Cats are notorious for being independent. But, this doesn't mean they should be ignored — especially in the summer. The summer heat can make them more susceptible to sunburns or heat exhaustion if not properly cared for.
A cat's body temperature is naturally higher than a human's. In the summer months, this temperature goes even higher, and they become more sensitive to heat than humans. Here's how to keep cats cool in the summer heat.
Avoid Summer Dehydration
A cat can't cool down without water. Some signs of dehydration are dry mouth and nose as well as lethargy. By the time dehydration sets in, there could already be some danger for their kidneys and urinary tract. To avoid dehydration, the following steps should be taken:
- The cat should be given continuous access to water — multiple bowls of water can be placed throughout the house so that the cats can drink whereever it's convenient. Alternatively, a large bowl of water may be placed in one spot.
- To help the cat maintain their fluids, they should be fed wet foods instead of dry kibble.
Protect Them from Sunburn
Even with fur, cats can sunburn. Surprisingly, cats are especially sensitive to ultraviolet rays. The skin underneath their fur does not produce melanin to protect them like human skin.
Short-haired cats and white cats are the ones most at risk of sunburn. So, it's advisable to not let them outside between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. — when the sun is at its peak.
All windows and curtains should be closed during the peak of the day, too. This will help the house stay cool and give less temptation for the cats to sit in a sunny window.
Provide Them a Shady Rest
Shelter in outdoor areas and shady areas inside the house can help prevent overheating. Cat beds should be placed in a cool, quiet area of the house. Also, if there are no shady trees outdoors, a large umbrella can be used to create shade for them.
Fans can be installed inside the house so that the breeze encourages the cat to stay indoors. This is also necessary because sidewalks and pavements can get hot during summers and the heat can be damaging to a cat's feet.
Cats can't sweat like we do to cool down. They don’t generally pant like dogs either. If they happen to pant, they are dangerously overheated.
Don't Leave Them in the Car
In the summer, a car's interior temperature can rise to an unsafe level within minutes — even with the windows cracked open. Cats are sensitive to temperature and can get heat stroke or worse.
Cats are independent. They also like to preserve their own health. So if they happen to wiggle out of that crack in the window, it’s not their fault. Here's some cat advice. Update their chip regularly — just in case they wander off in search of shade.
For more, reach out to the Fuzzy Veterinary Support Team 24/7 for cat health advice and wellness questions.