If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, and also realised that we tend not to give much thought, is the effect of the hot weather on our cats.
Cats Struggle in the Heat too
I know how I’ve always felt in the hot weather, and it’s not always happy. What starts off as lovely, and nice to get out in, getting some vitamin D for us two legged humans, we sometimes forget that our pets suffer too. Our cats, and our dogs too, can be at risk of dehydrating, sunstroke and yes, sunburn on their noses, ear tips and paws.
Make sure to keep your pets safe by doing some of the following:
- Make sure there is plenty of water available to drink. Check the water bowl regularly and leave some in a dish outside. Cats especially, need continual access to water.
- Make sure there is shelter. Even a shaded garden spot is a good place to take refuge from the suns rays, although a cool dark area inside to slope off to, might just be what your cat needs on a hot day. A carboard box in a dark quiet area could do the trick.
- Brush your animal daily, to help remove built up hair and an overly thick coat which might lead to overheating.
- Keep animals away from glass houses, ie conservatories, greenhouses and cloches. The heat inside these structures can quickly escalate to being serious in a rapid time frame.
- If your cat is overheating, use lukewarm damp towels to sponge your cat and pad their stomach and paws. Sometimes a cat will choose a cool damp towel as a perch if they are too hot.
- Aim for cuddles instead of actively chasing a fish toy on a line at the height of the sun. Too much exercise may heat your cat up too much.
- If it’s too hot outdoors, and you have nowhere for your cat to shelter, follow the same rules as for fireworks, and try to keep them indoors for the hottest time of day.
- Do not leave your pets in a car as they can quickly die without fully circulating air, even with the window open or air conditioning on.
The Ice Cube Debate
I’ve seen the lovely images of ice lollies for cats and dogs recently, and our own gerbils used to love cold pieces of watermelon on a hot day. There are downsides to ice for animals, as they tend to dive straight in and they aren’t immune to the old brain freeze. Ice cubes tend to get played with rather than licked with cats, but ensure you check with a vet before trying this option. It’s a divisive topic with many for and against. Personally, I have never given an animal anything frozen due to the potential for tongues to freeze to the ice, and that horrible brain freeze.
Stay Alert to Heat Stroke
Up here in Scotland, we tend not to have too many days in the danger zone outdoors, but it can happen on the rare sunny days we are treated to. Keep an eye for agitation, pacing, stretching and breathing heavily. If you see your pet in distress, with hot skin and glazed eyes, or vomiting and drooling, please contact a vet right away.