Cats, in general, are known for their fluffy fur coat which keeps them cozy and comfortable. But how do you keep your cat comfortable when the weather is just too hot? Whether you live in a sunny, tropical location or have just moved to one, keeping this six-step guide handy will help you make your fluffy feline a tad cooler in the scorching heat.
Cats Born in Hot Climates Get Used to Hot Weather: Fact or Fiction?
Cats born in hot climates still survive even with all that fluff. But is it true that they “get used” to the heat? Not quite. Cats, like many animals, are at risk of dehydration, panting, and heat stroke, despite their capability to adapt easily to extreme temperatures.
That being said, if you’re moving to a new country where the climate is tropical year-round or has very hot summers, your cat’s tolerance level to heat might need adjusting. This is where you can intervene to help your cat stay cool and not suffer from heat stroke.
#1 Provide Plenty of Fresh Water
Cats will be able to regulate internal body temperature by staying hydrated, despite extreme weather conditions. Due to their ability to sweat through their paw glands and tongue glands, cats can help stave off the heat by licking themselves.
#2 Keep Your Cat Indoors
Perhaps the easiest way to ensure cats stay cool in hot climates is by keeping them indoors. This way you can monitor their water intake, their sleeping pattern, and see if they are panting, lethargic, or vomiting (all of which are signs of heat exhaustion).
#3 Wipe Your Cat with a Damp Cloth
In cases where warm temperatures and high humidity combine, you might want to consider giving your cat a mini-bath with the help of a cool, damp cloth. Focus on the areas of the body such as under the legs, back of the ears, paw pads, and under the chin; this is where cats retain heat the most.
#4 Provide Shade & Air Circulation
Your cat will probably already find a cool, shady corner to rest in, but make sure to keep curtains and blinds shut when there is direct sunlight hitting a window or door. Rooms with tile floors are great spots for cats to lie in hot weather as it tends to be cooler against the ground. Clear out space underneath the bed so your feline can rest where the sun doesn’t shine. Lastly, make sure to keep a good amount of air flow throughout the house by placing a fan in the room or using the air conditioner (if available).
#5 Cool Your Cat Down with Ice Cubes or Cooling Pads
Luckily, most of us will have a tray of ice cubes in the freezer at all times. Ice cubes are a great way to keep your cat’s water bowl topped with icy water. Additionally, you can invest in a cooling mat for cats. These products are designed to keep your cat cool using gel-activated technology.
#6 Limit Travel Time
The final step that you can take to help your cat stay comfortable in hot weather and climates is to limit travel time. Hot countries, like where we are currently living (Mexico), make it near impossible to travel with Yoda due to transitioning between the heat of the sun and the cold of the air conditioning of the home or the car. Not to mention, public transportation can get congested and create additional stress and heat.
Keep in mind these six simple steps when ensuring your cat stays comfortable in hot climates and you’ll have one happy, healthy feline. Yoda has stayed cool since we moved here and with these tips, is feeling perfectly comfortable; even on hotter days! Just remember to monitor your cat during hot temperatures, especially after making a big move to a hot country.
About the authors
Paul and Brittany are the meowsterminds behind Fluffy Kitty, a cat blog inspired by their adopted travel cat named Yoda. Together they have lived in six countries, and are currently living in Mexico in a small pueblo by the beach.