Protect your cat from heat stroke

Summer is finally here, but with rising temperatures, our cats can be affected and feel unwell, even suffering from heat stroke. Look out for symptoms such as your cat panting or becoming anxious and wobbly. Here you will get tips on how to help cats on hot days.

Kitten in arms of a girl

Most cats like the heat and normally adapt to the temperature, that is, they take it easy in the shade during the day and become more active in the evening and during the night. If the cat moves freely outdoors, it probably seeks shade. But if a cat suffers from heatstroke, it can be life-threatening.

Here’s how to protect your cat against heat stroke

As temperatures rise, it’s crucial to take proactive measures to protect your beloved cat from the dangers of heatstroke. Cats are highly susceptible to heat-related illnesses, and it’s our responsibility as pet owners to ensure their well-being during hot weather. Here’s how you protect your cat to keep them cool and comfortable.

1. Provide Access to Fresh Water

Place multiple water bowls both inside and outside your home to ensure your cat stays hydrated. Regularly replenish the water to keep it fresh and cool. Add ice cubes to the water bowls to provide a refreshing touch.

2. Maximize Ventilation

Create a well-ventilated environment for your cat by utilizing safe measures such as screened windows and balconies. This circulates fresh air, keeping the indoor space cool and comfortable. Ensure that screens are secure and free of any gaps that could pose a potential escape risk.

3. Cool Areas for Relief

Leave the door open to cooler areas of your home, such as the bathroom, where tiled floors often retain a refreshing coolness. This gives your cat the opportunity to seek relief from the heat whenever necessary.

4. Provide Access to Cooler Spaces

Install a cat flap or provide an access opening for your feline companion to enter a cooler part of the house, like a basement or a room with air conditioning. This gives them the freedom to escape the sweltering heat and find comfort in a cooler environment.

5. Recognize Warning Signs

Immediately take action if your cat shows signs of distress, such as excessive panting, lethargy, or hissing. Bring your cat indoors to a cool area and soothe them with the help of cool, wet bath towels. Gently apply the towels to their fur, particularly focusing on their head, neck, and paw pads to help lower their body temperature.

6. Consult a Veterinarian

If you suspect heatstroke or notice a significant decline in your cat’s overall condition, it’s crucial to seek professional veterinary assistance promptly. Heatstroke can be a life-threatening emergency, and the expertise of a veterinarian is crucial in diagnosing and providing appropriate treatment.

7. Never Leave Your Cat in the Car

Under no circumstances should you leave your cat in a parked car, even if it’s shaded. The temperature inside a vehicle can skyrocket within minutes, leading to potentially fatal consequences. Always prioritize your cat’s safety and bring them with you or arrange for appropriate care if you need to leave your vehicle.

Symptoms of heat stroke

The cat can have several different symptoms of heat stroke, such as panting, red, dry mucous membranes, restlessness, lethargy, increased salivation, vomiting and diarrhoea. Heatstroke can lead to collapse. If you suspect your cat has suffered from heat stroke, take the cat somewhere it can be cooled down.

Give the cat shade and coolness

Indoor cats seek out shady rooms, preferably with ventilation from open windows and balcony doors, which are fenced. Cats often like to lie in the bathroom, where the floor is often cool or in the room where the sun shines for the shortest time. If you have a fan or AC, it is another great way to keep your cat cool. If possible, dip the cat in water (avoid ice-cold water) but be careful. Alternatively, spray or soak the coat and skin with water. Contact a veterinarian urgently, as heat stroke is life-threatening for a cat and requires veterinary care.