Even though cats love being warm, it's still possible for your indoor cat to get too hot during the summer months, especially if you don't have air conditioning. Cats are most comfortable at temperatures below 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which isn't all that high. If temperatures rise above 100 degrees, your cat's health could be at risk. This means you'll need to take action on hot days.
1. Set Out Plenty of Water Dishes
Keeping your cat hydrated is important year-round, but it's especially critical during the summer. Instead of sticking with your usual number of water dishes, add a few more during hot weather. Place them around the house so your cat has access to water wherever they are. You can even add a water fountain to promote drinking.
2. Pop in Some Ice Cubes
Toss some ice cubes into your cat's water dish. The chilly water can help cool your cat from the inside out. Plus, the cubes could attract your cat to the water and encourage them to drink a little more.
House cats have an average body temperature of 100.5 to 102.5 degrees, and they tend to like it when it's hot. But they don't regulate their body temperature like we do (they don't sweat).
3. Try a Cooling Mat
Along with heated beds, you can also get cooling mats for pets. These comfy cooling pads can keep your cat at a comfortable temperature indoors or out. Some of them use ice, whereas others don't require any refrigeration or electricity. Just make sure you get one that's scratch-proof, so your cat doesn't accidentally release any of the gel inside if they get a claw caught.
4. Keep Window Shades Down
Even though we all know cats love basking in the sun, direct sunlight can heat a room up fairly quickly. Draw the curtains and close all blinds to keep the house cool for your kitty. If you don't have any window treatments, you can temporarily hang something to block the sun, like a towel or blanket. Just keep an eye on your cat to make sure they don't try to climb it!
5. Turn on a Fan
Get the air circulating in your home with a few fans. A lot of cats hate the feeling of air being blown on their body or face, but they will definitely appreciate the coolness a fan provides. Try to face the fan away from their bed, litterbox, or feeding area, so they can escape the breeze if they want to.
6. Wipe Them Down
What's something you intuitively do when you start to feel hot? Splash cool water on your face. We're not suggesting you do the same to your cat (because they will probably not be happy about it), but you can cool them down in a similar fashion.
Wiping your cat's fur with cool water can decrease their temperature and provide them with some much-needed relief. Use a cool, damp towel and focus on wiping your cat's feet, back, tail, and face. Skip the belly unless they're OK with you touching them there.
Cats naturally lick their own fur to encourage their saliva to evaporate and cool them off.
7. Brush Them Regularly
Cats shed their heavy winter coats in the spring and summer. You can help speed up this process by brushing your cat regularly. Give your kitty a good grooming session at least once weekly to help remove any loose hairs to keep them cool.
Avoid shaving your cat or giving them a lion cut unless it's medically necessary. It can actually make them warmer.
Help Your Cat Enjoy a Chill Summer
It's not just our pet pups who feel the heat in the dog days of summer. Cats can overheat, too. If your cat starts panting, drooling, vomiting, or becomes lethargic in hot weather, see your vet immediately. You can avoid feline heatstroke by providing your cat with one or all of these cooling methods this summer.