Summer is the best part of the year for many, but it can be hard on your cats. Summer heat is something that can leave your kitty in shock, or worse, so there are a couple of things you should keep in mind to prevent that.
If it’s boiling outside, we can just strip to our tanks and shorts, but cats have to stay in their fur all year long.
Here are some of the basic tips on how to keep outdoor cats cool in hot weather:
Provide Your Cat with Some Homemade Air Conditioning
During those super-hot summer days, there is a little trick that is going to make your kitty happy. First, get a small plastic bottle or two and fill them up with cold water. Leave the bottle in the freezer overnight so the ice can form. Don’t fill the bottles all the way to the top because water expands when it freezes.
Take the frozen bottles and wrap them in a towel. Place the towel onto your cat’s favorite spot, and she will appreciate it in case she gets overheated.
You should already know that cats don’t sweat and that they need a lot of water to cool down. Sometimes, when it is scorching, the cold tap water or even cooled water is not enough. The water heats up five minutes after you poured it into the bowl.
If you can, check the temperature of the water every couple of hours. If it feels hot, drop a couple of ice cubes inside. Your kitty will love you even more than before.
Provide some shade
Cats often sleep and chill out during the day because of the heat, which is why you need to provide it with a safe and cool place. Put some chairs or a bench on the porch and make enough room for the cat to get under it. That will give your cat a place to hide from the sun, and the circulating air will cool her down even more.
Time for a new haircut?
If you own a cat that has long fur, consider giving it a new haircut. The standard lion cut is just fine, but not if your cat is white or light-colored. These cats also have pale skin which could easily lead to sunburn if you cut the fur too short.
Before you decide on taking this step, talk to your vet, and he will tell you what to do. If you think that that’s too much hassle, just take your cat to the local pet dresser to do it for you. Another option is to shave only the cat’s tummy. That cools her down, and she is protected from the sun as well.
Get a small fan for your cat
Getting a small fan for your cat could make a big difference. Place it on the ground or somewhere else where the cat likes to sit. She will appreciate the cold air going through her fur because it cools her down.
You can even place a couple of frozen bottles in front of the fan to make the air even cooler.
Cool your cat down with a wet cloth
Just like people, cats can cool down with a wet towel too. You can also use a paper towel or any other type of cloth and soak it in water. Squeeze as much water out of it before you stroke your kitty.
Cats don’t mind a little water on their fur during summer days because grooming is their way of cooling down naturally. Water isn’t a problem as long as it cools them down.
Image credit: catster.com
Don't use cooling gel packs
Cooling gel packs are great, and they are perfectly safe for humans, but they could be toxic for cats. Your pet could easily poke a hole in the plastic bag and ingest the gel, which could lead to more serious consequences.
Let the cat inside
When the temperature is unbearable, you should think about letting your cat inside the house to cool off. You don’t have to open all the doors for her, let her cool down in the hallway or the bathroom.
If you still don’t want to let her inside, let her find her place in the garage or some other room with a roof. Combine a couple of other tips, and she will be okay in no time, even if she overheated.
Set a new playtime
Cats demand attention, so you have to make time for playtime every single day. Playing chase the mouse never gets old for cats, but it is a good exercise, one that could overheat them in a couple of minutes during a hot summer day. Postpone the playtime for late in the evening when it gets dark, and the temperature drops.
Never leave your cat in a warm place with no air circulation
This includes cars, sheds, greenhouses and any other closed area with glass windows or no air flow. The temperature easily rises to 100 degrees in these places, and your cat starts to pant and drool. Ten minutes is enough for them to lose consciousness. If that happens, take her to the nearest vet right away.
Well, these are the most valuable tips on how to keep outdoor cats cool in hot weather, but the most important thing is care. If you plan on having a cat as an outdoor pet, you should be especially careful with it during the hot summer days. Make sure that they are fed and that they always have cool drinking water.
If the cat starts to drool and seems like she’s disoriented, she is probably overheating. Take her to a vet or combine the tips we gave you to cool her down, and she will be fine in no time at all. Love your pets as they love you – unconditionally.