Keeping Your Cats Cool

As we move further into July, it’s finally starting to feel like Summer could actually be arriving. June didn’t exactly knock it out the park when it came to warm sunshine, but hopefully now we can look forward to July and August bringing the heat. Whilst for us it means sunbathing, ice-creams and cold lemonades, for our cats it can be a little different.

While many cats do indeed love the summer warmth, it can also bring some issues to their behaviour and health, so here’s some ways to keep an eye on your cat during the hottest weather over the next few weeks. It’s no secret that really warm temperatures can have negative impacts on us humans; struggling to get to sleep at night, sunburn, feeling hot and bothered etc. Well, now imagine having a warm coat of fur as well!

When the weather is really hot, you’ll probably notice your cats rather sleepy (somehow even more than normal…) and likely stretched out absorbing that sun. It’s thought that while cats sleep, their metabolism drops, and sunlight actually helps deal with this decrease. However, when the temperatures start getting uncomfortably warm, it’s worth keeping an eye on your cat as that’s when they may start to struggle with keeping a healthy temperature. Hyperthermia or heatstroke occurs if they’re too hot, perhaps from falling asleep in the hot sun for an extended period of time or over exerting themselves by playing and running around.

Symptoms of cats getting too warm include a loss of appetite, panting, agitation, intense breathing, and increased heart rate. There are also more serious symptoms including dizziness, vomiting and seizures. Therefore, it’s key to ensure your cat is at a healthy temperature and feeling well. Here are a few simple steps you can take:

  1. Simply ensuring your cat has plenty of shaded spots to rest. They like to use the shade to cool down so the more spots they have in the house, the better. Try to find out if the spots they like to sleep in the most are shaded during the day, and if they’re not, perhaps using a plant or other objects to block off some sunlight affecting those areas.

  2. Keep their water bowl filled up. Cats will be getting dehydrated more when its hot, and therefore they’ll be drinking even more water. Keeping an eye on their water bowl and refilling when needed will go a long way.

  3. If your cat is particularly active and enjoys playing, try to limit and control how often you encourage it. By no means stop playing with them altogether, but instead gauge how long is enough when the weathers particularly hot.

  4. Identify your home’s ‘hot spots’. These are normally conservatories, front porches, or any windows that cause heat to focus on certain areas. Blinds can be shut to help keep the sunlight out if needed.

To summarise, cats do love the sun, but similarly to us, there’s a limit. It’s best to keep an eye on your cat to see how they’re behaving in the heat; provide them with options for cooling down and try to ensure they’re as comfortable as possible. We hope this may have helped some of you! For more information, there’s a really useful PDF that’s been produced by the RSPCA that identifies those actions can be taken, especially in emergency scenarios.

You can find this PDF by clicking the following link:


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