Hot weather is a challenge not only for people, but also for pets. When the ambient temperature rises, pets may feel uncomfortable. This is especially true for kittens, elderly cats, and individuals with chronic heart disease or excessive body weight. Excessive temperature rise negatively affects pregnant cats. Let’s understand how to help a cat cope with the heat.
Is it hot for cats in summer?
Furry pets feel the hot weather not quite the same way as humans do. This is due to the specific location of the receptors responsible for the perception of heat and cold. Warmth processes in cats are different. In warm weather, an animal with a standard body temperature of 101-102°F sweats very little. To cool the body, cats try to give heat to the outside environment: lying down on a cold surface, hiding in the shade.
Adult cats and kittens older than four months feel well indoors with normal humidity and a temperature no higher than 77°F. When a cat is hot, it becomes sedentary, refuses to eat, lies on its side or back a lot and its breathing becomes heavy and rapid. Heatstroke can be indicated by severe shortness of breath and an increase in body temperature of up to 105°F.
Prolonged overheating can lead to unpleasant consequences:
- hyperthermia, dehydration;
- exacerbation of chronic diseases;
- breathing problems;
- lethargy, lethargy, seizures.
What cats have the worst hot weather tolerance?
Cats with flat muzzles – Persians, British, exotics – have the hardest time. Because of their physiologically modified upper airways they find it more difficult to breathe, so they overheat more often.
Sphinxes and other cats without fur can get sunburn from prolonged exposure to the sun. Lack of fur also increases the likelihood of heat stroke because they lack a layer that regulates heat exchange.
How to help a cat survive the hot summer?
To make the cat feel comfortable in the apartment during the summer heat, try to create the most suitable atmosphere in the room. Make sure the room is cool. An air conditioner or fans may help. It is best to turn them on periodically, so that the pet will not be blown away.
Ventilate the room regularly, opening windows to let fresh air in. During peak sunlight, close the curtains so that less sunlight gets in. If possible, humidify the air in the room, for example with a special device. Wet sheets will also work-just hang them in different parts of the house, such as on doors and windows. Use a sprayer, it also does a good job.
It’s good if the house has a place where the cat can hide from the heat during the day. Some four-legged animals choose to do this in the bathroom – a tiled floor doesn’t get as hot and it’s cool to lie on.
Water and food
Make sure the cat always has easy access to drinking water. Place drinking bowls in different parts of the house and fill them regularly. If you’re at work all day, stock up on water for the day or get an automatic drinker. Add ice cubes to the water to keep it cooler for longer.
How can you help your cat survive the summer heat if he refuses to drink water? Make your cat an ice cream: freeze some low-fat chicken stock and serve the tasty ice to the cat. In sultry weather, such a treat will please the domestic predator. You can also add a few drops of catnip or valerian.
Add wet food to the cat’s diet. There is enough moisture in jellies and canned foods to saturate your pet’s body with the moisture it needs. Move feeding time to the evening hours when temperatures drop. If the pet refuses food, do not insist, but make sure he drinks enough water.
For natural-fed animals, it is better to exclude heavy foods and cereals. Replace beef with rabbit, turkey or chicken. Remove bowls immediately after the cat has eaten, since leftovers can spoil and cause poisoning. The same goes for ready-made foods: they oxidize and dry out very quickly in the heat.
Can I get my cat wet with water in the warm weather?
It is not a good idea to give your cat a full immersion bath. First of all, not all cats perceive water procedures positively. Secondly, the wet coat becomes dense and this creates a greenhouse effect – the cat may overheat. The best thing is to put a basin with cool water in your room and put your pet’s paws there from time to time.
If the cat is afraid of water, you can wet a terry towel and put it on the floor where it will not be exposed to the sun. If the pet gets hot, he can lie down on it. You can also cool the cat down by wrapping it in a damp cloth.
How to help your cat survive the heat in the apartment:
- Periodically wet his paw pads and ears with cool water;
- from time to time place a wet cloth on the cat’s head (between the ears);
- comb the cat’s hair daily – this will improve thermoregulation;
- Turn on the water in the bath to allow the cat to urinate or wash;
- Protect the cat from drafts and sudden changes in temperature to prevent him from getting sick.
If you notice that the cat has fallen asleep in direct sunlight, move it somewhere else or curtain the windows. Prolonged exposure to the sun can provoke heat stroke.
How not to save your cat from the sun’s heat
If you want to help your pet, never cut his hair. Sometimes it seems that in the summer the pet is hot in a “coat”, but that is not quite true. The fact is that the fur and undercoat not only keep the cat warm, but also create an air layer, preventing overheating. It is the coat that helps the cat maintain a normal body temperature in hot weather.
A total haircut will cause more problems than good in most cases. Without hair, the cat’s body will heat up faster, which will have a negative impact on well-being. Long-haired pets can be trimmed lightly with scissors, but you should not remove the hair completely.
How to transport a cat in the extreme heat
If you need to take your cat somewhere, prepare for the trip in advance. It is not desirable to carry your cat in your arms, as it will be as hot as possible. Carry the cat in a spacious carrier, open as much as possible and with large openings for ventilation. You can put a cooling mat on the bottom of the carrier container, but it’s worth seeing how your pet reacts to it.
Do not leave your cat in a closed car, even if you go out for a few minutes. A car heats up in the heat, and this can cause heatstroke. Take plenty of clean non-carbonated water on the road and give it to the cat from time to time.