Summer is here, and with the longer days, trips to the pool, and barbecues also comes the heat…and lots of it. Yes, hot weather is coming – and it’s going to stick around for some time! It’s important, as a pet parent, that you make sure to keep your cat cool and safe in the summer heat. Here are some tips to help your feline friend beat the heat!
Keep Them Hydrated
Just like you and me, it’s vitally important that our cats keep hydrated to cool them from the inside out. Keep your cat’s bowl full of clean, cold water. What’s more refreshing than a cold drink of water on a hot summer day? Try tossing a few ice cubes in your cat’s water dish to keep the water extra cool on hot days. Or, consider getting a pet water fountain. Fountains encourage cats to drink more water because they prefer to drink from a moving water source. What’s more, the water in a fountain is always clean and fresh because it’s filtered and oxygenated.
Make Tasty Catsicles!
Try one of our favorite recipes for Goat’s Milk Catsicles – a frozen summertime treat that’ll keep any kitty cool on a hot day:
– 1 cup Raw Goat’s Milk or The Honest Kitchen Instant Goat’s Milk
– 1/4 cup tuna, baby shrimp, diced chicken or some meaty cat treats
– Silicone ice cube tray
Fill each compartment of the ice cube tray about halfway full with raw goat’s milk (If you’re using Instant Goat’s Milk, prepare it according to the directions first.) Then, toss a couple of pieces of tuna, cooked diced chicken, baby shrimp, or your cat’s favorite treats in with the goat’s milk. Put the ice cube tray in the freezer until your “catsicles” are frozen. On a hot day, pop one out and serve it to your kitty for a tasty, refreshing treat!
Cooling Pads Are Way Cool
If you’ve got a dog, you’re probably very familiar with cooling pads. But, they’re purrfect for keeping cats cool, too! Cooling pads are wonderful because they are not too cold – just cool enough to be comfortable on a hot day. They use no electricity, no water, there’s nothing to charge, refill or plug-in. They’re simply gel-filled pads that stay cool to the touch – and cats love them on hot summer days!
Take Extra Care with Seniors, Kittens, & Sick Cats
If you’re caring for an elderly cat, a litter of tiny kittens, or a special needs or sick cat, know that they are much more sensitive to hot weather. Do your best to keep them cool at all times by keeping them in the coolest part of your home, out of direct sunlight, and try scheduling veterinary appointments during times when they won’t have to travel in a steaming hot car in the scorching-hot afternoon. It should go without saying, but never, ever, leave a cat alone in a car.
Know the Signs of Heatstroke
Heatstroke is a serious medical emergency and can be deadly if you don’t recognize the signs and intervene immediately. Since cat’s don’t have efficient means to cool themselves like we do (by sweating), they can get overheated easily. So, it’s important to know the signs and what to do in case of heatstroke.
A cat suffering from heatstroke will pant, have bright red or pale gums, thick saliva, seem weak or dizzy, may vomit, and have diarrhea. Their normal temperature ranges from 99.5º to 102.5º Fahrenheit, so if you suspect heatstroke, take your cat’s temperature rectally using a digital quick read thermometer. Any temperature over 104º requires immediate veterinary intervention.
While you’re waiting to get your cat to the vet, wet him with room-temperature water. It’s important NOT to use cold water, as cooling a cat in heatstroke too quickly or cooling too much can cause other problems. Then use a fan to increase air circulation around him and continue monitoring his temperature every few minutes until you’re able to get him to the vet. Even if your cat seems better, it’s still vitally important that you have him examined by your vet for a checkup to make sure he’s not dehydrated or having some other long-lasting complications.
Summertime is a fun season for everyone – including your cats, so long as you remember to give her access to shade or a cool area of your home, provide fresh water at all times, and take precaution on extremely hot days. Stay cool!