Help Your Cat Beat the Heat This Summer!

Help Your Cat Beat the Heat This Summer!

Summer might just be my favorite season and I’m probably not alone. It’s the best time of year for me to enjoy all sorts of fun outdoor activities. While cats tend to tolerate the heat a little better than dogs, and even prefer it (we’ve all seen a cat stretched out on a sunny windowsill), that doesn’t mean that you should forget about feline heat risks this summer!

1. Never leave your kitty in the car
This may apply more to the canines, but if you have a vet appointment for your furry feline and decide to make a quick stop at the supermarket-- think again! It can take minutes – yes, MINUTES – for a pet to develop heat stroke and suffocate in a car. Most people don’t realize how hot it gets in parked cars. On a 78 degree day, for instance, temperatures in a car can reach 90 degrees in the shade and top 160 degrees if parked directly in the sun (Check out Dr. Ernie Ward's video to see for yourself)! Your best bet is to leave your pet home on warm days.

2. Keep your cat's water cool and fresh
Our cats get much thirstier than we do when they get hot, and other than drinking, they really have no way to cool themselves down, so be sure their water is always fresh. You can keep it cool by adding a couple of ice cubes as well.

To learn more about creative ways to get your cat to drink more water, click here >>

3. Try whipping up some 'catsicles'!
Some what-sicles? CAT-sicles- popsicles for cats! Our former Editor-in-Chief, Jane Harrell, came up with a great recipe to help her two longhaired cats beat the heat! What you'll need:

  • 10-ounce plastic cups
  • 5.5 ounce can of your cat's favorite wet food (smooth)
  • Catnip and/or soft treats (optional)
  • 1 small square of Saran Wrap

Once you have everything ready, start mixing your ingredients (if you decided to use treats as well, the mixture should look a lot of like cookie-dough). After you've mixed everything, fill the plastic cups about 1/4-1/2 an inch and flatten the mixture by stacking the cups. Place Saran Wrap over the top cup to avoid freezer burn and freeze overnight. The next morning, run the bottom cup under warm water until you can pull it off of the stack and pop out the mixture which should now be a nice, round catsicle! Place it in a deep bowl (to avoid messes) and let it stand until the outside starts to "sweat". Finally give the cool treat to your feline! Watch the video below to see how my crazy kitties enjoyed them!

4. Make sure they have a cool place to sit
While indoor cats have plenty of shade options, they love to sunbathe and direct sunlight can overheat them and cause heat stroke. Another idea is to give them a cool place to sit, kind of like a reverse heating pad. Freeze a water bottle, wrap it up (so it doesn't stick to their hair/skin), and place it under a lightweight blanket or towel in one of their favorite places to sit.

5. Open up some windows
Knowing cats love windowsills, always make sure your screens are fully secured before opening a window. You may want your house to be ventilated, but you definitely do not want your kitty to fall out!

6. Believe it or not, cats can sunburn!
Just like for people, sunburns can be painful for a cat and overexposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer. Most cats have hair that protects them from sun damage. However, hairless cats, like the Sphynx, are highly susceptible to sunburns, especially in areas like the ears, nose, lips, eyelids and belly. Talk to your veterinarian about sunscreens for your kitty (don’t assume a sunscreen for people is appropriate for your cat).

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Help Your Cat Beat the Heat This Summer! - pets

Summer is in full swing, and temperatures are heating up nationwide. We know that as a responsible pet parent, you want to do everything you can to keep your best four-legged friends cool. So when you look at your furry dog or long-haired cat wearing a thick, fluffy coat, you might feel tempted to break out your grooming tools and give him a serious buzz cut.

Hold those clippers!

While you or I would hate to sport multiple layers in 100-degree weather, your pets’ fur coats are actually providing them with heat relief. Acting like insulation, a dog’s coat keeps him from getting too cold in the winter, but also keeps him from overheating in the summer.

Our pets’ coats have several layers that are essential to their comfort in the heat. Robbing your dog or cat of this natural cooling system can lead to discomfort, overheating and other serious dangers like sunburn or skin cancer.

So what can you do?

Don’t feel frightened about grooming your pet. It is ok to give your long-haired dog or cat a “summer cut”—trimming their long hair may make it more manageable. However, it is best to allow a professional groomer to perform the haircutting, and never shave down to the skin or try to cut the hair yourself with scissors.

If you prefer not to cut your pet’s hair, that’s fine. Dogs with thick coats naturally shed, so they have lighter coats in the summer. Remember to regularly brush your dog’s fur and bathe them frequently, as clean, brushed fur allows for better air circulation.

Pet parents should also remember to provide a shady area when taking your pet outside, and to provide plenty of water during hot days—hydration is key! For more important information on summer pet care, check out the ASPCA’s Hot-Weather Safety Tips.

How to Cool Your Cat Down in the Summer

Last Updated: February 8, 2021 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 23 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status.

