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This is How to Keep Cats Cool Throughout The Summer, According to Experts

Plus, how to tell if your cat is overheating

Summer health and safety is important — not only for humans, but for pets too! Just as we have to be careful to protect ourselves and manage climbing temperatures and sun exposure, so too should we be equipping our furry companions to have a stress-free summer. Since dogs are outdoors so often, there is a lot of conversation around the best ways to keep them hydrated and regulate their temperatures. But, we should be thinking about our feline friends in the warmer months as well! We asked experts for their recommendations to keep cats cool all summer long!

Why do cats need to be kept cool?

It’s true that cats can withstand warmer temperatures than humans and dogs as they have a higher comfort zone. However, experts confirm that there is such a thing as too warm of an environment for cats, and they are just as much at risk of heat-related illnesses such as dehydration, respiratory and cardiovascular distress and heat stroke if they are exposed to high heat for extended periods of time.

How to know when your cat is feeling too hot

Being a cat parent means it’s our responsibility to monitor kitty’s mannerisms and observe whether they are showing signs of distress in the heat.

“Signs of overheating include excessive panting, restlessness, rapid or open-mouth breathing, lethargy, seeking shade, red or pale gums, vomiting or diarrhea and collapse,” explains Dr. Denton. “If you notice these symptoms, move your cat to a cooler area, offer water, cool them gradually with damp cloths (do not use ice cold water as it can worsen heatstroke), and contact a veterinarian immediately.”

Dr. Delgado recommends warm water and applying it to your cat’s body in small amounts if they are suffering from the heat. She adds that overweight and older cats or brachycephalic (short-faced) breeds such as Persians are at higher risk of these issues.

How to keep cats cool in the summer

Methods that might work for dogs, like getting them wet to cool them off, will most likely be more stressful and scary than refreshing for cats who don’t enjoy water. Whether your cat is always kept indoors or they sometimes lounge and play outside, there are other options to protect them from extreme heat.

Dwight Andrew Alleyne, DVM, Veterinarian Expert at JustAnswer, says cats inside the home should have access to areas that are kept cool and well-ventilated with air conditioning or fans.

“Provide shaded areas with curtains or blinds and access to cool surfaces like tile floors,” says Dr. Gabre Denton, Pet Trainer and Veterinarian with TeachMe.To. “Cooling mats and regular grooming can also help.”

Black and white cat drinking water from cat fountain
Getty

Cats can adequately bathe themselves and giving them baths can be more harmful than beneficial, but you should keep up with their skin and coat care by brushing them often, says the team at VCA Animal Hospitals. This can help lessen the amount of hair and dander in the atmosphere, and will keep your cat’s coat light and airy in the heat.

If your cat is outside in any capacity, they should always have access to shelter and shade, says Dr. Mikel (Maria) Delgado PhD, Cat Behavior Expert with Rover. Any time your cat is hanging out outside, they should have constant access to come inside at any time, she adds, cautioning against using locked cat door flaps.

“Bring your cats indoors when extreme weather is in the forecast,” Dr. Delgado says. “Cats should also have ready access to water bowls and fountains. When it’s really hot you can provide your cat with a towel wrapped around an ice pack and give them the choice to lay on it if they want to.”

Jae Kennedy, one half of Two Crazy Cat Ladies, suggests all of these tips as well as adding some ice to your kitty’s water.

Watch her quick and informative TikTok video below:

@twocrazycatladies

Cat Tip of the Day: How Do You Keep Your Kitty Cool? #coolcat #cattips101

♬ original sound – Two Crazy Cat Ladies

You can also try frozen cat treats by either creating your own recipe with cat-friendly ingredients, or simply taking your cat’s favorite liquid or puree and freezing some!

See how cat mom Karly helped cool her kitties down this way:

@eye.karly

I got these molds from amazon! They were inexpensive and super cute. #openfarmpet #openfarm #cats #catfood #fyp #foryou #frozencattreat #foryoupage #catvideo #feedmycats #catmom #catlife #catnutrition #petnutrition

♬ original sound – karly & the kitties 🐈‍⬛🌿

Click through for more ways to keep your cat safe, happy and healthy!

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