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Sultry weather has hit the country for the past few days and there are no signs that the hot temperatures will ease anytime soon.
While a heatwave was welcomed by most, it can lead to uncomfortable conditions.
And cat owners are probably wondering how to keep their four-legged friend cool in hot weather.
READ MORE: When Is It Too Hot To Take Your Dog For A Walk? RSPCA gives advice
Fortunately, veterinary organization PDSA has provided expert advice on caring for cats during the summer and outlined the worrying signs to look out for if your cat is overheating.
Which cats can feel the heat?
Cats can only sweat through the pads of their paws and only pant like dogs when they’re extremely hot, says PDSA.
Some breeds have thick coats, which makes it difficult for them to stay cool.
Flat-faced breeds – short-nosed cats like the British Shorthair – can have difficulty breathing due to the extra tissue in the throat area, which is made worse in hot weather.
Older cats or cats with health problems can also be more sensitive to heat. It may be safer to keep bad cats indoors so they don’t get overwhelmed by the heat outside, advises PSDA.
Signs of heat stroke
Common signs are:
- Wiggling or difficulty getting up
If your cat has these symptoms, read more about first aid and what to do here.
There are steps you can take to make your garden more comfortable for your cat, says PDSA.
They recommend creating shade, with greenery or by hanging a sheet or blanket.
It is also important that your cat has access to fresh, clean water, so leave the water out.
PDSA says you let your cat explore outside in the mornings and evenings, when it’s likely cooler, and leave them inside for the hottest part of the day.
Pet-safe sunscreen can be used for additional protection.
(Image: unit with released content)
Around the house
Here are some ways to keep your cat cool if they prefer to be indoors on hot days:
Put a few water bowls around the house so your cat doesn’t have to go far to get a drink. This is especially important if you have more than one cat, as they don’t like sharing bowls.
Avoid warm rooms
Keep your cat away from areas that are likely to get very hot, like sunrooms. Cats can also overheat quickly in cars and caravans.
Create a cool space
Encourage them to spend time in a nice, cool area of the house. Make the room tempting with resting places: when it’s very hot, ceramic tiles can be provided as a nice place to relax and cool off. Offer your cat some healthy treats to help them associate the room with something special, advises PDSA.
open a window
Cats are naturally curious, and the cool breeze through an open window will be very enticing. Prevent your cat from having a serious accident by putting bars or nets over your windows.
Summer care for long haired cats
Long-haired cats are more likely to overheat in summer.
A good grooming routine is important all year round, but it can really help in the hotter months. A daily brush will help get rid of excess fur and get rid of pesky knots.
Some cats may appreciate a summer trim to keep them cool. It is usually best to take her to a professional dog groomer for this.
More tips from PDSA
Ice cubes may be good for keeping us cool, but they can also cool your cat down and encourage her to play, says PSDA.
They suggest popping a few ice cubes on a hard floor and encouraging your cat to beat them around.
They can also put an ice pack or frozen water bottle wrapped in a blanket in one of their beds or an area they like to sleep in so they have a cool place to lean on.
Another tip is to play with them at dawn and dusk – when the weather is coolest – so that they run around less during the hotter hours of the day.
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