Keeping your kitties cool in the heat!
We’re back! Our Can Opener has had the Critters a lot more this last week than usual because their Mom and Dad both had jury duty. We thought our human would NEVER have time to just snuggle and play with us again!
She is also taking care of her sister now and is taking (new) classes in addition to still doing grief counseling. She’s busier than a fly around an ice cream cone!
But it’s going to be really hot today, so when she started preparing ways for my (still feral) Mama to stay cool through the extreme heat, she started thinking about everyone else’s kitties, and we thought she could help us write about it so everyone can know things they can do to keep their kitties safe from heat exhaustion and heat stroke in this weather- (inside and outside)! So Sushi and I are going to have some whipped cream and let the Can Opener take over from here. Enjoy! 😻
Heat Exhaustion / Heat stroke in cats
Healthy cats and kittens are normally well adapted to heat, since they were desert animals orginially. But few people realize that older or sick animals are just as miserable in the heat as we are. And feral cats, older or obese cats, and cats with asthma, heart conditions or kidney conditions are especaially vulnerable to the dangers of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
If you see these signs, your pet is approaching hyperthermia (heat exhaustion)- take steps quickly to cool him down to prevent exhaustion!
- panting, drooling
- excessive grooming in an effort to cool off
- restless behavior (looking for a cool place)
If your cat’s body temperature keeps rising, heat exhaustion can occur quickly-
- rapid breathing
- redness of the mouth and tongue
- stumbling gait
- and a (rectal) temp. over 105 F
According to WebMD pets, if there is no intervention at this point, the cat’s body heat will continue to rise enough to cause the cat to collapse into seizures, coma, and death.
So how do you keep your cat safe in excessive heat?
- Make sure your cat can always easily access fresh, cool water. And if it’s extremely hot, or if you have no air conditioning, change the water a couple of times a day and consider placing a few extra bowls around the house. Also, consider placing a fan where it will blow in the general area of your cat, (but not directly on him)
- If your cat goes out, or if you have visiting ferals, provide clean water for them outside in a shady area, and add some ice (or freeze a bowl of water and in the morning, dump out the chunk of ice and provide it in a bowl or on a plate in a shaded area for strays to stay cool. As the ice melts throughout the day, it will keep water available for them.
- Consider leaving a sprinkler on (just barely) in the yard to provide a constant “fountain” of water.
- If your cat goes outside and has a favorite spot, freeze a bottle of water and wrap a towel around it and place it where he likes to hang out (preferably in a shady spot).
- If you have cats that go outside also, try to keep them inside between 10 am-3 pm which is usually the hottest part of the day. Particularly if your cat is white! (more on that later)…
- Help your indoor cat stay hydrated by also giving them wet food which contains more water and is helpful for older or sick cats (or cats with kidney problems) who may not drink a lot of water. You can also offer them cat broths poured over their dry food for extra hydration
- Cooling mats are also an excellent and easy way to provide relief both indoors and outdoors (in a shady spot) for your cats (and dogs)- such as these I found on Amazon (I do not earn any money from these links)- non toxic, pressure activated, self charging!
Please remember your cats (and doggies) can’t tell you when they are suffering from the heat! They depend on you to keep them safe! Please be alert on super hot days, and NEVER leave your cat or doggie in a hot car!