Even Indoor Cats Can Suffer from Heat Exhaustion!
28 May, 2014
As the summer is approaching and warmer temperatures arriving, most pet owners know the basics. Do not leave your dogs in a hot car. Make sure during the extreme temperatures that your dogs and cats only are outside during the cooler temperatures. AND we need to make sure our indoor cats and even dogs are kept cool and hydrated as they can also suffer from the heat.
Indoor cats can suffer from heat exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is a condition that we associate mostly with humans, dogs or outdoor cats after too much exposure to the sun. But, humans, dogs and outdoor cats are not the only ones that are at risk of developing heat exhaustion. Indoor cats are also prone to suffering from the increased temperatures as summer approaches. Cat owners need to take preventative measures to protect their inside cats from heat exhaustion.
Below are some initial signs that indicate that the heat is causing your kitty some distress:
Restless behavior as your cat tries to find a cool spot; panting, sweaty feet, drooling, excessive grooming in an effort to cool off, rectal temperature is usually normal to slightly elevated.
However, if you take preventative measures, you hopefully will not see the above symptoms.
Make sure your indoor cats have some shade
Indoor cats need to have plenty of places around the home where they can find a reprieve from the hot sun. If you usually leave the blinds open all the way during the day while you are at work, it would be a good idea to close them. The blazing sun’s rays can quickly heat up a home leaving your indoor cats with little or no shelter around the home during the daylight hours. If you must leave some of the shades open, try to leave one room only that allows the some sun in and leave the rest of the shades shut. This will keep the temperature down inside the home as well and your indoor cats will stay cooler.
Keep your cats hydrated
Heat exhaustion can affect cats, which can lead to the more serious condition of heatstroke or serious dehydration. But before it ever gets that serious, make sure that your indoor cats always have plenty of fresh water available in several different locations once the weather heats up. Remember to replenish your cats’ water supply each day and whenever you notice that it is running low, add a fresh supply.
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Some cats drink less when the weather heats up. But you can encourage your indoor cats to drink
more if you add an ice cube in their water bowls and keep the water clean and fresh. If you notice that cats are not drinking as much as usual, gently try to get them to drink by taking them up to their water bowl and placing them down beside it. Or the food right next to it or even in their water. Whatever it takes!
Try placing a cool compress over your cat or even ice
Inside cats are strong and adaptable. But if you had a fur coat on during the hot temperatures, you would be hot too! If you notice that your indoor kitty feels hot to the touch and is more lethargic than usual, apply a cool compress or use a clean, wet cloth to rub over your cat’s body.
Many indoor cats don’t like the feel of water on their bodies. But if you gently rub the wet towel over their body a few times, they may even appreciate the gesture and allow you to continue. They don’t realize that they are overheated, but you do and should make sure they are cool.
We cat owners need to look out for our indoor cats as well as our outdoor pets during the summer months or extreme temperatures. Make sure they stay cool, hydrated and are eating properly.