Summer heat can really affect a cat. It's not uncommon for them to change their behaviour almost entirely during the warmer months. However, this is completely normal, and shouldn't be a cause for concern.
Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that your kitty is comfortable throughout the hot season:
Recognising When Your Cat Is Too Hot
It's crucial that you know the key signs to look out for to avoid your cat suffering heat exhaustion. Whilst many signs can cause owners to worry, most of the time cats can be easily cooled. Moving them into the shade and giving them plenty of cold water will often be all they need to get back to normal temperature.
However, if symptoms persist it's a good idea to seek veterinary advice. Here are the signs to look out for:
- Your cat is visibly panting, similar to a dog. If this occurs when your cat is resting, it's best to seek advice from your vet immediately.
- Whilst cats are naturally prone to having regular naps, if your cat is extremely lethargic it's a good idea to take them to be medically checked.
- Cats don't vomit often, so when they do it's always best to ensure something isn't seriously wrong.
- If your cat has red gums and mouth it could be a sign that they're severely overheated.
- Often, cats will make strange noises when they're too hot. If your cat's meow sounds abnormal, bring them to see a vet right away.
For Indoor Cats
Indoor cats are easily affected by an increase in temperature, especially since indoor environments are often naturally warmer than outdoors. This can be especially true if you live in an apartment, where there is less ventilation and often less living space.
Here are a few tips to help your cat feel more comfortable indoors during the summer months:
- Ensure cold, fresh water is always available. If your cat is a fussy drinker, it may be worth buying a cat fountain, as some cats prefer to drink flowing water. Either way, it's important that they keep especially hydrated throughout the season.
- It's a good idea to keep windows open during the day - if you're worried that your feline friend could escape, consider getting them microchipped. If you live in an apartment, there are window nets available to help prevent your cat from escaping.
- Don't leave wet food out all day, as this will encourage flies to enter your home. During the summer months especially, pet bowls can quickly become breeding grounds for all sorts of critters!
- By keeping your cat well groomed, you'll get rid of any unnecessary fur that may be increasing their body temperature.
- Consider buying a fan for your home, as this will maintain a constant airflow.
- You might want to keep blinds and curtains closed throughout the day. This well help keep your home cool, especially if windows are south facing.
- Play with your cat at the end of the day when it will be cooler. If you exercise them when it's cooler, it'll help stop them overheating, and will also use up any extra energy shortly before bed.
For Outdoor Cats
Keeping your garden cat-friendly during the summer is especially important. Summer activities can have a profound impact on our pets, but the changing environment of our outdoor areas can pose a number of threats too!
Follow these tips to ensure your feline is both happy and safe outdoors:
- Make sure that your cat has plenty of shady spots outside.
- Whist certain plants can provide shade, lots of plants are toxic to cats. Here's our guide to the most common toxic plants in UK gardens.
- Consider applying sunscreen to your cat's nose and the tips of their ears. Cats with pale/white fur are particularly susceptible to skin cancer.
- Slug pellets, fertilisers and weed killers can be extremely harmful to cats. Always check labels of any garden products before using them when pets are around. Here are some other common hazards that we're all guilty of using in our gardens.
- If you'd like to take your cat outside but are worried that they'll escape, why not consider buying a cat tent? This will allow them to enjoy the fresh air whilst removing the risk of escape.
- Cats like to hide away and explore, so check your cat isn't locked inside any sheds/garages before locking up for the day.
- Pack away any garden tools to avoid your kitty hurting their paws, and ensure your BBQ has fully cooled after use before leaving unattended.
A Final Reminder!
One thing we have to stress is the importance of not leaving any animal inside a warm vehicle, as this can cause asphyxiation, as well as emotional and physical distress. If you do see a pet trapped inside a hot car, here's what we recommend you do.
Do you require summer pet care? Perhaps Tailster can help! We've got a range of fully vetted carers across the UK, available to tend to your pet care requirements as and when you need. For more information on our full service, click here.