Keeping Fluffy Cool In Summer

With the arrival of warmer weather, it’s important people owned by cats to be mindful of their furry overlords’ well-being and take necessary steps to shield them from the heat. Kitties are especially prone to becoming overheated. Fluffy can’t control her body temperature very well: panting doesn’t work for her, and her only way of releasing heat is through her paw pads. On top of that, she is wearing a fur coat! Keep reading for some important tips from a Ludington, MI veterinarian on how to protect your beloved cat from the risks of heat stroke.

How Can You Tell If A Cat Is Overheating?

Fluffy can’t tell you if she’s getting too hot, so you’ll need to keep an eye on her during those sweltering summer days. Kitties can be secretive about letting on when they don’t feel well, so knowing how to recognize those indicators is essential.

Panting: Cats usually don’t pant, so if you happen to see a cat panting, it’s definitely something to be worried about.

Confusion: Fluffy might display signs of confusion, appearing disoriented and distressed. Her movements may seem a bit unsteady, and she may trip or lose balance while walking.

Lethargy: kitties tend to spend most of their time relaxing. However, if your pet seems to have low energy, is unresponsive, or appears physically weak, it may be an indication that she is not just resting.

Drooling: It’s rare for cats to drool, so this is another indication that something is not right.

Restlessness: When Fluffy gets too hot, she might show signs of restlessness by pacing or constantly moving around. She may also seem restless or agitated.

Respiratory Distress: Your pet might exhibit difficulty breathing. When cats get too hot, they may have trouble breathing because of respiratory distress. Your pet’s breathing may seem shallow, gasping, or otherwise abnormal.

Vomiting: As we all know, the occasional hairball is purr for the course with kitties. However, when vomiting or diarrhea occurs alongside other symptoms, it could be a sign of heat stress. 

Unusual Meowing: Uncommon vocalizations are another cause for concern. Although some kitties are more talkative than others, most kitties have a standard voice or meow pattern. When cats feel hot or distressed, they might vocalize their discomfort by meowing urgently and in a distressed manner. Fluffy’s voice may also sound dry or cracked.

Other significant indicators include a red tongue, discolored gums, muscle tremors, seizures, collapsing, decreased urine production, and coma.

If you observe any of these signs, contact your Ludington, MI veterinarian or the nearest emergency clinic immediately.

What Temperature Is Too High for Kitties?

Usually, when the temperature goes above 80F (or 26C), it starts to feel uncomfortably warm for Fluffy. Once the temperature climbs above 90F (32C), it starts to feel uncomfortably hot. And if it goes beyond 100F (38C), it reaches a dangerously high level.

How Can I Help My Feline Friend Stay Cool When It’s Hot Outside?

Let’s be fair; dogs actually have a wider range of choices in this situation. When Fido starts feeling warm, there are a few ways you can help him cool down. Taking him for a swim, letting him have some fun in a kiddie pool, or allowing him to play in the refreshing spray from a hose are all great options. Clearly, none of these choices are suitable for cats. If you want to keep your furry friend cool, it’s worth exploring some alternative options.

Here are a few choices:

Keep Fluffy Hydrated

Ensuring that your cat always has sufficient water is absolutely crucial. Having extra water bowls on hand is a smart move, especially if you have multiple cats or if your home has multiple levels. When it’s scorching outside, simply add an ice cube to your cat’s water bowl. Moreover, you might want to consider providing your cat with the opportunity to drink from a kitty fountain.

Comfy Napping Spots

kitties have a remarkable talent for finding the most comfortable spots to curl up and rest. Ensure that your cat can freely access rooms that are cooled by fans or air conditioners, and let her find her spot. You may very well find Fluffy relaxing on the cool kitchen or bathroom tiles, or maybe even hiding out in the basement. Tile floors naturally stay cool, so our feline pals often like to sprawl out on these surfaces.

Kitty Hammock

Consider getting your furry friend a hammock or raised bed. You can easily make your own by attaching a piece of fabric to the legs of a table. These beds allow air to flow underneath them, so they naturally stay cool.

Brush Your Cat

Regularly grooming your cat can also be beneficial. Our furry pals are usually very meticulous when it comes to grooming themselves. That doesn’t mean that Fluffy won’t benefit from a little help, though. Regularly brushing kitties gets rid of dead fur, dust, and dander, all of which cause itchiness and discomfort and interfere with their fur’s insulative qualities.

Ice Cube Hockey

Does your cat seem to have fun batting ice cubes around? This will not only provide your cat with enjoyment, but it’s also an excellent method to help her stay cool. Kittens rely on their cute little paw pads to help maintain their body temperature.

Give Your Furball A Cooling Mat

Many pet shops sell products designed for this purpose. Another idea is to keep a few towels in the freezer and then put them on Fluffy’s bed.

Frosty Feline Treats

A cool treat on a hot day is irresistible for both people and cats. Here are a few choices you can offer for your cherished pet:

  • Mix plain, fat-free yogurt with your choice of canned or shredded tuna, chicken, turkey, crabmeat, or fish and store in the freezer. (Tip: You can use bottle caps to measure it into small portions.)
  • Keep your cat’s canned food in the fridge.
  • Provide Fluffy with a bowl of sodium-free broth. This is an excellent option for staying hydrated, as it is packed with electrolytes.
  • Divide the canned cat food into portions and place them in the freezer. (Tip: Adding water to pate formula foods can help create a smoother texture.)
  • Drizzle of tuna or salmon juice over crushed or shaved ice.

What Should I Do If I Think My Feline Friend Is Too Hot?

As soon as you think your cat is getting too hot, you need to take action. Making sure your pet receives proper veterinary care is crucial, but first you’ll need to help Fluffy cool down. Do not put her in cold water, as this may potentially induce a state of shock. One option is to hold her in front of a freezer. Another possibility is to place her in front of a fan and mist her with water. Call your vet for assistance and do everything they say.

In conclusion, cats may find it challenging to cope with the high temperatures of summer. Taking a few simple precautions, such as providing water and making sure your pet can access cool rooms, can keep your pet safe and comfortable in that summer heat.

Book an Appointment with a Ludington, MI Veterinarian 

Are you seeking any guidance or assistance regarding your feline companion’s well-being or maintenance? Is your cat due for a check-up? Contact us immediately at our Ludington, MI pet clinic!

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