Summer’s here and so is the heat! Popsicles are melting, sidewalks are sizzling, and everyone’s trying to stay cool — including your fur baby. During the summer months, pet parents need to be extra attentive to their outdoor cat.
Even if she normally loves basking in the sun, Fluffy needs to stay hydrated and not overheat. Thankfully, your cat instinctively knows a thing or two about staying cool. You may think she’s snoozing the day away out of luxurious laziness, but sleeping through the heat of the day is actually one of the many ways cats battle the hot weather.
Another way she stays cool is with that gorgeous coat. While you may be tempted to give her break and shave your little fluff ball, her fur actually helps to cool her down. In fact, her fur works much like the insulation in your home. When the heat sets in, her fuzzy, fluffy goodness keeps her cool.
Even though Fluffy is pretty adept at cooling herself down, there are several ways you can help your sweet kitty beat the heat this summer, especially if she's an outdoor, adventurous feline!
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Water Is Welcomed
Drinking plenty of cool, fresh water is one of the best ways for anyone to deal with summer heat, including your outdoor cat. Keep that water bowl refreshed and throw in a few ice cubes to keep it cool a while longer.
Washcloths dampened with water are also an easy and valuable tool to cool down your little one. According to Dr. Laura Playforth, "the warmest part of a cat’s body is their tummies, the pads of their paws, their armpits, under their chin and on the outside of their ears."
Patting down these spots with a cool cloth can help on those extra hot days. Plus, your fur baby will appreciate the bonding time.
Ice Is Extra Nice
Playing with ice cubes in the early day or cooler evening hours is a fun way for your fur baby to burn some energy without burning up. Batting the cubes around helps to cool her paws — which can get hot or even burnt on hot sidewalks.
Also, if she nibbles at the ice, not to worry – eating small bits of ice can keep her hydrated. For a special treat, freeze water with some chicken stock to make those ice cubes especially tasty and inviting.
You can also use water to help Fluffy chill out by freezing water in reusable plastic bottles, wrapping them in a towel, and adding them to her favorite napping spot.
Your Outdoor Cat Loves Shady Spots
Whether your kitty prefers to dwell in your garden or head indoors to escape the heat, it's important for your outdoor cat to have plenty of shade in the summer months.
Create a sun-shielded haven on your patio for your outdoor cat. Also, double check sheds or greenhouses when you're closing the door to make sure Fluffy hasn't wandered in seeking shade there.
During the hottest parts of the day, bring your outdoor cat inside to cool down. Even shaded spots on the sunniest summer days can be too hot for our feline friends.
When your fur baby is indoors, make sure there are cool spots in the house and ensure air is circulating by cracking open a window, turning on a fan, or running the air-conditioning, if possible. Make the cooler rooms in the house that don't get as much of the afternoon sun inviting for your kitty by placing her bed or scratching post there.
Don't be surprised if you find your little one stretched out on the tiles in the kitchen or bathroom either. Those tiled floors tend to stay cooler than carpet or wood, which Fluffy appreciates.
Watch Out for Signs of Too Much Sun
Despite their resilience to the summer heat and your best efforts at keeping your feline friend chilled out, the hot temperatures can still get to the best of us.
According to Dr. Mike Paul, the following could be warning signs that your little one is overheating:
- Rapid panting
- A bright red tongue
- Dark red gums
- Very pale gums
- Excess salivation (drooling)
When in doubt, always check with your vet. Summer should be a time of fun in the sun — just remember to be safe with your little one. Plenty of water and rest should be a part of the plan for the whole family!
Have you and your kitty been having a blast in spite of the heat wave? We'd love to see some snapshots of your cat chilling out this summer! Tag us on Instagram @PrettyLitter.