Guide to keeping your cat cool this summer

Every year we play the same game, we speculate endlessly about what kind of summer we’re going to have and the one thing that the country can agree on is that a good summer is one that is full of sunshine.  Oh sure, we’ll moan about the heat once it arrives, but what we want, at some point during the summer, is blue sky and hot sun.

It’s easy to forget that our pets don’t share our enthusiasm for a blazing August, in fact, summer heat can pose a serious threat to cats. Although they originally come from a desert environment, our domestic cats don’t cope well with extreme heat. Unlike dogs, they don’t really pant to keep cool and the only place they sweat is through their paw pads.

In addition, we’ve bred them to have much thicker coats, which exacerbates their discomfort.  Some cats are more vulnerable than others: white cats are most at risk from sunburn, they should be kept inside during the hottest part of the day and pet safe sun cream should be applied to the ears and nose.

Flat-faced cats may experience difficulty in breathing during hot weather and of course older cats with health problems are most likely to be adversely affected by the heat.  Heatstroke in its most severe form can prove fatal to cats, and fluffy cats with a lot of fur are the most vulnerable.  If the weather is hot and your cat is panting, dribbling or wobbly on its feetit may well be suffering from heat stroke. If you suspect that your cat is suffering from heat stroke you should contact your vet immediately. You can guard against this eventuality by taking out insurance for your cat for as little as £86 a year.  With proper precautions however, your cat should be able to enjoy a scorching British summer and remain a cool cat.

Provide plenty of cool areas

If your cat is an outdoorsy type, you may have to restrict their access to the garden to morning and evening.  Draw the curtains of rooms that are in full sun and ensure that there’s no chance of your cat getting trapped in dangerous unventilated areas like conservatories and greenhouses.  Make the cat basket a cool retreat by placing ice cubes in a bottle and covering them with a towel.  Open windows to create a good air flow and generally be aware of where your cat is during the hottest parts of the day.

Water, water everywhere

Keep it fresh and cool and make sure that it’s available in all rooms and the garden.  Some cats enjoy playing with a pet fountain.

Fun with ice cubes

Cats love to play with ice cubes slithering about on a tile floor and it’s an effective way of cooling their paws.  Freezing wet food, or the fresh spring water from a can of tuna also gives your moggie a cooling treat on a hot day.

Keep your cat well groomed

We all enjoy a bit of a trim in the summertime and your cat certainly doesn’t need excess fur when it’s hot.  Longer haired breeds especially need extra grooming with a cat safe brush or grooming glove.

A cool mat

Strategically placed in their favourite lounging spot, a cooling mat is the ideal accessory for a cool cat.

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