How to Cool A Cat Down in the Summer
A cat that becomes overheated in summer can suffer from dehydration, heatstroke, and shock. Unlike people, cats don't sweat and it can be a struggle for them to keep cool in the Dubai summer. A cat's main methods of cooling off include staying out of the sun, being inactive, drinking water, and panting. None of the above are too effective & a cat that is stuck in the roasting heat without a means of cooling will become overheated and at risk of heat stroke.
There are several things you can do to help stray cats cool down in the summer
so they will be healthy & happy!
Provide fresh drinking water
Cats need access to water in order to stay hydrated. When a cat’s blood temperature rises, sensors in the brain tell her to drink water in order to cool down and dilute the blood. It is essential to make sure that a cat always has access to clean, fresh water.
Provide multiple drinking bowls with a large surface area (such as dinner plates or dog bowls). Wider bowls encourage the cat to drink because cat do not like their whiskers to touch the sides of the bowl.
Make sure that you replace the water at least once a day and keep it topped up at all times. Never let a cat drink from water than contains algae as the latter is toxic and may cause diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, and sudden death.
Make sure that the cat has access to shade
Ensure the cat has access to shade and does not have to stay in the full sun. This could be the shade form a tree or bush. Make sure that you check any outdoor rooms, sheds and greenhouses before closing the doors. The building could become very hot and your cat could die as a result if he or she were to be locked inside.
Cool down your cat with damp towels
Most cats do not like getting wet, but if you see them overheated, you can help them to cool off a little with dampened towels. Simply dampen a cloth with cool water and gently stroke the cat with the cloth or towel from the top of its head and down the back. If the cat is very hot, gently wipe her with a wet towel as often as she will tolerate.
Brush the excess fur from the cat
Matted fur traps heat; ensuring that the fur is not matted and allows air to flow through it will help to keep the cat cool. This is especially important for long-haired breeds of cats.
Create a cool retreat
You can help the cat cool down by making a cool, dark spot for her to retreat to when she gets too hot. Just place a cardboard box on its side and put it somewhere that is quiet and out of the way. Line it with a terry towel or other cool cotton fabric. You can put ice in a plastic bag and put inside a sock and place it into the retreat underneath the towel for an added cooling effect.
Look for signs of heatstroke
Signs of heatstroke include excessive panting and rapid breathing, lethargy, bright pink ears, confusion, weakness and inability to stand, shaking, tremors, and possibly even seizures. A cat with heatstroke will also feel hot to the touch on the pads of her feet.
If you suspect that the cat is suffering from heatstroke
1. Place on a cool surface right away, such as a tiled floor in a fanned or airconditioned area.
2. Cool the cat down with ool damp washcloths over her paws
3. Give the cat some water to drink right away. If she is too weak to drink the water, try to moisten her gums with water using a damp cloth.
Avoid ice water or very cold water as the temperature difference between the extreme heat and extreme cold can send the cat into a form of shock.
4. Call a vet right away!
Don't replace advice you receive with a vet visit. It is great to share experiences but if you have a sick cat, the best place for the right advice is always your vet.