In the summer, temperatures rise and the heat is a problem for both us and our pets. How to help your cat get through the summer at best?
With the arrival of summer, the heat is felt more and more, so much so that many of us do not tolerate it easily. And it is the same for our animal friends. Our cat suffers from the heat in the summer, and it is up to us to learn how to make him live these sultry months in the best possible way. It is known that cats love to be in the sun, and to rest in the warmest places in the house, but excessive heat is too much for them, so much so that it can also lead to physical problems such as fatigue, general malaise, and heat stroke. Precisely for this reason, we must make them live in the safest way, and as cool as possible, for a pleasant, happy and peaceful summer.
Recognize the problems associated with heat
Like us humans, our cat also suffers from heat in the summer, and it is important to protect it from excessive heat. We assure our cat a perfect summer, in all serenity and safety thanks to a few small tricks on our part.
Just keep in mind that the heat can be very dangerous for him / her, and that we must beware of all potential problems related to high temperatures, such as sunstroke or heatstroke. The latter are the most dangerous, potentially even lethal.
First, we need to be careful of the cat if it spends too much time in the sun. This could lead to heat stroke (or hyperthermia), a potentially very serious condition if not recognized and treated in time.
The main signs of a heat stroke are: vomiting, fever, malaise in general, labored and difficult breathing, redness of the mucous membranes. If your cat shows one or more of these symptoms, it will be important to take him to our trusted vet immediately. Timing is key to prevent the problem from becoming even more serious.
Practical advice to help your cat in the summer
Keep the environment cool
Cats living in the house must have an airy environment, with a temperature that is always cool. A great way to help our cat cope with the heat in the summer is to shade the rooms in the house.
We can lower the shutters in the hottest hours, for example. Or we can close the shutters, with the windows open to let the air circulate anyway. Or if we have awnings on the balcony or terrace, keep them down to create cool areas in the house .
Proper nutrition is essential
Our cat’s diet is a very important part of its well-being, and in the summer this becomes even more true. In fact, in the warmer months, it is better to add more wet food to its diet, always remaining on light courses so as not to make digestion difficult.
Meals should be given to the cat in the coolest hours of the day, perhaps even dividing them if necessary. The best times are usually early in the morning, and in the evening after sunset. Otherwise, the cat will be less inclined to eat during the sunny hours.
In the same way as with diet, hydration is also important in the summer, even more so than in the rest of the year. Precisely for this reason, it is essential to always make a bowl of fresh and clean water available to our cat.
We do not use water that is too cold, or with ice, if the cat has stomach problems (it could run into problems such as congestion). In this period even more than usual, it will be important to make sure that our cat drinks enough water. We have already talked in the past about the amount of water the cat should drink each day.
Fans and air conditioning
We humans have the habit of having the air conditioning on very often in the summer, but if there is a cat in the house with us, it should not abuse it too much. These systems in fact create an environment that is too cold, therefore increasing the risk of problems such as flu and colds, for our four-legged friends.
It would therefore be better to prefer a fan, which does not point directly where the cat is (better to point it upwards), so as to cool the environment and move the air, without danger for our cat.
Refresh the cat’s head and paws
As can also happen to us humans, excessive heat in the summer can make the cat exhausted and tired. A practical solution is to moisten a cloth and wipe it over the cat’s head (being careful not to wet the ears) and paws, or use fresh water directly.
Cooling your cat’s paws can be very helpful, as cats keep their body temperatures low thanks to their fingertips. For this, moistening the paws will bring some relief to our hot cat.
Resting in the hottest hours of the day will be a great way to relieve your cat during the hottest moments. So let’s avoid letting it go out at times when the sun is too strong, better keep it indoors in a cool area. A good trick can also be to raise his kennel off the ground, even a few centimeters, to reduce the heat coming from the floor.
Traveling with the cat
If we have decided to take our cat with us on vacation, we must remember that there will be various rules to follow for his well-being. First, we choose to leave in the coolest hours (early morning or evening) in order to avoid excessive heat.
Furthermore, during the journey – especially if it is long – it will be advisable to organize ourselves to have stops where the cat can cool off, eat quietly and drink. We must never underestimate the heat during the journey, and we must constantly monitor the cat.
If we travel by car, we must never leave our four-legged friend alone, because these are the most frequent episodes in which heatstroke, even fatal occurs. A car in the sun can become a very dangerous source of excessive heat in seconds.
Let’s take care of his hair
Among the cat breeds that suffer most from the summer heat, there are certainly those with long hair (the Siamese, for example). These will be the cats to pay more attention to in the warm months, taking particular care of their fur. Shortening the coat a little can help your cat feel cooler, but we shouldn’t overdo it or it won’t be protected from sunlight.