You see, because hot days are so rare in this country, no one has Air Conditioning at home. So it can get pretty uncomfortable. Yesterday we had 28° C (82° F) inside our place. And since I’m so hot, I can only imagine how hot poor Alfie is, with his thick fur coat. Which made me wonder how do cats deal with heat and if I can do anything to help Alfie.
Cats have origins in the African wildcats (-> hot regions) whereas dogs originate from wolves (-> cold regions). So it seems that cats are naturally better adapted to heat. (I’m a little bit calmer now).
Here are some of the things cats do to cope with heat:
* sweat – but unfortunately only through the tiny surface of their paws – so not too effective
* lie in shady spots or on cool surfaces – pretty smart, right?
* lick their fur – so that when saliva evaporates, it cools them off
* pant – to release heat through the mouth
What can you do to help?
* make fresh cold water available – best option is a water fountain (probably the best 25 euros I’ve spent on Alfie), but if not, refresh the water in his water bowl every couple of hours and add some ice
* ensure he can access cool spots – such as bathroom tiles/sink/shower, or a shady spot in the garden
* brush daily – cats shed more when it’s hot, just as we wear lighter clothes in the summer. So help him cope with this (less hair = less hairballs). A definite must, especially for long-haired breeds
* cut off any mats – they trap heat and don’t let air flow through the fur which is uncomfortable anytime, but especially when it’s hot
* ice cubes play – to be honest, this one never worked on Alfie, but your cat is probably less strange than he is, so he may like this
* wrap him down with cold towels – this is more of an emergency solution I think, and although thank God I didn’t have to try it until now, it sounds like it could work well
If all else fails and you think your cat may have heatstroke (symptoms here>> ), move him to a cool place and call the vet asap.
Sorry for the long post, but hope you found some of these tips helpful and if you have any other ones, you know where to leave them :”)