Summer is coming and while I know we’re all cool cats, we need to think about staying even cooler when the heat hits. This is especially true for older kitties, but even us youngsters can experience dehydration or heat stroke when the mercury rises over 80 degrees. Here are few ideas to share with your human to keep us on the right side of summer heat.
Cats do not naturally have a high thirst-drive as our historical diet of prey such as mice and birds provided our moisture. Switching from still water to a fountain replicates a natural water source and can encourage us to drink. Other tips are to turn on a faucet or add a bit of tuna water to our water bowl.
Wet Food vs. Dry Food
Wet food can have up to 66 percent more water than dry food. This helps to keep us hydrated and cool. Most kitties prefer wet food at room temperature.
If you don’t have air conditioning, cracking a window open and turning on a fan will help on moderately hot days. When temperatures get close to triple digits, consider a portable air conditioning unit or a cat-friendly hotel.
Cool Water on Paws
If you’re concerned that your cat is hot, dipping their paws in cool water can cool them down.
A Day at the Spa
Summer heat can be especially hard for extra-fluffy and long-haired cats. Consider getting your kitty a lion-cut. For kitties that spend time outdoors make sure to use a UV shirt or pet-safe sunscreen to protect their skin after a lion-cut.
Signs of Heat Distress
Below is a list of behaviors that may mean your kitty is experiencing heat stroke or exhaustion. If you think your kitty is experiencing heat distress, take him/her to the nearest emergency veterinary clinic immediately.
- Restless behavior, trying to find a cool spot
- Panting, sweaty feet, drooling, excessive grooming
- Rapid pulse and breathing
- Redness of tongue and mouth
- Stumbling, staggering gait
That’s all I’ve got! Now, I think I’ll go play in my water fountain.
Here’s looking at you, Kits!