It’s summertime, and while we’re enjoying the sunshine and long days, it’s also a time to remember that warmer temperatures can affect our pets. As temperatures rise, we need to make sure our cats are not only happy and cool, but safe!
How hot is too hot for our feline friends? Cats can handle heat much better than dogs, however they can suffer from heatstroke and overheating just like us. Maintaining an indoor temperature of 75°F, providing plenty of shade, and access to water are the keys to keeping your feline(s) safe and comfortable all summer long.
If you have a long-hair breed or an overweight cat, their body temperature will likely rise much quicker than others. Ideally, keeping your home cool with air conditioning and fans is the best method for keeping the air moving and the temperatures down.
Here are a few more ways to keep your cats cool this summer:
● Close curtains or window blinds during the warmest part of the day (typically 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) to eliminate direct sunshine and excess heat.
● Leave fresh water in multiple locations around your home and garden (if you have outdoor pets).
● Provide box fans to keep air moving throughout their space.
● Keep tile or wood floors uncovered to provide a cool place to nap.
● A cooling bed offers your pet a place to relax and bring his/her body temperature down.
● Keep your cat well groomed, removing excess hair.
● Elevate the cat bed to a space with circulating air.
● Place two to three ice cubes in the water bowl a few times throughout the day. Or, make a popsicle for your cat by blending tuna (that has been packed in water) with equal parts water. Put in an ice cube tray and freeze. Not only is this refreshing, it will make you a hero to your cat!
● Use a cool, wet washcloth to stroke your cat’s back and neck if they will allow it.
● Keep playtime to early morning and evening.
● Outdoor, light-colored cats can get sunburnt. Apply pet-friendly sunblock to noses, ears, and areas with sparse fur and/or provide a shady indoor space during peak sunshine hours.
● Create a cool retreat by filling a cardboard box with cotton towels and a few frozen water bottles placed inside. Your cat will love it!
If your pet shows signs of overheating (panting, vomiting, diarrhea, unsteadiness, trouble breathing, trembling, drooling, or pale gums), get them to your veterinarian or emergency clinic right away.
In addition to protecting our pets during the summer heat, they may also need a little extra TLC during Fourth of July celebrations. The biggest day for pet disappearances is July 4th due to panicked, scared animals running away in response to the loud noises and bursts of light that fill the nighttime air. Our best advice for fireworks is to create a calm, safe space indoors for your cat. If possible, close the windows and curtains and play soothing music to counteract the booming sounds. Creating this secure space in advance could avoid unnecessary stress and save you and your cat from a panicked situation.
By taking just a few of these steps this summer, your cat will thrive and be very grateful. We wish you a wonderful summer and hope Catalyst Pet can help you make great choices in protecting your pets by keeping them happy, safe, and healthy all summer long!