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Even Cats Are at Risk of Overheating

author Lucy Byrne | Care and raising

Cat fur isn’t the most suitable “clothes” for hot weather. Moreover, cats, similarly to dogs, have sweat glands only on their paws. Therefore, they can overheat quite easily and even more so if they are also inside a flat and they have no place to run away to and cool down.

So, let as much fresh air as possible go inside the flat, close the curtains and simply eliminate the heat and mugginess inside as much as possible. Even if you are not present. Don’t close your cat on a balcony or in an overheated room. On the contrary, let her access the cooler parts of your flat, such as the hall with tiles or the bathroom. And watch out when ventilating, if your windows are not secure, do not leave them fully open. And ensure a vent to circulate the air.

Also, your furry friend should always have enough fresh water and you should motivate it to drink as much as you can. A fountain might be great for that or you can let it hear running water from a tap. If it doesn’t work, you can mix water with little meat from a can or a pouch. Diluted cat milk might also serve this purpose.

Drinking is vital for cats in summer. They tend to drink much less than dogs and as they cool down only by faster breathing with a tongue outside, they might get easily dehydrated.

Do not play wildly with the cat. Save games for mornings and evenings and keep your cat as much calm as possible in hot weather. However, it doesn’t have to be bored because of that, games with water are great for hot weather and it will also cool the cat down a bit. You may fill in a wash basin with tepid water (not icy cold!) and put a few straws or other floating things inside and the cat can try to get with a paw.

If you live in the attic or your flat is really hot for some reason, consider buying a cooling pad. A homemade alternative may be frozen PET bottles or pads for a cooler under a towel where a furry friend can relax.

Also remember regular combing which might happen more frequently in summer. Cats will get rid of old fur and the skin will regenerate better. Moreover, it will breath better. You can also consider giving a long-haired cat a summer haircut if it is not too traumatic for the furry friend.

If you go away for the weekends in summer, for example to a cottage, make sure someone comes to your flat at least once and checks your cat and the conditions in the flat. And that the person does so during a day, at noon in a perfect case. When an evening comes, the flat might be already cooled down and a cat overheated. If you have a weather station which stores maximum temperatures, check the values when you come back, so you could potentially make the conditions better for next time. Before you leave, put enough bowls with water all around the flat and draw the blinds or close the curtains.