5 Ways to Keep Your Cat Cool This Summer
Short coat or long, your cat feels the summer heat and needs relief from the rising temperature. Ensure your kitty doesn’t overheat with these tips to keep her cool this summer.
Summer is always a difficult time to be a pet owner. Your cat can’t exactly tell you “Hey human, I’m hot – can you toss me a cold one?” That’s why you often spend a lot of time trying to gauge her reaction. And with a black cat, it’s even worse. But the good news is there are some simple steps you can take to help keep your cat cool and comfortable throughout the hot summer season.
When the temperature starts to rise, make sure your kitty stays comfortable. Here are five ways to keep your cat cool this summer.
Hydration: Helping your cat stay cool this summer starts by helping your cat stay hydrated. Make sure there are lots of water dishes available to your cat. Place them in shaded, but well trafficked areas away from your cat’s food. By placing a water bowl in every area of your home that your cat spends time in, you can ensure that your pet will always have access to a refreshing drink. Just be sure to change out the water often so it is cool and free of debris like cat hair and dust. And, in addition to giving your cat fresh, clean water, you can also give her some much-needed hydration by feeding her wet food. Unlike dry food, wet food has moisture that your kitty’s body can benefit from, so this is yet another way that you can take a step to help prevent dehydration when the temperature rises in the summer.
Ice Water: Think of this tip as a slow release solution. One of the water bowls is my frozen ice bowl. Every night I fill up this plastic bowl, put it in the freezer, and let it freeze overnight. Then, in the morning, I take it out and let it melt throughout the day. This can also be helpful when it comes to ensuring your pet always has some cool, rather than warm, water waiting for her in a clean bowl throughout the day.
Shaded Area: You might be surprised to find your kitty lounging in the sunshine even on a hot day, but that doesn’t mean that she will always want to be exposed to the heat. So, take steps to ensure she will have a cool spot to retreat to whenever she feels like it. Make sure that at least one of your cat’s beds is located in a shaded area. That’s the best way to encourage her to stay out of the sun. An extra fan or two blowing in her general direction will help while she’s trying to take a nap. One way to keep your house cooler during hot summer days, and create more shaded areas for your kitty, is by closing the blinds or curtains to prevent the sunshine from coming in and causing the room to become hotter. When combined with the use of fans and air conditioning, this could be a good way to reduce the temperature inside your home more efficiently.
Related: How to Care for Stray Cats
Cooling Mats: Another one of your goals should be to give your kitty a comfortable place where she can relax without getting overheated, and a regular cat bed that she would use in the winter likely won’t work. In fact, your cat will probably avoid even settling into her regular cat bed because it makes her feel too warm. So, on especially hot days, make sure that the bed stays cool. Sometimes that means putting some ice under it – place some ice cubes in a Ziploc bag and place it under your cat’s mat, blanket or pillow. If this doesn’t work or you want to add something else to the mix of options for your kitty, there are several amazing cooling mats made just for pets on the market. A good cooling mat doesn’t really feel cool to the touch, but it absorbs your cat’s body heat, and then lets it dissipate in the environment.
Daily Brushing: Another great tip is to brush cat daily. Even if you have a short hair cat, she’ll benefit from a daily brushing. By keeping her hair sleek and well maintained, your cat will really feel the breeze. What you will also probably notice is that your cat sheds more in the summer, so by brushing her every day, you can help ensure she won’t end up with a lot of hairballs, and your furniture and clothes will also be less likely to be covered by a lot of cat hair. But what about shaving your cat? Well, this isn’t necessary, nor is it a good idea, whether your cat has a long, medium, or short coat. Your cat’s fur can actually help her feel cooler, and the fur also protects the skin, including from sunburn. And even if your cat spends time outside, shaving her isn’t a good idea—again, the fur is protective and is there for a reason. So, there really is no need for shaving a cat, even during the hottest season of the year.
As a final note to all you worried cat parents out there, let me assure you two things: your cat probably wouldn’t suffer in silence, and she would definitely let you know she was uncomfortable, even if it wasn’t through loud yowls. The three clearest signs of overheating are dilated pupils, yowling, and vomiting, so keep an eye out for those symptoms.
More by Elisabeth Fillmore