The Omlet Blog

Cool cats – how to beat the heat with your feline

Cat and owner interacting - cat using Omlet Freestyle Outdoor Cat Tree in Omlet Catio

Did you know that cats originated from the desert regions? That’s right – it’s been discovered that our cats’ ancestors date back over 10,000 years ago to areas around the deserts of the Middle East. So that should mean they can handle really hot temperatures, right? Wrong! House cats today have been domesticated for centuries and, because of that, they no longer have the ability to handle such high temperatures. So what can you do to help your cat over summer? Grab some cold water for you and your cat and keep reading to find out how to beat the heat with your feline.

Causes of overheating in cats

The number one reason most cats get overheated is because they cannot regulate their internal body temperature. Unlike humans who can perspire to release some of the high temperatures, cats don’t have sweat glands. As a result, their bodies cannot cool down naturally so they are more susceptible to heat. 

Fortunately, the majority of house cats are indoor animals, only exploring the outside when in safe and secured cat enclosures. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore the possibility of heat exhaustion with your cat. The best rule to follow is, if it’s too hot for you outside, it’s too hot for your cat.

3 signs your cat is overheated

How hot is too hot? While there’s not an exact temperature at which cats can no longer tolerate the heat, there are – thankfully – many initial signs you can look for that indicate your cat may be too hot. Here is a list of warning signs to be aware of:

1. Lethargy

One of the most common indicators that a cat is too hot is a slow down in their energy and movement. In an effort to reduce heat, cats will become lethargic to try and prevent further increase in body heat. Since you know your cat best, be aware of their energy specifically in higher temp months. If they slow down suddenly, it’s time to cool off quickly.

2. Panting

Unlike dogs, it is not normal for cats to pant. The only way a cat can minimally release heat is through the pads of their paws and excessive panting. So if your cat’s paws feel sweaty to the touch and their tongues are out panting, then they’re too hot.

3. Vomiting

In severe cases of heat exhaustion, your cat may start to suddenly vomit and their body will likely tremble. If you start to notice any of these signs you need to seek medical attention from your vet immediately. 

How to cool down your kitty

The lifestyle of a cat is much different from a dog. While dogs are in and out all day to pee, play and lay, cats can do all of that from the comfort of the inside of your home. But that doesn’t mean cats are exempt from getting overheated. What if the A/C kicks the bucket on a hot summer day? Or what if your cat likes to lounge on the window sill that suddenly gets too hot in the summer sun? It’s still possible for your cat to get too hot while indoors. Here are 4 tips on how you can cool them down when they get too hot:

1. Keep the indoor temperature comfortable

Over the last few years, many of us have been working more from home, which means indoor temps are likely enjoyable for all. However, as many transition back to a work environment outside the house, it’s important to remember that your cats still need those comfortable A/C settings – especially in hotter months. So, just because you may not be home all day, your cat might be and keeping the house cool will ensure they are too. Also, ensure to keep curtains and blinds closed to keep out hot sunlight.

Outdoor setups can also be made cool and comfortable. Omlet’s Catios offer a range of cat weather protection covers, which offer shade to keep sunlight out and kitties, cool. Plus, fresh air is incredibly beneficial to our feline friends by helping to relieve stress and allowing them to investigate the outside world. 

2. Water, water, water!

Whether you are gone from home 8 hours a day, or just 80 minutes, your cat needs access to fresh water all the time. During the hotter months, try and keep multiple cat water bowls around the house so your kitty can stay super hydrated. And if you have a cat that doesn’t get stressed by being IN the water, then giving them a cool bath when it’s hot outside will help to keep kitty cool too.

3. Lots of brushing

Good hygiene is always important for our cats, and regular brushing is part of that process. In the summer months, grooming your cat can be even more beneficial as it helps to eliminate any extra hair that could be keeping your cat too warm. So when the temperature outside starts to rise, increase the frequency of grooming sessions.

4. Get a cooling mat

One of the best investments you can make for your cat during hot summer months is to buy them a cooling mat. Whether placed on the floor or on their bed, a cooling mat is a great way to keep your kitty cool all summer long. The Omlet Cooling Mat is a great option as it doesn’t require electricity or refrigeration to work – just the body heat from your cat will activate the cooling effects. You can rest assured that your cat will rest comfortably on one of these mats.

Which cats are more susceptible to heat?

Too much heat isn’t good for any cat, but there are certain breeds or conditions that are more susceptible to higher temperatures. So while you should be vigilant to keep your cat comfortably cool in summer, here are a few cats to be extra vigilant around.

  • Exotic Shorthair: These easygoing and affectionate cats make wonderful indoor companions. They love a good snuggle and are super easy to please. But they also have very short noses, making them much more vulnerable to heat and high temperatures. So best to keep these cats where they love to be on hot summer days – inside and cooled.
  • Persians: This breed gives new meaning to the phrase, “chilled out”. If given the chance to play about or lay around, they’ll likely choose the latter. Persians are very affectionate cats that are also very hairy. And it’s their long hair, coupled with their lack of desired exercise that makes them much more prone to issues with higher temperatures. So if you have a Persian, let them do what they do best in the summer months – chill out!
  • Seniors and kittens: These two age groups are important to watch when it gets hotter outside because of how their bodies react to higher temperatures. With kittens, their bodies are still growing so their ability to regulate internal body temperatures is not as robust as an adult cat. Likewise, senior cats can often experience a weaker immune system with age, making them susceptible to high heat as well.
  • Medical conditions: If your feline friend has any type of breathing problem, such as asthma or bronchitis, they’re more likely to have problems with hot temperatures. Always check with your veterinarian if your cat has a specific medical condition to get advice on how best to help them in hotter months.

How to avoid a hot cat in the first place

Many of the ways you can avoid heat exhaustion with your cat seem obvious but sometimes the most obvious actions are not always taken, so it’s best to remember these few important tips:

Don’t leave your cat in a hot car

This should go without saying, but a good reminder nonetheless that hot cars and cats don’t mix. Even on days that might seem mildly warm and when your car is parked in the shade, it is still too hot for your cat. So if you have to travel with your furry friend, be sure to take them with you wherever you go so they can stay cool.

Keep plenty of fresh water around your house

A hydrated cat is a happy cat – especially in hot weather. So when it’s hot outside, remember to place a few more bowls of water throughout the house for your cat to drink a lot.

Close the blinds

Cats love to lounge around and, often, it’s in the warm glow of the sun rays that flow through your windows. However, these sun rays are magnified in heat during the summer months, making a bask in the warm glow feel like a sweat session in a sauna. When the temperatures outside start to rise, increase the cooling effects inside by closing your blinds, curtains, and shades. Don’t worry – your cat will find another suitable place to lounge.

Even though our feline friends are famous for seeking spots to sunbathe, the truth is that too much heat is not good for them. While you can’t control the heat and humidity outside, you can certainly control how it feels inside. So when summer starts to turn up the heat, set your indoor temperatures to cool and make sure your cat is comfortable with Omlet’s cat bowls, and their very own cat cooling mat.

Cat on Omlet cat shelves with a glass of milk

This entry was posted in Cats

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