Cat Care Tips to Help Your Pet Survive the Summer Heat
According to an article from The New York Times, summer heat temperatures will be above normal this year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has agreed with this in their report. Terrifying wildfires are said to be expected due to heat and humidity. With the Earth’s exposure to greenhouse gas emissions, the atmosphere is now 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than before. The temperature rise can be a major health risk to humans and, most especially, to animals.
If you have a cat at home, it is best to be more observant of them this summer. A feline’s health is at risk when exposed to intense heat. Cats often find it difficult to adjust to drastic temperature increases. Felines may experience heat stroke, which is caused by exhaustion from the heat.
Cats regulate body temperature by panting and minimal sweating through their paw pads. Provide them with extra care and be aware of heat-related illness by watching out for these symptoms:
- Excessive panting
- Staggered gait
- Red tongue or mouth
- Rapid breathing
- Rapid pulse
- High rectal temperature
As a pet parent, you shouldn’t neglect these symptoms. Ensure that your cat is not overly exposed to summer heat. Do not let them stay outside for long. You have to be extra cautious to keep them healthy this summer. For more assurance, here’s a list of things you need to do for your cat to save them from overheating.
Never Leave Cats Inside the Car
Cars can quickly absorb heat, making them dangerous for your cat. The ASPCA stated that a vehicle can reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit on a 70-degree day, and the temperature can also reach 102 degrees within minutes on an 85-degree day and 120 degrees in as little as half an hour.
Build safety sheds for your cat to use as a shelter when they stay in your yard or garden. Cats like to roam around and can only safely do that if they have a spot not directly heated by the sun.
Even though you have an air conditioner indoors, a small fan is extra help for your cat to stay cool. Your cat will need additional cooling tools, especially if it’s a feline with long and thick fur. You can place a frozen water bottle in front of the fan to release cooler air.
Help your cat regulate their body temperature by stroking them with damp towels. Dampen a cloth with cold water and stroke the cat from their head and down their back. Ensure that you apply the wet towel to the warmest parts of their body, such as their tummies, paw pads, armpits, chins, and ears.
Cats can also be prone to sunburn, mainly if they are pale-colored and have less fur. The outdoors are their playground and place of adventure — making sunblock essential for them. Purchase a sunblock with equivalent UVA and UVB barriers of human SPF 15 or SPF 30.
Aside from a damp towel, ice packs covered with a towel will also be a lot of help. If you don’t have an ice pack at home, you can use a frozen bottle and wrap it with a towel or blanket. Place these ice packs on their favorite spots — which they can lean on when the weather is too hot.
Cats with long and thick manes will probably have the most challenging time during summer. Make sure that you bring them to your trusted cat groomer to lessen the heavy feeling due to the heat. You might also opt to clip the tummy fur for added coolness, since it is one of the warmest parts of a cat’s body.
Be much more attentive to your cat this summer season. Keep them inside the house for most of the day, especially during the afternoon. Do not leave water bowls empty so that cats can efficiently hydrate themselves.
However, if your cat shows signs of heatstroke, you can do the following emergency treatments:
- Quickly take them away from the hot environment.
- Apply cool water to their fur.
- Fan the cat to cool them down.
- Wet the area around your cat.
- Avoid using ice.
- Go to your trusted or nearest vet clinic.