Imagine it’s the peak of a very hot summer and you are told that you have to wear a long fur coat all day, every day and no matter what you do, you cannot take it off. Sounds like absolute torture doesn’t it? Well, we imagine that’s how our fats, especially the long hair or double-coated breeds, feel every time summer rolls around.
Cats do feel hot and you’ve probably seen your fur friend panting on a particularly hot day. Making sure that you keep your cat cool during the summers is extremely important because they are at risk of suffering from a heatstroke which can prove to be fatal!
Interestingly enough, cats sweat through their paws and so in order to keep our cats cool through the summer, their paws need to be given special attention. We’ve made a comprehensive guide for you on how to keep your feline nice and cool through the summers. Read on to find out how.
Leave the air conditioner on:
Who doesn’t enjoy sitting in a nice chilly room while it’s sweltering outside and what better way to do so than turning the AC on? This can also help keep your cats cool as well.
However, if you don’t have an AC the next best option is to leave the fan running where your cat is even if you aren’t sitting there yourself. Fans also help in promoting air circulation so they are a great option. You can also keep rooms cool, even after you turn the air con off by closing the lights and curtain to prevent the light from increasing the room temperature.
However, when you do turn the AC on, make sure that your cat can easily leave the room if they feel too cold in order to avoid them from falling sick.
Leaving the AC on helps to keep the floor under your cat’s paws cool as well which means that there will be less heat absorption through the paws.
Make them a cool corner to rest in:
Identify a spot in your house, that is away from the direct sunlight and that your cat likes to sleep in, and keep a nice cardboard box in that area for your cat to sit in to avoid the heat. Line the cardboard box with an animal-friendly cooling mat (they’re easily available online). If you can’t get a cooling pad, you can also use freezer pads or blocks as an alternative or even use a pack of frozen veggies that are wrapped in a blanket to keep in the box to make sure it’s nice and cool.
Pat your cat down using a wet towel:
It isn’t new information that cats hate water and so if you’re thinking of giving your cat a nice cold bath, we wouldn’t advise it if you want to come out in one piece! Cats can get violent when they come in contact with water so instead, you can wet a soft towel in cool water and rub it over your cat’s coat. Alternatively, you can bet your hand in the water and rub it over their body.
Make sure to not leave out the paws.
Cats don’t like cold food but that doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy an ice lolly that is made from their favorite foods. You can use the gravy from their canned food, chicken stock, or some tuna brine and make it an icy snack for them to suck on to keep cool.
Offer your feline ice cubes:
Ice cubes are a lifesaver for us when it comes to making a refreshing drink. They are also great for our cats. Cats find playing with ice cubes as a fun game. All you have to do is put them on the floor and watch as your cat starts pushing them around out of pure fascination and curiosity. Soon they’ll be bouncing around the room playing with the ice. The ice will do wonders for cooling their paws while fitting in a bit of exercise for your cats who get lazy when it is hot outside.
Make sure to groom your cat:
As a cat owner, especially long-haired cat owners, need to keep up with daily brushing of their cat’s fur. If not brushed, their fur becomes knotted and matted which traps the body heat and makes your cat feel extra hot. If you suspect that your cat has matted fur that is too tricky for you to navigate around, your vet may need to step in specially to protect your feline’s delicate skin!
Daily grooming also pulls away from the unshed hair from your cats’ fur. If it stays on your cat, this unshed fur will only add to the heat they feel because of all the hair on their bodies.
Make sure that your cat has cold, fresh water to drink:
Water is essential for your cat, especially in the summers. It will keep them from getting dehydrated and by giving them cold water, you’ll also be able to keep them from feeling hot.
How to spot a possible heatstroke:
Sometimes, despite all our efforts, the heat gets too much for our cats and they suffer a heat stroke. This is why it is important that you be able to identify the symptoms of a heat stroke so that you are able to seek out medical help without delay.
The symptoms include:
- Excessive drooling
- Bright red tongue
- Nose bleeds
- Increased heart rate
- Breathing problems
Summers, especially if you live in a hot climate area, are not easy on our cats and so we need to pay special attention to their needs and make sure they stay cool throughout the hot days. Heat strokes are traumatic for both cat and owner and can end in tragedy. Thus, make sure you take all the precautions to keep your feline safe. Good luck!