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A cat that becomes overheated in summer can suffer from dehydration, heatstroke, and shock. Unlike people, cats don't sweat and therefore it can be a struggle for them to keep cool when summer temperatures start to climb. A cat's main methods of cooling off include staying out of the sun, being inactive, drinking water, and panting. None of these methods are too effective and a cat that is stuck in a roasting house or car without a means of escape will become overheated and at risk of heat stroke. [1] X Research source Nelson, R, and Couto, G, (2013), Small Animal Internal Medicine, ISBN 978-0323086820 But there are several things that you can do to help your cat cool down in the summer so that he or she will be healthy and happy.

How To Help A Cat In Heat

It is hard for a cat when she is in heat and much harder for her owner to calm her down. The main signs of a cat in heat consists of mostly wailing and an act that the female cat might run away with male cats. This behavior of a cat can be unsettling for you. Nevertheless, it is a normal and natural activity for your cat to behave in this way. Howbeit, if it is too much to handle, seek a long-run fix. This act is going to be repeated until your cat is spayed. It happens with cats who are older than 5-6 months. Heat can last up to a week and can repeat in the near future. So, finding long-term remedies can help you and your cat to get relief.

Here are some such approaches you should opt for:

1) Check for the signs

Make sure that some acts of your cat actually means that she is in heat and not just sick. For example, the symptoms like rubbing against people and objects, rolling on the floor, and mostly yowling. Cats are likely to experience heat between late summer and spring. If you are not able to decide, at the end visit a vet to find out what’s going on with her.

2) Give her love and attention

Play with your cat at this time and give her attention. This is the most important and effective way to calm your cat. Let her sit on your lap and brush or pet her. Your love will help her calm down and also helps to minimize her stress. The main deal is to distract her from the mating. Sometimes, just being near you can keep her calm. Cat toys usually help to keep her mind off.

3) Keep her warm and fuzzy

Provide your cat the ideal temperature with something warm to sit on, this will help her the most. You can provide her something warm to sit on which can be a wet towel or heat pad. It also helps to keep her still. Also, an electric heat pad and blanket can work for your cat. Clean her litter and keep the scent mark away to avoid her from going crazy.

4) Make sure, your cat stays away from male cats

Do not allow your cat to go out while she is in the heat to prevent cat pregnancy. Keep her calm and prevent her from going out as it will result in mating with male cats. She will try and escape if she finds out the presence of any male cat nearby and can even attract it towards her. So, it will be a proper way to put on the blinders and shut down the doors and windows to protect her from mating.

5) Look for herbal solutions

Buy some small samples of different herbal remedies for your cat and see to it which works best for her. Find the product which works for your cat and start using it on her.

Once you are sure about the best one for your cat, buy a larger amount of it. Note that Herbal should only be taken after consulting a vet. Avoid using any human medications. Due to a higher dose, it might end up harming your cat.

6) Spay Your Cat

Give your cat a permanent solution to prevent her from the heat by spaying. The process involves removing her ovaries and uterus which will prevent unnecessary heat and unwanted litters in the long run.

Spaying your pets can also reduce the chance of cancer and other diseases. Furthermore, there is a little chance that your cat can still get into heat even after the surgery. If it occurs, consult your vet immediately.

7) Use Feliway

You can be familiar with the term Feliway. This product is exactly like a chemical that the cat secretes through its glands on its face when they are feeling calm and want to communicate with other cats in a nearby location. Feliway works to calm cats down and help them to relieve stress and anxiety. Thus, it helps the cat to feel peaceful at the time of heat.

8) Use catnip only if it calms your cat down

Catnip is a herb of the mint family. Some cats calm down and relax when given catnip but other cats react in a totally opposite way. It can cause some cats to become aggressive and energetic. Remember, this may also make the situation worse for some cats. So, it is necessary to note whether it is working for your cat or not. If it does, it’s great for you!

Above all, remember that heat in cats is a natural process and you can not do anything about it but to keep patience. It is easy to get frustrated but with these helpful tips, everything can get sorted out for some time.

Protecting your Pets

While your dog may not spend hours outside during an intense heatwave, many of these rules still apply. But one element that will affect a dog more than other animals is hot pavement. The asphalt's temperature can reach temperatures much higher than the air and burn your pet's paws. To tell if the pavement is too hot, place the back of your hand on the ground. If it's too hot for your hand, it's too hot for your dog.

"It’s best to stay away from cement pathways as much as possible," Aly DelaCoeur, an animal behaviorist and veterinary assistant in Seattle, told "But avoiding the cement doesn’t have to mean shying away from exercise."

Vets recommend that you walk your dog in the early morning or late evening hours and on grass as much as possible. If you live in an urban area with little access to green space, you may want to invest in booties to cover your dog's paws. While it may take them a while to adjust to wearing shoes, it can help prevent damage.

During the summer, periodically check your dog's paws for burns or dry, cracked skin. If they appear damaged, apply an ointment made just for dogs.

The same rules apply for cats. "If the cat is primarily an outdoor cat, though, then she has learned what surfaces get hot and not to walk on them," said DelaCoeur. Still, you will want to check their paws.

As always if the temperature is too high, it's best to keep your pets indoors as much as possible and provide lots of water.

Watch the video: Beating The Summer Heat At Big Cat Rescue