Summer is fun since the sun is scorching. But when the humidity goes high, then it ceases to be fun. The sun affects pets, and this is not limited to cats. The heat is as uncomfortable for them as it is for human beings.
Cats don’t sweat as human beings do, so they groom to stay cool. They sweat through the pads of the feet and nose because this is where their eccrine sweat glands are found. But interestingly, there are other sweat glands in the skin known as apocrine sweat glands.
The work of apocrine sweat glands is to secrete an oily substance that acts as a pheromone. Cats do not do well in hot weather because they are at risk of suffering from heatstroke and dehydration. If you don’t take care of these conditions as a cat owner, it can lead to death.
Sweating through the pads of the feet and nose is not adequate for cats. That’s why they try to stay cool by licking themselves and allow moisture to evaporate. To understand if your cat is suffering from the heat, look out for these signs; moaning, hiding, and lack of movement.
Here are some tips you can implement:
14 Ways of Keeping Your Cat Warm Without Air Conditioning
1. Using a Cooling Pad
Cooling pads come in different sizes and makes. They are either made with air, water, or gel. For example, you will find a type that has a pressure-activated substance.
The substance is for keeping the cat cool by absorbing the heat from the cat’s body. When the cat is not using that pad, the gel will recharge and cool down. Ideally, you can set a cooling pad at any part of the house.
Some people leave them on the floor where cats can see them quickly. But once the cats identify the spot where the cooling pads are, they can lie on them.
2. Give Your Cat Regular Baths
Consider bathing your cat regularly to help regulate the body temperature. According to experts, bathing is a sure way of keeping your cat cool. However, every cat is different, so be aware of your cat’s health status before bathing it.
You can plan a schedule and identify the ideal time of bathing. If the sun is too hot, consider using cold water. For the cats that don’t love taking baths, use other solutions. For example, you can set a pet water fountain may be in the kitchen.
When the cats are feeling hot, they will soak their fur in the fountains. Cats in the wild do it, so it is not dangerous to try it with your cats. That will help cool their bodies and make them active.
3. Open the Windows Regularly
During summer, it gets uncomfortable, especially when the cats are in an enclosed space. The heat rises and becomes unbearable. When you open the windows, you are allowing air to flow into the house. If it is windy, the idea is good since it will put the hot air out.
You can opt to keep the windows open as long as it is necessary. That allows a fall in temperature, meaning the house will stay cool. If the heat persists even at night or at whatever time of the day, you can still opt to let the windows stay open. It’s a natural way of keeping your cats cool.
4. Grooming Your Cat
Untangle their coats to keep them cool. You can do this by brushing regularly over the summer. In case your cats have long furs, opt to have them clipped. This can be done by a cat professional to avoid making mistakes.
When the fur is kept clean and short, the cats don’t overheat. They are in a position to clean by themselves easily, too, as a way of cooling their bodies. So you can pamper your cats through grooming yet keeping them cool.
5. Create a Retreat
When cats feel the heat, they will try to look for dark places in the house that feel cool. At times you may find them in the bathroom or around anywhere that feels cool. Consider creating for them an indoor retreat where they can go rest and sleep.
It’s a good idea to use cardboard or clothes. You can opt to keep them in a cool place, maybe behind a chair or the bed. If you have a wooden floor, it is even better. Ensure the clothes you are using are made of cotton so they can breathe easily.
6. Minimize Exercises
Most cat owners love exercising their cats, which is good. But this can be dangerous during summer. The exercise cause fatigue in cats, and some even faint. The exercise can be strenuous, especially if they involve running.
Allow your cats to decide what to do during the day instead of forcing exercises. If they must engage in exercises, you can do it in the evening. It is mostly cooler at this time of the day, but if still, you feel it is scorching, set the exercises for another day.
7. Use of Homemade Air Conditioning
Use bottles with iced water to keep your cats cool. Take a bottle and fill it with iced water. If you don’t have iced water, you can keep the water in a freezer for some time. Wrap the bottle in a towel and place it on the spots where your cats frequent.
When they feel the heat, they will go to those spots to relax. You can use bottles of soda that are not in use. A tip to note, though, is to avoid filling the bottles. That is because when the water freezes, it expands, and so it can spill.
8. Use a Wet Cloth to Pat the Cats
When it is scorching hot, cats don’t mind getting their furs wet. But in the real sense, cats don’t enjoy getting wet. So, take a damp cloth or a paper towel and use it to stroke your cats. Ensure the water is cold so that the cats can feel the effect.
You will notice they are enjoying the feel since it is cooling their bodies. You can concentrate on their warmest parts like pads of the paws, outside the ears, tummies, under the chin, and armpits. Start stroking from the head, going downwards.
