How to keep your cat cool in the heat
The colour of your cat
It may come as a surprise to some cat owners to realise that the colour of their cat can affect how capable they are of handing the sun and hot weather!
Black and other dark coloured cats are likely to feel the heat more and get up to a higher body temperature, but their dark hair and skin will also mean that they are better protected against the sun’s rays itself.
White and light coloured cats will tend to find it somewhat easier to stay cool, but they are also at risk of getting sunburn, particularly if they have exposed pink patched on their nose and ears, or their skin is very fine. This might mean that you will need to use a cat-safe sunscreen on these sensitive areas, and will certainly mean that you must ensure that your cat has every opportunity to get into shaded areas out of full sun when they want to.
Play with ice cubes
For humans, they might make a cooling addition to a drink – but for cats, ice cubes can provide a whole world of fun. Pop them on a hard floor and watch your curious cat push them around the room and pounce. As well as cooling down their paws, where cats absorb and lose heat, it provides enrichment on days when it’s best to keep your cat indoors and out of the heat.
Cooling mats and ice packs in beds
There are a wide range of cooling mats for pets available to buy, but placing freezer blocks or pads, or even a pack of frozen vegetables, well wrapped in a blanket in your cat’s favourite spot will have a similar effect.
Most cats hate getting wet, so they’re unlikely to want to take a dip in any water to cool off. But wet a small towel in cold water and dab over your cat’s fur, or just stroke cat with wet hands, to bring some relief from hot weather.
Keep on top of grooming
Excess fur on cats traps heat, so daily grooming during heatwaves to get rid of dead hair will make your cat feel a little more comfortable. You may also notice that your cat is grooming itself more than normal, too. This is nothing to worry about – it’s their very own way to beat the heat as when the saliva evaporates off the fur, it will cool them down.
In hot weather, wet cat food can spoil quickly, so make sure that your cat’s food is kept in a cool place, and try to feed them wet food when the temperature drops, such as in the early mornings or in the evening. Cats will not eat spoiled food, and it will also of course attract flies and other nasties, so pay special attention to your cat’s feeding protocols and keeping bowls clean when the weather heats up.