Cats usually love laying in the sunshine, making the best of their never-ending free time. But we all know how hot summer in Malta can get, especially for our furry household members. Unlike us, cats can’t strip down to summer clothes or enjoy the outdoors for a long stretch of time, because they have to wear their coat all year long. It’s important to prioritise your cat’s safety and comfort in extremely hot weather, to prevent any risks of heat stroke or exhaustion.
So here are 6 tips on taking care of your cat during the boiling summer months, helping your feline friend stay as cool as a cucumber!
Leave plenty of water for your cat
Humans are advised to drink more water than usual in summer. This applies to cats too. Make sure your cat’s bowl is always full of fresh, clean water. Replacing the water a few times a day might encourage your cat to drink more and stay hydrated. If you have a large home, place water bowls in different areas of the house so that they are within your cat’s easy reach. Additionally, leaving some ice cubes in the water bowl in the morning will keep your cat’s water colder for longer.
Try some cooling down home remedies
Keeping your cat refreshed in summer doesn’t need to be expensive. One of the most practical remedies is to gently stroke your cat with a damp washcloth or towel. Cats enjoy moisture on their fur, even more so when they realise that it can relieve them from the heat. After all, cats constantly wet their own fur when grooming themselves, in an attempt to cool down.
Bonus tip: When you’re out all day, you can ingeniously create a homemade AC for your cat! All you have to do is fill a drinking bottle with cold water, and leave it in the freezer overnight. The following morning, wrap the bottle in a towel, and place it in your cat’s favourite lounging spot. Be careful not to fill the bottle to the very top, in case your cat pops open the bottle by mistake!
Ensure shade and good air circulation
Most cats enjoy snoozing in the sun, but then retire to shady spots when they start feeling hot. In fact, it is very common for felines to lie on kitchen or bathroom tiles in summer, because the porcelain surface keeps them cool. Provide your cat with shade both inside and outside your house, and close the curtains or blinds of the rooms your cat typically frequents. Opening the windows of these rooms will also let in a cool breeze, ideal for your cat to rest comfortably.
Bonus tip: Instead of switching on the AC, you can leave a small box fan on the floor or near an open window. When a piercing heatwave strikes, you can even put a frozen water bottle in front of the fan.
Elevate your cat’s bed
For even better air circulation for your cat at all times, it might be a good idea to raise its bed using short-legged plastic frames covered in cloth. This way, your cat can sleep well in the heat because the air passing under its bed will help it stay cool.
Groom and brush your cat often
A well groomed tangle-free coat is sure to keep your cat cool during the hot summer months. But before you start trimming your cat, or head over to any of the 44 Pet Groomers listed on Yellow, ask a veterinarian. Certain cats need their fur to protect them from overheating or sunburns, most notably white and other light-coloured breeds. If professional clipping ends up not being the way to go, you can still keep your cat cool by brushing frequently to remove loose fur, or only trimming the tummy area.
Be wary of heat stroke
Like dogs, cats naturally react to heat by panting. When they feel overheated, cats pant quicker to try and maintain a safe internal temperature. Excessive panting is in fact one of the potential symptoms of heat stroke in cats, which if untreated can lead to kidney damage or heart dysfunction. Other symptoms include fever, drooling, vomiting and unconsciousness.
These symptoms are more common in cats that are elderly, overweight or suffer from heart or lung disease. Same goes for cats that are brachycephalic, meaning ones with a flat-shaped face, such as Persian cats. If any of these heat stroke symptoms surface, be sure to contact your nearest vet or animal clinic.
Hot or cold, your cat needs to be provided with the utmost level of care all year round. Find anything your cat could need from any of these 128 Pet Shops and these 46 Pet Food & Supplies Providers – all listed on your number one local search engine: yellow.com.mt!