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Keeping Your Feline Pal Comfortable In The Heat

May 1 2024

Summer is almost here! With the arrival of warmer weather, it’s important for pet owners to take necessary measures to keep their beloved pets safe. Keep reading to find helpful tips from a Fox Lake, IL veterinarian on how to protect your beloved cat from the risks of heat stroke.

What Are Warning Signs That My Feline Friend Is Overheating?

Cats are especially prone to becoming overheated. Fluffy’s ability to control her body temperature is limited. Panting is not very effective for her, and the only way she can release heat is through her paw pads. On top of that, she is sporting a fur coat.! Recognizing the clues is extremely important.

Panting is often the first red flag. Cats generally do not pant, so, if you happen to see a kitty panting, it’s definitely a cause for concern. Drooling is another one. Cats generally do not drool,  so this is another indication that something is not right.

Restlessness is another factor to be mindful of. When Fluffy gets too hot, she might show signs of restlessness, perhaps by pacing or constantly moving around. She may also seem restless or agitated. Respiratory distress is a red flag as well. When cats get too hot, they may have trouble breathing. Your pet’s breathing may seem shallow, gasping, or otherwise abnormal.

Throwing up can also be a warning sign. We know, kitties are prone to getting hairballs. However, when vomiting or diarrhea occurs alongside other symptoms, it could be a sign of heat stress or other medical emergencies. Uncommon vocalizations are another cause for concern. Although some cats are more talkative than others, most have a typical voice or meow pattern. When kitties are feeling agitated, they might communicate their discomfort by meowing urgently.

Disorientation can also be a sign. Fluffy might display signs of confusion, appearing disoriented and distressed. Her movements may seem a bit unsteady, and you might see her tripping or losing balance while walking. And then there’s lethargy. We recognize that cats have a penchant for spending most of their time in a state of relaxation. However, if your pet seems to have exceptionally low energy (even for a cat), is unresponsive, or appears physically weak, it could be an indication that she is not just resting.

Other red flags include a tongue that appears red, gums that have changed color, muscle tremors, seizures, sudden collapses, reduced urine output, and even coma.

If you observe any of these warning signs, contact your Fox Lake, IL, veterinarian or the nearest emergency clinic immediately.

How Do You Know If It Is Too Hot For Cats?

Usually, when the temperature goes above 80F, it is really getting to be too warm for Fluffy. Once the temperature rises above 90F, it starts to feel uncomfortably hot. And if it goes beyond 100 F, it reaches a dangerously high level.

How Do You Keep Fluffy Cool During Hot Weather?

Unlike Fido, Fluffy probably won’t be interested in going for a swim or wading in a kiddie pool. You’ll have to try a few other things.

Here are a few choices:

Water, Water, Water

Make sure your cat always has enough water available. Having extra water bowls on hand is a smart move, especially if you have multiple cats or if your home has multiple levels. When it’s scorching outside, add an ice cube to your cat’s water bowl. it might be worth considering providing your cat with a kitty fountain.

Frosty Feline Treats

On a hot day, both humans and cats love a cool and refreshing treat. Here are a few choices you can offer for your cute pet:

  • Kitty Ice Cream! You can buy some, but you can also combine plain, fat-free yogurt with canned or shredded tuna, chicken, turkey, crabmeat, or fish. Separate into smaller portions and store in the freezer. (Hint: You can use bottle caps to measure these.)
  • Divide canned cat food into portions and place them in the freezer.
  • Drizzle some tuna or salmon juice over crushed or shaved ice.
  • Keep your cat’s canned food in the refrigerator for a cool treat
  • Provide Fluffy with a bowl of sodium-free broth. It contains electrolytes, which is going to be very helpful at keeping her hydrated.
  • Keep your furry friend’s treats in the fridge or freezer.

Comfy Bed (Or Beds)

Cats have a knack for finding the most comfortable spots to curl up and rest. Make sure that your kitty has access to rooms that are cooled by fans or air conditioners. She’ll locate a cozy spot.

Don’t be too surprised if you find your furry pal snoozing on the kitchen or bathroom floor tiles or even in the basement. These places naturally stay cool.

You might want to think about getting your furry friend a hammock or raised bed. You can purchase them in many stores. Or, just make your own by attaching a piece of fabric to the legs of a table. Because air can move beneath them, these beds tend to stay pretty cool.

Winter Sports

Does your cat ever have fun with ice cubes? This will not only provide your feline buddy with entertainment, but it will also help her stay cool. Kittens rely on their cute little paw pads to help maintain their body temperature. A fun game of pawkey may just do the trick! (Plus, you know it will be adorable to watch.) 

Provide Your Feline Friend With A Cooling Mat

These can be found at numerous pet stores. Another idea is to keep a few towels in the freezer and then put them on Fluffy’s bed.

Groom Your Furry Pal

Regular grooming can also be beneficial. Our feline overlords are usually very meticulous when it comes to grooming themselves. That doesn’t mean that Fluffy will not benefit from a helping hand, though. Regularly brushing your cat can effectively eliminate dead fur, dust, and dander that may accumulate in her coat. These things can make pets’ coats quite hot and itchy!

What Should I Do If My Cat Looks To Be Overheating?

If you suspect that your furry friend is overheating, it is crucial to take prompt action. Ensuring your pet receives proper veterinary care is crucial, but before you can transport your pet, you’ll need to take some necessary measures to help Fluffy cool down. Do not put her in cold water, as this could potentially trigger a shock response. You can pick her up and hold her in front of an open freezer door. Or, put her in front of a fan and delicately mist the air with water. Contact your Fox Lake, IL vet as you are doing this, to get some specific instructions.

In conclusion, cats may have difficulty coping with the high temperatures of summer. Ensuring the comfort and well-being of our beloved feline companions requires pet owners to take a few necessary precautions to keep cats cool, content, and happily purring.

Book an Appointment with Your Fox Lake, IL Veterinarian 

Are you seeking any guidance or assistance regarding your cat’s well-being or maintenance? Is your cat due for a check-up? Contact us immediately at our Fox Lake, IL pet clinic.