Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Purrfect 10: Ways to Help Your Cat Beat the Heat

We love reading and researching anything and everything about cats, and wanted to find a fun and unique way to share the interesting facts we learn with you! Since top 10 lists are very popular in the blogosphere, we created The Purrfect 10 as a way to present 10 educational or fascinating tidbits about a wide variety of cat-related topics, everything from health issues to cat breeds to famous felines.

How is everyone surviving the heat this summer? Last week we suffered through 6 straight days of 90 plus degree weather with the heat index making it feel over 100 degrees. This is extremely unusual weather for Vermont and Mudpie and I were both dragging in spite of having the air conditioner on practically non-stop.

Our cats suffer in the heat just as much as we do and they depend on us to find ways to keep them cool when the temperatures rise. This month's edition of The Purrfect 10 features our tips on how to do just that...

1) Hydration is key: Always have a supply of fresh water available, and change it several times a day to keep it fresh in the heat. Place several bowls around the house so your cat doesn't have to look for one when she is feeling the heat. If you are out for the day, add some ice to the water before leaving. (More tips and tricks to keep your cat properly hydrated can be found here.)

2) Give a cooling wipe down: Many cats enjoy being wiped down with a damp paper towel or washcloth. The moisture on their fur cools them off, just as their own saliva does when they groom themselves. Do this in front of a box fan or open window for added comfort.

3) Put a cold water bottle in their bed:  Partially fill a small drink bottle with water and freeze it overnight. Wrap it in a towel and place it in your cat's favorite nap spot.

4) Turn on a small fan at floor level: Place one of the above-mentioned frozen water bottles in front of the air source if you do not have air conditioning. Avoid frozen gel packs which could be toxic for your pet.

5) Raise the pet bed: If you elevate your cat's bed, air will circulate and cause a cooling effect to keep body temperature down. Placing it in a drafty room or near a fan will double the effect.

6) Provide shade: Make sure there are lots of shady areas for your cat to stretch out. Many cats will seek out cool places like basements and rooms with tile floors. Closing shades and blinds will also create a dark, cool environment, as will keeping windows shut during the hottest times of the day.

7) Splish splash, I was taking a bath... Mudpie *loves* playing in the bathtub! It's cool surface also provides a great place to hang out during the summer.

8) Brush your cat often: Removing excess fur and preventing tangles will help to keep them cool.

9) Keep exercise to a minimum: Playtime is important, but don't encourage your cat to play during the hottest time of the day. Wait until later in the evening to burn off a little excess energy.

10) Avoid car trips: Cats are just as vulnerable as dogs to the heat trapped inside a car. NEVER leave your pet in a vehicle on a hot day, even with the windows cracked.


If you suspect your cat has become overheated, check for the following symptoms of heatstroke:
  • panting/rapid breathing
  • restlessness
  • excessive grooming
  • sweaty paws
  • lethargy 
  • stumbling
  • drooling 
  • redness of the tongue and mouth
  • fever 
  • vomiting 
  • unresponsiveness
If your cat displays any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian right away.

How do you keep kitty cool during the dog days of summer?


The Swiss Cats said...

Great tips ! We like to stay in the shadow under bushes, lying on the cool ground. Purrs

Mickey's Musings said...

Pawsome tips for keeping we cats cool!
Mum has used many of these ideas.
Lucky for us, we seldom get the extreme hots where we live.
Purrs Georgia,Julie and JJ

Summer at sparklecat.com said...

These are great tips, and we did some of those during our heat wave. It's still in the 90s here, but we have low humidity and lots of A/C so it's not too bad for us.

Unknown said...

Great tips! We have plenty of shady spots, but still Paisley & Webster go for the sun puddles on hot days. :)

The Island Cats said...

Those are great tips. We're grateful that we have air conditioning, but even with that, it gets a little too warm.

Eastside Cats said...

Never thought about putting frozen water bottles in front of a fan...great idea! I worry the most about The PO'M...he's best suited to cold temps than warm. He lets me pour water on him (!) and I soak his fur so that he can get some cooling. I make sure the water is air temperature, not cold...don't want to shock my big guy!

The Menagerie Mom said...

These are such important and timely tips. Even with the a/c, some days it's simply tough to stay cool. Placing a frozen water bottle in front of a fan is such a great idea. I think pup Astrid would love this after her trips outside, too. Thank you for sharing such wonderful information with us, Mudpie and Melissa!

Pattyt2363 said...

My cat prefers outdoors but I always leave my garage door up enough for her to get inside where I keep a fan pointed towards the spot she likes to lay in. I freeze a bottle of water and put it in a large bowl of water for her and it keeps her water cool til I go home at lunch to feed her and change it out.

Patricia T said...

Great info! Thanks!

World of Animals, Inc. said...

Thanks for the great tips. Summer heat can really be a hard on the little fur babies. Hopefully this will reach a lot of pet owners to help them understand the ways that we can protect our little ones. Have a great day.
World of Animals

Rene said...

It is strange that our cats choose the warmest places in the house when it's the hottest outside. We do limit play sessions in the extreme heat, and of course change out the water bowls regularly.

Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat said...

I would've never thought about the elevated bed. Thank goodness for air conditioning. Then again, Bear spends most of the spring, summer, and fall in his window and probably gets nice and warm.

pilch92 said...

Great post! I am most thankful for a/c.

Three Chatty Cats said...

Great tips. Our AC has been on pretty much non-stop for the last week! It's so hot here!