Here are some top tips from Burns Pet Food to keep your cat cool this summer…
- Provide shade outside — this is usually supplied by plants. However, if this is not the case, creating some shade with a cloth over a comfortable spot is an easy alternative. Choose somewhere that gets a gentle breeze, under which your cat can lie. Water should always be accessible in outside areas as well as indoors.
- Choosing cool spots — cats love to curl up in the bath or sink because porcelain stays cool even when it is hot outside. They might also linger in cooler rooms, typically laundry or bathrooms. Try not to reprimand your cat for picking the coolest spot in the house.
- Dampened towels — most cats do not like getting wet, but you can at least help cool their fur down in extreme heat with dampened towels. Simply dampen a cloth or paper towel and gently stroke your cat with the cloth or towel from the top of his head and down the back. Do this a couple of times a day if it is very hot.
- Water — lots of cats enjoy the heat and the sun, making dehydration a real risk. Constant access to water is essential. Ensure the water bowl is always filled during hot weather (indeed, a cat should have access to clean water at all times of the year). It may be that they drink more in the heat and therefore replenishing is required more often than usual.
- Sunbathing — cats love hot spots and basking in direct sunlight. They usually cope with high temperatures better than dogs, but still can become affected by heatstroke over a prolonged period. So keep an eye on your cat’s sleeping habits, particularly at the hottest times of day. If your cat has a tendency to head for the sunniest spots outside and nap, it might be an idea to keep him inside between 11am to 4pm.
- Sunburn — cats with pale coats are particularly prone to sunburn. Ears are most commonly affected, which can be very painful. Siamese, Birmans, Cornish and Devon Rex cats with sparse fur and the hairless Sphynx are especially vulnerable. If they sit outside it’s wise to apply sun block cream on their ears. Like humans, severely sunburned skin can lead to a form of skin cancer, so it’s important to take precaution.
- Keeping cool inside — if your house gets warm in the summer, fans can help to keep air circulating indoors. If you are trying to keep your cat out of the sun at peak times, netting frames over the back door and windows can help, so you can leave them open for ventilation without your cat escaping.
- Car journeys — try to avoid cat carriers that attract the sun and choose one with plenty of ventilation. Never leave a cat unattended in a hot car, like dogs they can quickly overheat.
- Keep meals cool — if your cat eats wet food, don’t leave this down during hot weather as it will attract flies. Many owners switch to a dry food in the summer because it won’t dry out or attract flies. It’s also worth considering feeding your cat a calorie-controlled diet in the warmer months if he is prone to putting on weight. Cats are often less active in the summer and therefore won’t burn off calories as quickly as in winter.