With summer fully in swing, it’s likely that you’ll see plenty of warnings around about dogs and heat, but unlikely that you’ll see similar relating to cats. Yet there are heat-related issues cat owners need to be aware of, which is why our head vet and the team at Animal Medical Centre have put their heads together to provide some useful information regarding cats and heatstroke.
If this doesn’t answer all your questions you might want to book a summer health check for your cat when you can discuss any issues in more depth.
How might my cat get heatstroke?
Cats are far less susceptible to heat stroke than dogs as they tend not to go on long country walks or play for ages in the park, but there are different factors that may put them at risk:
- Getting trapped in a hot shed or similar
- Being left in a confined space without easy access to water and shade
- Being left in a hot car for a long time, maybe during a long-distance drive for a move or trip
- Getting trapped in a clothes dryer – this happens more often than you might think
Along with these environmental issues, other issues that can put your cat in a high-risk heat stroke bracket include:
- Age – very young or very old cats aren’t very adept at regulating their body temperature
- Weight – fat cells increase insulation
- Coat – very thick, dark fur is no friend in the heat
- Breed – flat-faced cats may suffer more because of the make-up of their respiratory system
- Medical conditions – kidney disease, breathing difficulties and heart conditions can all increase the risk of heat stroke
Minimising risk of heat stroke
- Be sure you see your cat every day so you know it hasn’t become trapped anywhere.
- Provide lots of fresh, cool drinking water.
- Feed some canned food to add moisture to their diet.
- Encourage drinking by adding tuna water to your cat’s water.
If you’re in any doubt about how the heat is affecting your pet, call the team on 01604 710411 for more advice or to book a summer health check.