Cool Cats: Keeping Your Kitty Cool in the Summer Heat
Summer is on its way, and we can’t wait for all the travel adventures it will bring. But as temperatures rise, life gets more uncomfortable for both kitties and humans. Whether you’re planning a hike or just lounging indoors, it’s important to be smart about keeping your cat cool throughout the summer. We’ve put together this handy guide with the help from furiend Totoro, @nekonototoro to help you out.
How to keep your kitty cool outdoors
Summer is the time for adventures and sunbathing, and naturally, you want to include your fur baby in those fun times. But before grabbing your feline friend and heading outdoors, make sure you’re prepared. Here’s how to safely take your cat outdoors in the summer.
Check the temperature first
You’ll find differing information out there on just how hot is too hot for your kitty: some people say to leave your cat at home if the temp is over 90 degrees, others say over 80. We recommend playing it safe. While most cats can tolerate 90 degree weather, they won’t enjoy it. A good rule of thumb is that if it’s too hot for you, it’s way too hot for your kitty. Consider leaving him at home. And don’t forget to turn up the AC or turn on some fans.
Bring plenty of water & a cooling mat for your cat backpack.
You need to stay hydrated, and so does your fur baby. Bring more water than you think you’ll need, because once your kitty gets out in the sun, she can guzzle water like nobody’s businesses. Plus, if she gets overheated, you can pour water on her paws to help cool things down. You may want to bring a water bottle (or two) and a portable water dish, as well as a cooling mat to line the backpack.
Pro tip: "The Navigator" Convertible Cat Backpack is the best choice for bringing your kitty out on a hot day, as the full mesh paneling provides lots of air flow!
Find shade or make shade!
Give your cat the most enjoyable time outside by providing a source of shade for them to cool off in. Sure they might like walking around and enjoying the sunshine, but if you plan on staying put for a little while make sure they have a shady spot to hang out.
Watch for signs of overheating
The tell-tale sign of overheating is panting, but be sure to watch for these other signs that your kitty is too hot as well:
- Hot ears
- Gulping down water
- High body temperature
- High heart rate
- Pale or dark red gums
If you notice any of these signs while taking your kitty out on an adventure, it may be time to plop some water down in front of him for a good long drink, cool off those paws, and head home.
How to keep your kitty cool indoors
As you know well if you’ve ever lived in a home without central AC, houses and apartments can get pretty stifling in the summertime. Here are some tips for keeping your cat cool indoors.
Encourage your kitty to stay hydrated
You can entice your fur baby to drink up by replacing her water dish with a cat water fountain, as many cats enjoy drinking from a source of running water. Another trick is adding tuna water to her bowl to sweeten the deal, or replacing dry food with wet food so she gets some more water that way. Keep your cat hydrated on the go with our collapsible "Go Anywhere" Food & Water Bowl!
Get a cooling mat
If you don’t have AC at home, a cooling mat might be just what your kitty needs. When he gets overheated, he can simply head to the cooling mat and, well, cool off. Just be sure to buy a cooling mat made for cats, and/or trim your kitty’s nails before introducing him to his new pad.
Give your kitty a haircut
One reason kitties get so overheated in the summer is because they have a lot more hair than us humans do. Taking your fur baby to the groomers’ to trim off some of that extra fur can help keep her cool all summer long.
Consider getting AC
If you’ve been putting off getting AC for your home, now may be the time. Whether it’s central or even just an AC unit, keeping your home cool will make the summer a whole lot more comfortable for your little fur baby.
What to do if your kitty gets overheated
In spite of all your precautions, you may simply live in a place that gets really hot in the summer, or realize halfway through your kitty-human walk that the temperature is heating up much faster than you thought it would. If you notice your fur baby panting or showing other signs of being too hot, here’s what you can do.
Cool his paws with water
Much like plunging your feet into a river, putting cool water on your cat’s paws can be one of the fastest ways to cool him down.
Give him a bath
If your kitty has taken a bath before and seemed to enjoy (or at least tolerate) it, this can be a great option. But if your cat hates baths or has never had one before, this probably isn’t your best bet.
Get air flowing
If the temperatures are rising and you don’t have AC, try opening windows and turning on fans: anything you can do to cool the house down for you and your kitty.
Call your vet
If your kitty seems especially overheated and you’re starting to worry, it’s a good idea to call your vet. Even if they don’t recommend coming in, they can give you advice for cooling your fur baby down.
As we dive into the start of summer, here’s to plenty of smart, safe kitty-human adventures!
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