If you live in a sun soaked area of the world, you may have wondered if cats can overheat. The answer is yes. This may be a surprise – since it’s well known that cats are drawn to warmth. Plus they actually prefer a temperature that’s a little too warm for some people (like Jae). 80-90 degrees Celsius is thought to be the temperature most loved by cats.
Yet, the fact remains that cats can suffer from heat exhaustion and even heatstroke – just like us. And, like us, a cat’s susceptibility to these conditions depends on many factors. Health conditions, general temperature tolerance, activity levels, obesity and lifestyle (ie. indoor/outdoor kitties) can all contribute.
While indoor cats are less at risk, we know from experience that we can’t always keep our homes at a comfortable or safe temperature. When our roof was leaking, they ripped out our walls, ceilings and floors throughout most of our home. Then our insurance let us know they couldn’t cover our roof repairs – which meant we had to find out how to cover that huge expense before we could re-insulate and fix our home. It took us months – in the Vegas summer heat.
So here’s what to look for if you think your cat may be getting overheated:
Lethargy (as they try to slow down to reduce body temp), glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, loss of balance, or panting. Unlike dogs, cats should not pant – even in warm weather. This can be a serious sign of heat exhaustion – and you should seek veterinarian care.
How to keep your cat cool:
- Put ice in their drinking water. Drinking cooler water can help reduce internal body temp.
- Put cardboard boxes in a dark or shared area. Resting in cool spots can help cool them down.
- Use a cool, damp cloth to wipe your cat down. This mimics how cats use their saliva when they groom to help cool them down. It’s their version of ‘sweating’.
- Wrap frozen items in a towel and place them near where your cat sleeps.
We hope these tips help keep your cool cats chill this summer!