If you’re feeling a bit sticky in the heat, imagine how your cat feels in their fur coat. High temperatures, long days and direct sunlight can be both uncomfortable and dangerous for cats, so make sure you know how to keep your kitty cool and comfortable. You are basically their servant anyway, right? Pale-coloured cats are the most vulnerable to sunburn, particularly on sensitive areas that don’t have as much fur, like ears and noses. Cats can and do contract skin cancer if they’ve been burned, just like humans. This can require lots of expensive and distressing surgery and in severe cases, amputation.
- Make sure their water bowl is full of clean, cold water at all times. If you’re going out all day, drop a few ice cubes in the bowl before you leave.
- Create a kitty cooler. Fill a plastic bottle with water and freeze it. Remember to leave space in the bottle as the ice will expand. Wrap it in a tea towel and put it in your cat’s favourite lounging spot.
- Turn on a small fan at floor-level. This is so your feline friend can keep cool and pretend to be in a music video with their fur blowing back.
- Close the curtains so your house stays cooler during the day. Cats love lying in sunny patches, but this might not be the best thing for them in very high temperatures.
- Postpone energetic play times until the end of the day. It won’t be as hot in the evenings. Make sure you’re grooming your kitty.
- A tangle-free coat will help keep them cool. Keep your cat indoors in the hottest part of the day. This between 11am and 3pm, when the sun is highest in the sky. Watch for signs that your cat is overheating, including panting and loss of energy.
- If you spot them, encourage your cat to have a drink of water or pet them with a damp, cool cloth. Dribbling, excessive panting and collapse are all signs of heatstroke.
- If you think your cat is suffering, move them to a cool place with a draught, dampen their coat with cool (not freezing) water and contact your local vet.