9. Keep Your Cat Hydrated
It is essential to place bowls of freshwater around the house. The cats can quencher their thirst often, and this can help in cooling their bodies. Keep checking whether they have drunk the water, and if so, you can refill.
Most people tend to forget this step, and cats love drinking water. When you place those bowls strategically, that encourages your cats to drink up. Under those scorching days, you don’t have to worry because your cats are well hydrated.
10. Close Curtains and Blinds During the Day
Most cat owners prefer using black-out curtains. They are effective when it comes to blocking the sun because they are dark. They ensure that the house stays cool by keeping the light and heat out during summer.
But if you don’t have them ensure you close your curtains when the heat becomes unbearable. Ensure your blinds are drawn during the day, too, to minimize the heat.
11. Use of Fans
Get creative when using fans to cool the house. You can opt to place a frozen bottle around the fan or keep the fan near a window. When the fan blows the water, it cools the air. At times cats get close to the fan to enjoy the breeze.
The best fan to use is a box fan. Ensure it is placed on the floor so that the air can pass under their beds. That will help cool your cats and give them a good night’s rest.
12. Keep the Cool Floors Uncovered
Don’t cover cool floors around the house. Floors found in the bathroom or even in the kitchen are normally cool. You may find your cat rolling on those floors and wonder what is going on. It is a sign to show you they are feeling the heat.
So ensure you remove all the rugs on floors so that you can give them somewhere they can lie and cool down. However, if you notice your cats are lying on the floor in winter, consider visiting a vet. Cats that are suffering from arthritis love lying on the cold floor to cool their joints.
13. Try to Keep Your Cats Calm
If your cats are active, try to calm them down. Some cats love playing all the time without knowing the dangers that pose, especially during summertime. There is nothing wrong with cats being active, but that may bring about the exhaustion that is not good in such times.
To achieve this, you must withdraw your attention when the cats want to play, ignore them, and pretend to be busy. The techniques will work since they will get bored and stay quiet.
14. Use Ice Cubes to Cool Your Cats
Using ice is crucial when you know you are going out. You can opt to put some ice cubes in your cats’ water to keep the room cool. When you are around the house and your pets insist on playing, throw some ice cubes on the ground.
They will try to play with the cubes, and that will cool down their paws.
If your cats don’t want to stay indoors, and it’s hot, you must be worried as a cat owner. The heat may become unbearable and harm your cats. So, take a look at tips you can use to keep your cats safe under the sun.
Use Sunblock for Pets
Cats get sunburns in places where there is sparse fur. Their noses, ears are mostly affected by the sun. If you can’t keep them indoors, or if they want to stay out, use the sunblock.
You can consult your vet to know what sunblock to buy. But if you can, don’t let them out at the time when the sun is the strongest. This is between 11 am and 3 pm.
Get Some Shade in Your Garden
The shade will offer a cooling place for your cats. You can spread clothes around to give the cats somewhere cool to lie down. Make sure your shaded garden has plenty of water in case the cats need to take some water.
Keep a Check on Your Outdoor Rooms
When looking for places to cool down, cats can stay in different rooms rather than your house. If you have a greenhouse, they can hide there. But a greenhouse doesn’t have ventilation, so if you lock them there, they will die of overheating.
Avoid Leaving Your Cats in the Car
It is not wise to leave your cats in the car when it is extremely hot. The car’s temperature can go up to 100 degrees, which can be dangerous for your cats. If you are running errands with your cats, get them out of the car or leave the windows open.
It is believed that cats can tolerate heat more than humans. But that doesn’t mean we should leave them to suffer under the scorching sun. The tips we have discussed above are effective and can be implemented to keep our furry friends comfortable.
Since summer can be hostile to cats just as humans, make sure you watch out for symptoms of heatstroke. If you notice excessive panting, vomiting, unconsciousness, fever, and drooling, it’s time to take the cats to the vet.
Featured Image Credit: shymar27, Shutterstock
- 14 Ways of Keeping Your Cat Warm Without Air Conditioning
- 1. Using a Cooling Pad
- 2. Give Your Cat Regular Baths
- 3. Open the Windows Regularly
- 4. Grooming Your Cat
- 5. Create a Retreat
- 6. Minimize Exercises
- 7. Use of Homemade Air Conditioning
- 8. Use a Wet Cloth to Pat the Cats
- 9. Keep Your Cat Hydrated
- 10. Close Curtains and Blinds During the Day
- 11. Use of Fans
- 12. Keep the Cool Floors Uncovered
- 13. Try to Keep Your Cats Calm
- 14. Use Ice Cubes to Cool Your Cats
- Additional Tips
- Final Thoughts