Summer Heat & Cats
Early in the week, we wrote a blog post about dogs and the summer heat. Today, it's the turn of cats!
Much like our dogs post, this one is not about natural pet remedies, herbs for cats, natural pet medicine, natural treatment for pets and alike - it's about general animal welfare.
Cats quite enjoy the warm weather, and although cope with it better than most dogs (and many humans) they still need to keep cool, just like any other animal. A cat will naturally find a cool floor to lie on if they are too warm, so make sure there are some cool, shaded areas available in your home. Don’t worry if they sleep a little more on a hot day, they are making sure they don't over do it and who doesn't like on afternoon nap on a hot summers day!
Cats tend to prefer their water to be somewhere different to their food. It is important your cat is keeping hydrated when the weather is hot, so if they don't seem to be drinking from their water bowl very much, try moving it away from where they eat. You can try placing iced, cold water in glasses and bowls around the house. Cats are renowned for drinking out of any water vessel they can find!
Stroking your cat with a cold, damp cloth is an easy, and pleasant way to keep them cool (if they allow it - let's face it, it's only OK if the cat says so!). The best places to focus on are their paws, stomach and outside of their ears.
Remember to brush your cat regularly. Matted fur acts as a layer of insulation, which means that a matted coat will lead to your cat overheating much more easily. If you have a long-haired cat and decide the best thing to do is to shave them, leave at least an inch of fur to help prevent sunburn.
Remember, you know your cat, if they’re showing signs that something isn’t right - act! Heatstroke symptoms include restlessness, heavy panting, sickness, lack of energy (general lethargy rather than extra naps), loss of appetite or loss of coordination.
If you think your cat’s suffering with heatstroke you can try and lower their body temperature by providing water, applying a cold, wet towel to the cat’s head, chest and stomach. If you have someone with you, take these steps in the car on the way to the vet. This is an absolute emergency, even a few minutes’ delay could be fatal.