How Cats Keep Their Cool In Hot Weather

There are all kinds of ways cats keep cool in hot weather, although eating ice cream cones isn't one of them.
Dear Thomasina...
How do cats keep cool in hot weather? It's blazing hot today, and I'm very worried about my outside cat.
Concerned Cat Mom

Hey Concerned...
I don't think you need to worry about your boy. Cats know how to keep cool in hot weather. We're homeotherms (We're what??? The human typist strikes again, and I don't like the the sound of that!). Oh, I see. It means we're able to adjust internal heat gain and loss so we can maintain a constant body temperature. Well, I knew that!

How Cats Keep Cool In Hot Weather

Believe it or not, the most important thing we have going for us in hot weather is our fur. It provides insulation that keeps us warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It also helps us stay hydrated and protects us from sunburn. So if you're thinking about shaving your cat, please don't!

Here are some other ways cats keep cool in hot weather.
  • We lick ourselves a lot. The saliva evaporating from our fur provides a cooling effect, similar to perspiration evaporating from your skin.
  •  We know where the cool places are and seek them out. Outside, we'll nap under a big bush or hang out in the woods. Inside, cats keep cool by sleeping on a tile floor or even in the sink or bathtub. The cool surface draws heat from our bodies. 
  • We stretch out and may even lie on our backs because we're cooler that way.
  • We rest and sleep more. We know exertion can make us overheat when it's very hot.  
  • We drink more. Staying hydrated will keep cats cool. I prefer to get drinks from the stream behind our condo, but your cat might appreciate an extra bowl of water. 

When Cats Lose Their Cool

This has never happened to me, thank goodness, but cats can overheat. We don't cool down by panting the way dogs do. So if you see your cat panting, you'll know he's way too hot. Other signs of heat stroke include a fast heartbeat, dilated pupils, drooling, stumbling or staggering, lethargy and yowling.

If you suspect your cat has heat stroke, soak him with cool (not cold) water and get him to the vet as fast as you can. 

Oh, and never, ever leave him confined in a carrier or car on a hot day.

Sorry, but I really have to go now. The temperature's dropping and outdoors is beckoning. Muffitt and Belle are outside already, and they're going to get the good spots under our big bush if I don't get on my way. Hope this helps, Concerned, and keep cool!

Outdoor water bowl provides a constant source of water for outside cats
Today's Recommendation:
This bowl provides a constant
source of fresh water for outside cats.

No comments:

Post a Comment