Splish splash – it’s easy to dehydrate in heatwaves. Make sure your cat has access to fresh water at all times, and provide extra bowls in case. Ice cubes in the water bowls will help cool them down. Many cats like drinking running water – consider investing in a water fountain or leave a tap dripping slowly for them to drink from. Freezing canned cat food or tuna into ice cubes will also provide a delicious summer treat.
Grooming – matted hair can trap body heat. Make sure you brush your cat frequently in summer to help them shed that extra hair. Brushing with a moist washcloth or paper towel will help cool them down too. If your cat has long hair they may benefit from trimming their belly fur.
Limit activity – Exercise will raise your cat’s core temperature. Play with your cat in the early morning or late afternoon, when its cooler.
Make a cool room – use a cardboard box to create a dark cool spot for your furbabies to hide in. Line the box with dry towels that have been in the freezer overnight. Include bottles of frozen water in the box. They will act like an evaporative cooler and reduce the air temperature.
Airconditioning – if you have air conditioning you may want to leave it running – both for you and your furry friends! If you want to limit the expense, use thermal-lined curtains to keep the heat out, and fans to increase air circulation.
Symptoms of heat stress
As cats aren’t very good at cooling themselves down, heatstroke can rapidly become an emergency condition. Look for these symptoms to tell if your pet is overheating:
Distressed and restless; excessive drooling and panting; unsteady on their feet; lethargy; vomiting and fever. Act fast to cool them down if you see any of these symptoms, and take them to your vet if they don’t improve.