The sun is out and the temperatures are up, while we are enjoying the sunshine it is important to we remember to keep our cats comfortable as well. During the summer months, cats are just as at risk of dehydration and heatstroke as the rest of us. These are serious conditions that can lead to illness and even death. Here are some steps on how to cool a cat down and how to keep a cat cool in hot weather.
How to keep cats cool in the summer
- Grooming is important, especially for longhaired animals. A tangle-free coat will protect your pet’s delicate skin and keep them cool. Some animals may need their coats trimming – seek advice from a professional groomer.
- Ensure your cat has access to fresh water and shaded areas at all times, if you cat is outdoors, leave a bowl of water outside for them as well to help encourage them to drink.
- Pale-coloured cats are vulnerable to sunburn; particularly on their ears, noses and sparsely haired areas. Like in humans, sun burn can lead sometimes lead to skin cancer. The best prevention is to keep your cat indoors when the sun is strongest, between 11.00am and 3.00pm. Alternatively, cover vulnerable areas or regularly apply a non-toxic waterproof human sunblock or a product specifically for pets. If you notice any blistering or scabbing in these areas than please ensure your cat visits the vet to be checked over.
- Windows can become more an issue in the summer months as we tend to keep them open more, this can lead to curious kittens and cat being more adventurous at potentially falling from heights. Screens across windows when they are open to prevent the cats getting out via this route.
- If your cat has a favourite place to sleep than considering buying a cooling mat to add this area. Cooling mats contain a pet safe gel which creates a cooling effect when the animal lays on it.
- The risk of cats getting shut in sheds, greenhouses and garages increases in the summer as cats spend more time out and about. If your cat goes missing it is worth asking your neighbours to check for you incase they have snuck in.
- Make them extra special treats, we all know cats love fish, so why not make them tuna ice cubes to cool down. Simply pour tuna in spring water into ice cube trays and place in the freezer to freeze. Pets should always be supervised when eating ice cubes.
- Use a damp towel to cool them down. The warmest part of a cat’s body is their tummies, the pads of their paws, their armpits, under their chin and on the outside of their ears. Although most cats hate getting wet, try dampening a cloth with cool water and gently stroking your cat with it from their head and down their back.
- It’s less common for cats to travel in cars than dogs, but they are just as susceptible to the risks. If you are taking your cat to the vets never leave them in the car. Always make sure their carriers are secure, shaded and allow air to circulate. Solid plastic boxes with a secure wire mesh door are preferable.