Keeping Your Cat Cool On Hot Days
Hot weather is here for most of the country, and keeping your pets cool is becoming a big concern for many owners. Although cats seem to be more resilient when it comes to heat than dogs, it is important for cat owners to recognize the symptoms of heatstroke or heat exposure in their pets and to take steps to prevent problems. Cats with pushed-in faces, long hair or cats that are overweight are more prone to heatstroke.
At Crossroads Animal Emergency, we are ready to help you with any pet emergencies at any time. Here are some tips to help you keep your cat safe this summer:
- Give your cat a cool place to stay. A cardboard box in a safe, shaded area with an icepack beneath it can provide a cool retreat for your cat if the animal must stay outside for short periods of time. Additionally, you can set up a fan or add an air conditioning unit to an outdoor building if your cat cannot stay in your home. Never leave your cat in a parked car.
- Keep fresh water available at all times. It is very important to have cool, clean water available to your pet while you are away. Add ice cubes to water to keep it cool longer.
- Allow the cat to rest. Hot weather is incompatible with active play. Allow your cat to rest in a cool spot during the heat of the day and save games for evening when the weather begins to cool.
- Keep your cat well groomed. Matted fur, especially in long-haired breeds, can lead to heat stroke. Be sure to keep your cat well brushed and clean.
If your cat shows any of the signs of heatstroke, be sure to take the animal to an emergency vet immediately. Heat stroke symptoms include:
- Excessive panting. Rapid breathing is a sign that your animal is in distress. Be sure to note any irregular or unusual breathing symptoms, as this may be the first sign that heat stroke is imminent.
- Stupor or lethargy. An animal suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke will often become confused or unresponsive. In some cases, the cat will be unable to stand alone or will simply lay down and refuse to get up.
- Bright pink color to ears. As the body tries to cool itself during a heat stroke event, blood travels away from the core to the extremities. This can result in bright pink ears that are a hallmark of heat distress.
- Tremors and seizures. Seizures and tremors are often signs of heat stroke.
If your cat exhibits any of these symptoms, bring the pet to Crossroads Animal Emergency immediately for treatment.