: Get Fluffy soft, lickable treats, and keep them in the fridge or freezer.

Broth: Sodium-free broth is a great way to keep kitties hydrated! Try pouring it into an ice cube tray and freezing. Or, cool it in the refrigerator and then transfer it directly into a bowl.

Ice Cream: Combine fat-free yogurt with your choice of canned or shredded protein options like tuna, chicken, turkey, crabmeat, or fish. Divide into small portions and freeze. (Hint: You can use bottle caps to measure these out.) Don’t give your pet human ice cream, though: it isn’t safe for her!

Chilled Supper: Store Fluffy’s canned food in the refrigerator. Additionally, you have the option of dividing canned cat food into smaller portions and storing them in the freezer. (It might be helpful to dilute pate formula foods with water to make them thinner.)

Refreshing Tuna Bites: Drizzle the flavorful juice from tuna or salmon over crushed or shaved ice. Or, use a blender.

Let Fluffy Find Her Spot

Our feline buddies have a knack for discovering napping spots. Make sure Fluffy has access to rooms that are cooled by fans or air conditioners, allowing her to find a comfortable spot.

During the summer months, don’t be surprised if you happen to discover your pet lounging on the cool kitchen or bathroom tiles, or perhaps even seeking refuge in the basement if you  have one. Tile stays cool, so tile floors are great for keeping Fluffy cool during hot weather. Keep a close eye on her so you don’t accidentally lock her in a small area.

Summer Beds

Another option is to consider getting your pet a hammock or raised bed. These things can be bought, but you can also easily create your own by simply attaching a piece of fabric to the legs of a table. These beds are cooler than traditional ones, as they allow for better airflow underneath.

Cooling Mats

Many pet stores offer products specifically designed for this purpose. Another option is to place a couple of towels in the freezer and then place them on Fluffy’s bed.

Ice Sports

Does Fluffy ever play with ice cubes? Not only is this enjoyable for her, but it also helps her stay cool. Our feline friends use their adorable little toe beans to help regulate their body temperature.

Beauty Session

Kitties usually take great care of their fur, but brushing Fluffy will help remove dead fur, dust, and dander from her coat. These things can cause discomfort and itchiness for kitties. (Bonus: By using a brush to remove your pet’s fur, you can help reduce or prevent hairballs.)

What Temperature Is Considered Too Hot For Fluffy?

Typically, when the temperature exceeds 80F, it becomes uncomfortably warm for Fluffy. When it goes over 90, it becomes uncomfortably hot, and if it surpasses 100, it is dangerous for them.

What Are Signs Of Overheating In Cats?

It is crucial to be aware of the potential dangers of overheating for cats. It’s not easy for Fluffy to regulate her body temperature. Panting doesn’t do the trick, and she can only sweat through her paw pads. On top of that, she is wearing a fur coat! Knowing what warning signs to watch out for is crucial.

Usually, the first thing you’ll notice is panting. (If you ever notice a cat panting, it’s definitely a cause for concern, as cats don’t typically pant like dogs do.) Drooling is another one. Our feline friends typically do not drool, although they may occasionally dribble a bit while they are sleeping. Restlessness is also a warning sign. If Fluffy becomes too warm, she may start pacing or walking around without stopping. She might appear unsettled or irritated.

Respiratory issues are a red flag as well: kitties that are overheated may experience difficulty breathing. Vomiting or diarrhea can indicate heat stress as well, especially when accompanied by other symptoms. Fluffy may also exhibit signs of being disoriented, confused, and distressed. Her movements may appear unsteady, with a tendency to trip or lose balance while walking. You might notice that your furry pal has a bright red tongue, and that her gums are either redder or paler than usual.

You’ll also want to keep an eye (or ear) out for unusual sounds. Although cats vary in their vocalizations, kitties typically have a consistent meow or voice pattern. When Fluffy is feeling hot or distressed, she may express their discomfort by meowing urgently and in a distressed manner. Her meows may also sound cracked or dry.

One more indication to be aware of is lethargy, which can be a sign of weakness. We understand that cats tend to spend a significant amount of their time relaxing and taking it easy. That’s normal. (Well, for kitties, anyway.) On the other hand, if your pet appears to lack energy, is unresponsive, or seems physically frail, it’s a sign that she’s not simply relaxing, but isn’t feeling well.

Additional indicators of a more severe nature include muscle tremors, seizures, collapsing, decreased urine production, and coma.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to get in touch with your Metairie, LA veterinarian or the nearest emergency clinic right away.

What Should I Do If My Cat Is Too Hot?

If you believe Fluffy is overheating, take immediate action. Your feline pal may need veterinary care, but you’ll have to cool her down before transporting her. Give her some water, but not too much. Don’t immerse her in cold water, as that could potentially cause her to go into shock. You can hold her in front of a freezer. Or, put her in front of a fan and gently mist the airflow with water. As you are doing this, contact your Metairie, LA vet for specific advice.

Schedule An Appointment With Your Metairie, LA Veterinarian

Do you need any assistance regarding Fluffy’s health or care? Does Fluffy need a check-up? Get in touch with us, your Metairie, LA  pet clinic, today!