It can be a challenge to keep your cat cool as temperatures start to climb over summer. They’re not like dogs: they won’t thank you if you turn the hose on them or try to dunk them in a bath. They also won’t be interested in going for a swim down at the beach or in a local river. So we’ve put together a few ideas to help them avoid overheating as the sun gets higher in the sky.
Obviously, the easiest way to keep them cool is to keep them out of the heat. Consider keeping your cat indoors on the really hot days. That way you’ll know that they’re safe, have access to water at all times and can find cool, shady areas. Giving their coat a regular brush can also help – especially for longhaired breeds if their hair is tangled or matted.
Keeping your cat hydrated is essential in the hotter months. Make sure their water dish is always in the shade, keep it topped up during the day and when the mercury crosses 30ºC, drop in a few ice cubes two or three times a day. If they are allowed outside, they should have shaded water bowls for both inside and outside your home.
Even though it’s hot, your cat will probably want to roost in one of its regular spots. You’ll help them a lot if you make sure that spot is shielded from direct sun, as well as directing a fan or the air conditioning into that area.
As well as cooling their regular spots, you’ll help your cat a lot if you can give them access to areas of your home that are non-carpeted and in the shade. Cold tiles and hardwood floors can all be great places for your cat to stretch out and cool down.
Once the sun goes down and the temperature starts to drop, you can also open a few windows to let in a cool breeze. But if your cat is indoor only, or the windows are above ground floor, make sure any open window has a screen and that those screens are securely fixed in place.
A fun way to drop their temperature is to make them a Cat Food icy pole. Take their normal wet food, or mix their dry food with water, and freeze it overnight in a plastic cup. Then pop it out of the cup in the morning and place it in their food bowl so they can slowly snack on it during the day.
If your cat shows signs of overheating like panting heavily, muscle tremors or dizziness try cooling them down by wetting their feet or wiping down their coat with a damp towel. If this doesn’t help, contact your vet straight away.
There’s one more thing to think about on hot days, and that’s snakes. As the days begin to heat up, snakes come out of hiding to bask in the sun and warm themselves up. Curious cats can get themselves into a bit of trouble if they allowed to roam free in snake season, so if snakes are common near you, consider keeping them indoors.