Protecting Your Cat From the Summer Heat

a cat laying in the sun

I don’t know about where you live, but the temperatures in Minnesota last week were “I might actually be melting” hot. Upper 90s with astronomical humidity levels. In that kind of heat, everything except for laying in front of an air conditioner feels like way too much work.

With the summer sun blazing and the temperatures rising, your cat could be at risk. 

Protecting your cat from the summer heat pinterest graphic

Heat Strokes in Cats

Unlike people, cats can’t sweat to cool their body temperature down. They can only sweat through the pads of their feet. 

In the hot summer months, without proper hydration and moderation of their body temperature, cats can suffer heat strokes which, if not taken care of immediately, can cause fatal damage to their organs.

Symptoms of Heat Stroke in Cats

Pay very close attention to your cat’s behavior in this heat. Your cat may be on the verge of a heat stroke if they are:

  • Excessively panting or drooling
  • Moving from spot to spot frequently and acting restless
  • Acting lethargic or fatigued
  • Vomiting
  • Rapidly breathing

Sunburns in Cats

Cats, especially those with light-colored or little fur, are susceptible to sunburn if out in the sun too long. Their skin, particularly around their ears and noses, can become red and cracked and may even blister.

7 Tips for Keeping Your Cat Cool This Summer

Take a Trip to the Groomers

If your cat has long, thick fur, consider getting their hair professionally groomed, especially around the tummy area. Regularly brushing you cat also removes excess fur and dander which can also keep your kitty cool.

Keep Your Cat Hydrated

Just like people, the most important thing in the heat is to stay hydrated. Place multiple bowls of cool water around the house and continually change the water throughout the day.

Especially if your cats are spending a lot of time outside, make sure cool water is always easily accessible.

Keep the Indoor Temperatures Cool

Even though it may be tempting to turn off fans or the AC before you leave for work to save on electric bills, your cats will thank you for leaving it on. If you would be uncomfortable with the temperatures, then your cats are probably uncomfortable as well.

Keep fans on and accessible and close the curtains. If your home is still too warm, consider buying a cooling pad for their pet bed.

Provide Shaded Areas for Outdoor Cats (Or Bring Them Inside)

If your cats are primarily outdoor cats, keep an especially close eye on them in these high temperatures. Placing chairs or a blanket under a tree or in a shaded spot in your yard will provide them with a cooler place to lay.

If the temperatures are too high, like the crazy heat we saw this past week, consider bringing them inside, at least during the warmest times of the day.

a cat keeping cool in the shade of a bush

Use Ice Cubes as a Cool Treat and a Fun Toy

Ice cubes are a great tool to keep your cats cool on hot days! Placing a few in their water bowls can keep the water cooler for longer, and freezing water with some tuna brine can make for a great, cool treat.

Ice cubes also make great toys. If you drop a few of them on your tile or hardwood floors, your cat will have a ton of fun kicking and chasing it around, while also keeping their paws cold.

Protect Your Cat From Sunburn with Pet Sunscreen

Like I mentioned earlier, cats are susceptible to sunburn, especially around their ears and nose, You can buy cat-safe sunscreen and apply it to their sensitive, hairless areas to keep the skin from blistering.

Never Leave Your Cat Inside the Car

Whatever the temperature outside, a closed car in the summer will be even hotter than that, reaching well over 100 degrees. Never, ever leave your cat inside a car, even for a few minutes. 

How have you been keeping your cat cool this summer?

3 Replies to “Protecting Your Cat From the Summer Heat”

  1. Great post. I keep all my cats inside where it is air conditioned.

    1. Curly Cat Lady says: Reply

      Thank you! And I’m sure they appreciate the cool air!

  2. Great post! I had no idea cats could get sunburns.

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