As we gear up for tank top and flip flop season, it is important to remember that we aren't the only ones who experience overheating as temperatures rise.
Our furry companions can also experience the side effects of the heat and unlike humans, dogs and cats don't have the ability to sweat so it takes a lot more to keep their bodies cool during the summer months.
While cats aren't the first to come to mind when talking about keeping pets cool when the sun's ablaze, they are totally capable of being in danger of overheating and risk of heat stroke, which can be fatal.
There are several things you can do to ensure your indoor or outdoor cat remains safe from heat exposure. Here are some tips you can put to use as soon as temperatures start to climb.
1. Keep your cat hydrated
Dehydration is one of the first signs of overheating. When hot, a cat's blood temperature rises and heavy panting to cool their bodies off isn't always enough. You can help with the cooling process by making fresh, cool water available all at all times. If you have an outdoor cat, it's a good idea to have multiple drinking bowls in and around your home including the garden and porch. Since cats enjoy running water, introducing them to a cat drinking fountain could do wonders.
2. Keep indoor temperatures cool
Many people like to reduce their energy usage and costs by shutting off air conditioners and fans when they're not home, but this is a dangerous practice for pet owners. The temperature inside your home will soar along with the outside which means your pet is likely to be trapped in a warm house with no cooling options. So before you step out of the house, make sure you you have a few windows open at the very least to create a cross breeze.
3. Make your home's 'cool spots' accessible
Your cat will seek out the cooler spots throughout your home as the weather warms up. Shady rooms, areas with tiles, under furnitures and boxes are more likely to be your cat's go-to, so always make sure they're clean, clutter-free and easily accessible.
4. Limit playtime hours
The heat will take a toll on your cat's energy levels, so it is wise to designate early mornings and evenings as playtime hours. This is particularly important for kittens and senior cats who tend to be at higher risk for heatstroke.
5. Groom your cat
Brushing your cat daily is key to preventing matted fur from trapping heat especially for cats with longer hairs. A well-groomed coat will increase airflow which is crucial for your cat's health.
Does your cat have a special way of staying cool? Share its secret in the comments!