How To Keep Cats Cool In Summer?

Summers are the fresh, sunny start that we all look forward to. Basking in vitamins from the sun and devouring our favourite seasonal fruits while capturing the best holiday memories that turn nostalgic as the years pass by. On the flip side, India’s tropical climate can make our ideal summer experiences anything but pleasant. And our cats are no exception to this dreadful heat.

It is important that as cat parents we recognise that our cats feel this, sadly, at a much higher intensity than we imagine. So, if you are wondering, “Do cats get too hot in summer?”, then the answer is yes, very much so. The blazing heat can cause severe health issues for your feline companion. Deep dive into our essential care guide on how to keep indoor cats cool in hot weather and tick off what you are doing right!

Hydrate with water

Heatstroke, dehydration and shocks are unfortunately extremely common for cats in our terrain. But the good thing? You can easily prevent them. Follow the Holy Grail for your cat’s hydrationwater. It not only keeps them hydrated but is essential to maintain their digestion and blood circulation. Do not feed your cat milk as they can be lactose intolerant. Remember that each cat is different and so are their hydration needs. Weight, age and breed also play a significant role, so keep these factors in mind when adding water to their diet. Senior cats are much more vulnerable to dehydration while cats with lighter fur are more prone to sunburn. 

Cats hate getting their whiskers wet and can be fussy when it comes to drinking water, but it is necessary that they drink plenty of water. Start by placing wide cat water bowls with fresh water filled to the brim at different accessible places of your home that you can refresh as and when required. If they enjoy drinking from running water, consider investing in a good water fountain.

Observe common signs of dehydration that include vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive panting, dry and tacky gum, loss of appetite or sluggish behavior after play. If you suspect your cat of showing these symptoms, contact your vet immediately. 

Create chill zones

While at home, keep your cat in shade and away from direct sunlight by closing your windows and drapes. Always have some form of ventilation by keeping the AC on at a comfortable temperature or by placing standing fans in the corner of a room, at a safe distance away from where your cat usually prefers to relax. If you wish your cat to not be in constant contact with the hot floor, purchase good quality, comfortable mats.

Small ‘cooling off areas’ come in handy in case of emergencies such as power outages. You can place damp towels or clothes at different locations at home. The most cost-effective solution is to freeze a water bottle and wrap it with a towel to create a home-made ice pack and let your cat snuggle with it in their cat bed and tent. Your cat will automatically let go of it when they feel too cold. All you have to do is ensure the water does not leak. 

It might happen that your kitty chooses another spot and makes themselves comfortable there, so let them be. Encourage them to rest well rather than letting them exhaust themselves. If you are worried about their fitness, mentally stimulating toys can prove to be effective. The trick is to maintain a good rest-play routine.

Nutritious diet

Apart from learning to pick the best food for your cat, it is also essential to know that summer acts as a catalyst to your cat’s choosy appetite. A good balanced diet is just what your cat needs to ease any discomfort and build an immunity. 

Keep an eye on your cat’s behaviour and feed during the cooler times of the day. Nutrient-rich cat wet food has very high water content. Adding water, meat or kibble to your dry cat food makes for a great meal too. When it comes to treats, watermelons can be given in moderation. Icy treats are a hit with most cats. Simply freeze your cat’s favourite treat or catnip in water. When your cat consumes the melted treat, not only are they hydrated but also feel rewarded. A simple ice cube does the trick too and as a bonus, it provides entertainment for your cat!

Grooming routine

When it comes to cat grooming at home during the summer, there are a few things you ought to keep in mind. If your cat has long hair, combing out the knots in their fur with cat combs during the cooler parts of the day is essential. It removes excess shedded fur and also gives you a chance to check for fleas and ticks.

The fuzzy and warm fur of your cat provides the perfect environment for fleas to grow. You can mostly find them around the neck, at the base of the tail and under the belly. They feed on your cat’s blood and cause major health problems ranging from allergic reactions to serious tick-borne illnesses. There are many specialised products that help get rid of these parasites and also shampoos that help you ease your cat’s discomfort caused by heat allergies. 

Be safe while stepping out

Exploring the outdoors is something that comes naturally to cats. However in summers, it is advised to stay indoors when the sun is at its peakbetween 10 AM and 6 PM. But if your cat does want to go out and explore, apply a good amount of sunscreen on them and let them step out during the cooler parts of the day. If you are travelling anywhere during these peak hours, use cat carriers to shield your kitty from the harsh sun. Avoid pavements and remember to always carry plenty of clean water. 

In a nutshell: 
The ideal “beachy summer dream” can turn out to be a sultry nightmare for your cat. But by leaving no stone unturned, such as ensuring hydration with a good diet and proper grooming, your furball can have a pleasant and enjoyable summer.