How do cats cool off in the summer?

Especially in summer, cats suffer from the high temperatures. They provide themselves with cooling by, panting and by licking their fur. Likewise, they limit their movements and look for a shady place.

How can I help my cat to cool down?

Cats suffer from hot temperatures, especially in the summer. Here we have some tips for you that you can take into account so that your cat does not get too hot and can survive the hot temperatures well.

  • Like us humans, cats can also get sunburned. Especially susceptible are the ears and noses of cats that are covered with little fur. This is where you should keep rubbing sunscreen on them. Make sure that the sunscreen is without additives, preservatives and chemical elements, because cats like to lick the sunscreen off their muzzles.
  • Especially on hot days, cats will lick their fur off to get some cooling. In doing so, they swallow a lot of cat hair, which can lead to severe digestive problems if not eliminated. Cat grass is especially helpful in this regard, as it encourages the elimination of the hair.
    Offer your cat a shady place in your home. Especially cold tiles in the bathroom or the cold basement is an ideal retreat for your cat in the summer. Also make sure that all shutters are closed, so that the apartment does not heat up from the outside. Plants also serve wonderfully as a source of shade in the apartment for your cat.
  • If you let your cat out on your balcony, make sure it is well protected and your cat can’t fall off. A safety net provides a safe shelter for your cat. Half-open windows are a well-intentioned ventilation alternative, but your cat may see this as an invitation to go outside and cause serious injury when trying to climb out. It’s best to open the windows all the way for ventilation.

  • Likewise, fans or even air conditioners are not suitable for cooling your cat. They pose a high risk of injury and cats can easily catch a cold or conjunctivitis.
    It is best to place small water dispensers throughout the apartment, so your cat can always drink something or moisten his fur. Small fountains or a small pond in the garden would be ideal in the hot summer.
  • Make sure that your cat eats enough food even on hot days with less appetite. Keep offering your cat small portions of wet food. This also contains a large amount of water. Make sure that the wet food is always freshly prepared and not left in the sun for too long, as the heat can cause it to spoil quickly.

How does my cat cope with high temperatures?

Cats love the sun and like to have their sleeping area warmed by the sun’s rays. However, cats can only tolerate a certain amount of heat because they cannot sweat properly. The few sweat glands they have are mainly used to secrete scents, which they use to mark their territory.

Cats always look for shady places to rest on hot days in the summer.

Cats try to cool themselves by panting and by licking their fur. Likewise, cats limit their movements when temperatures are high and often just stay in the shade.

If you want to know if outdoor cats need additional food, you can read about it in our brand new article How to feed outdoor cats right now.

How do I recognize heat stroke in my cat?

Cats, like other animals, can quickly suffer heat stroke when exposed to tremendous heat. This is very dangerous for cats and can become life threatening.

The first signs of heat stroke are usually not immediately apparent, as your cat will behave quite typically in hot temperatures. Usually they pant lightly and look for a shady place in the apartment. While doing so, they often pace back and forth restlessly.

Further signs of a heat stroke are usually then reversed behavioral traits compared to the restless running back and forth. Cats then become apathetic and lie down on their bellies.

Here you should watch your cat very closely and offer him a cool shady place or a bowl with water.

If your cat then cramps, shortness of breath or hyperventilates, quick help is called for and you should seek veterinary advice. Heat stroke can also cause chills and unconsciousness in your cat.

If your cat coughs heavily while purring, you should pay close attention to your cat. Here we explain whether this behavior could indicate an illness. Read our current article Cat coughs when purring – where it can come from and what you can do.

What can happen if my cat doesn’t cool down in the summer?

When cats are exposed to too high temperatures in the summer, it can quickly become dangerous for the four-legged friends. They cannot cool their bodies by sweating. The following dangers can exist for your cat if it does not cool down enough in summer:

  • Not only we humans can get sunburned, so can our pets. Cats are especially at risk for sunburn on the nose and ears, as there is little fur protecting the skin there.
  • If your cat is exposed to high temperatures, it can get heat stroke. This can quickly become fatal for your cat. If your cat shows signs of heatstroke, you should call your veterinarian immediately.
  • Cats need plenty of water to drink on hot summer days. Otherwise, cats can become dehydrated. Here it is recommended to feed especially a lot of wet food. This contains a large proportion of water, which the cat can absorb through food.

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Summary – How do cats cool off in the summer?

Cats suffer especially in summer from the high temperatures. Cats cool down by panting or by licking their fur.

There are several things you can do to help your cat cool down. For example, it would be advisable to keep the shutters closed in your home and offer your cat a place to sleep on the cold tiles in the bathroom or basement. It is also advisable to place small water bowls in the apartment, so that your cat always has enough to drink. Cooling on the balcony should be well considered and well secured. In any case, you should not turn on fans or air conditioning. This can lead to colds and eye diseases. A feeding only with wet food is very advisable on hot days, because in the wet food is a high water content.

Especially on hot days cats limit their movement very much.

Generally cats love to lie in the sun. Only should the temperatures become too high, your cat gets problems, because it can not sweat properly. Your cat will cool down by panting and licking its fur.

It becomes dangerous for your cat when it shows signs of heat stroke. You can recognize this, if your cat runs restlessly back and forth at high temperatures, pants and later also shortness of breath and lies apathetic on the belly. In this case, quick help is needed and you should seek veterinary advice.

Sunburn or dehydration are other dangers for your cat on hot days. Always make sure that your cat has a shady place to sleep and enough to drink.