It’s summertime which means not only humans suffer from heat – our furry friends might feel even worse being trapped in four walls. How to ease your cat’s life during hot days? I’ve gathered the most useful owners’ life hacks and tips from veterinarians.
1. Hydrate your cat
Proper hydration is the backbone of well-being and health, not mentioning that the optimal level of moisture in the body is essential for proper thermal regulation, metabolism, and other vital processes. Encourage your cat to consume more water by doing the following:
- Add an extra bowl, or place several sources of fresh water around the house. No pet would resist taking a few sips of fresh water from…well, anywhere. We all know that cats love drinking from sprinkling cans, owners’ cups, and other spots they pass by. Make sure to change water twice a day: this way, you eliminate the risk of bacterial infection.
- Introduce wet food into the diet. It also helps to maintain a normal moisture level. Never leave wet food in heat! Get rid of leftovers right away, or they will spoil in a matter of a few hours, which poses the risk of poisoning and stomach upset. If you have to leave for a day, consider buying an automatic wet food feeder with ice trays.
Hydration is especially important for cats on a dry food diet and long-haired breeds. If you notice some signs of dehydration (weakness, rare urination, orange-colored and smelly urine, problems with digestion, apathy, etc), increase the amount of water consumed.
2. Furminate your cat
Do not mix up with shaving! By furminating a cat, you comb safely through the topcoat to remove excess and loose hair. Skin stays undamaged, and the rest of fur keeps cool air. On the contrary, total shaving may leave your cat exposed to sunburn and insect bites. Furmination is an easy and stress-free process for both of you, so you can repeat it as often as necessary. There’s a great number of electric and manual furminators available online – this investment definitely pays off.
3. Make the retreat from heat – place a small fan
A little bit of wind won’t hurt. Find the spot where your cat loves resting, and place a small fan nearby. Leave it switched on. Thus, the pet will know where to hide from sweltering heat. Trust me, it will be grateful for that.
You live in a place with a moderate climate? If your pet loves resting on windowsills, you can leave windows slightly open (narrow enough to keep the furry pal inside) – natural cool air flow contributes to thermoregulation.
4. Pet your cat with a wet arm or cloth
Unlike dogs, cats hate bathing and showering. Luckily, there’s another option you should try during very hot days. Take a wet, slightly cool cloth and pet your cat. Gently stroke it all over its body (or where it allows touching), repeat this procedure several times a day. If you have no cloth, use your wet hand. That will help a cat cool down and avoid the heat stroke.
5. Play with your cat in evening or at night
The cat’s heart is already overloaded when it’s too hot around – it keeps pumping blood to cool the body down. Leave entertainment for evening and night – it’s colder during this time, so your pet won’t be exhausted. Monitor the mood and well-being of your four-legged pal – it might be not up to playing throughout the entire hot period. Forget about walking outside and long-term car trips for a while because it’s a serious stress for felines.
6. Do not turn off an air conditioner when you leave
While you’re away, it may get hot at home, which means the cat will suffer from heat without you even noticing it. When you need to leave your pet alone, let the air conditioner work. Also, you can control the temperature indoors via app-powered smart home systems. It’s a good alternative to the tip #3. Keeping the indoor temperature around 70-77 F° is crucial not only for us, humans, but for our pets, too.
7. Purchase an outdoor catio
Spending time outdoors is also important for every cat – fresh air improves well-being. Buy and install an outdoor roofed catio (or make sure it’s located in the shadow). Include a scratcher, stairs, small houses and other entertainment options for your pet. Don’t forget to ensure the access to food and water. Your pet will love spending time on its own territory!
Hopefully, these tips will help you avoid heat stroke and improve cat’s well-being during sunny days. Make sure your pets feel comfortable in summertime and monitor their health – all in all, they can’t complain and tell you if anything’s wrong.
How do you help your cats during summer? Feel free to share your recommendations with our community.