Do Cats Feel Hot During the Summer?
Do Cats Feel Hot During the Summer?
Summer time is here and the heat waves continue to make the rounds. We are certainly feeling hot under the collar. There’s no escaping these high temperatures, regardless of shorts and T-shirts. While sweating away, we can’t help but look over to our fluffy feline companions and ponder how our cute and cuddly pets are dealing with such heat during the summer. Let’s take a closer look at your cat in the summer.
Cats Are Not Heat Resistant
Cats and dogs are different, one may meow while the other barks but there are also other differences that convey heat homeostasis. Body temperature regulation is very important and it’s important to keep an eye on your cat when the weather begins to get toasty. Sweat glands within dogs are located on the tongue, nose and lungs where heat dissipation occurs via evaporation. If your dog pants with their tongue out, it’s their way of cooling off. Cats however, are a little more subtle and even during the hottest days, they may show distinct effort in getting rid of this elevated heat. Perhaps they take a page from Big Shaq’s book, “Skrrat, skidi-kat-kat, Cat’s not hot!”
The reality is, cats feel heat just as much as us, and their composure may be due to a long standing trait taken from ancestors who thrived in the dessert. Keep calm and stay cool, this is something we would all love to do but the reality is that cats are not immune to heatstroke during these summer temperatures. Cats that stay exposed in the sun for prolonged periods can suffer from heatstroke, a life threatening situation that requires immediate medical attention. Cats are fluffy bundles of fun that are covered in hair. Absence of sweat glands around the body’s surface means that cats have relatively poor system to maintain homeostasis. Things can quickly get hot and if left unchecked, certain symptoms can begin to manifest. This includes shortness of breath, increased urination levels and even fainting. Cats are susceptible to heatstroke and it’s very important to provide an environment that makes cooling off easier.
Cats Need to Sweat
Relatively poor function of sweat glands in a cat means their ability to dissipate heat from the body is poor. They sweat from their paws and it’s very common to find your cat’s soft paw a little wet as their glands work to release heat through sweat. Cats can sometimes be seen frequently licking their paws to accelerate this process. Grooming your cat is especially important during these warm months, trimming hair around their paws is an effective way to relieve hair that may be covering sweat glands. You don’t need to give your kitty a full blown haircut in the summer, they will usually shed their fur as the season changes.
Image: Summer Ice Silk Cooling Mat
Help Your Cat Cool Off
Cats licking themselves to cool down is the feline way to bring heat levels lower. It’s important to monitor your cat as this natural method of heat dissipation can only go so far. On hot summer days, it’s important to provide enough shade and where possible, ventilation so that your precious pet can cool off. Be sure to remember that your cat’s bed should be moved to a cool and preferably shaded area. Avoid placing litter in the sun at all costs, it can heat up very quickly and your cat will not want to set foot in a baking litter box.
Keeping hydrated is very important during these periods where body liquids are constantly evaporating. Prepare sufficient fresh water for your cat every day, encouraging drinking to keep hydration at a safe level. Don’t forget to use a pet trimmer to safely trim your cat’s paw hair. For other moments around the house, we recommend using a pet cooling mat for your cat so that they may experience a cool surface to rest on. Avoid playing outdoors during sunny spells as it’s sure to cause exhaustion within minutes.
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