From minimising their outside time and recognising the signs of overheating, to ensuring they get enough water, our guide contains useful cat safety tips to help your loveable feline friend stay relaxed in the hot weather.
Luckily, cats are already good at regulating their body temperature, as their fur naturally helps slow down heat absorption and prevent sun damage. They’ve also evolved to cool themselves down using a few different methods.
Cats instinctively know not to over-exert themselves when it’s warm. This helps them avoid overheating, maintaining their internal body temperature of around 38°C.
Another way is by rubbing themselves up against, or lying on, something cold. For instance, they may find pavement that's been in the shade and lie on it if they’re outside and get too warm.
They can also cool down when grooming themselves by licking their fur. The saliva from their tongues touches their skin and evaporates gradually, cooling that patch of skin – similar to how sweat works for humans.
However, some cats – whether because they’re older, have health issues or get taken by surprise by the warm weather – can get too hot.
If your cat is overheating on warmer days, there are a few early signs to look out for. Recognising the symptoms means you can quickly act and cool them down before it gets serious:
When they display any of these symptoms, this could be an early sign of heat stroke. Symptoms of heat stroke include:
If your cat shows any of the above, call your vet immediately.
Some cats – whether because they’re older, have health issues or get taken by surprise by the warm weather – can get too hot.
If your cat goes outdoors, it’s impossible to keep an eye on them all the time. However, there are things you can do to help them stay cool:
Depending on the size of your cat, they should be getting around 100-125ml of water per five pounds of their body weight .
But, some cats aren’t too fond of drinking from a bowl, which makes it difficult to increase their water intake when it gets hotter.
Some experts believe this is instinct. In the wild, big cats favour running water to stop them getting sick by drinking stagnant water. So when your cat prefers the tap to the bowl, this might be the reason.
You can encourage your cat to drink more in these simple ways:
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