Keep your cat safe in the heatwave: top tips for keeping your kitty cool and signs of heatstroke you should watch out for

For pet owners, the rising temperatures can be stressful and keeping furry friends safe and happy is a priority.

Friday, 26th July 2019, 06:00 am
Updated Friday, 26th July 2019, 06:00 am
Make sure your feline friend is happy and healthy this summer (Photo: Shutterstock)

Here are some top tips for keeping your cat safe in the summer heatwave - and signs of heatstroke you should watch out for.

Sunscreen isn’t just for humans

Believe it or not, the harmful effects of excessive heat and sunshine, such as sunburn and skin cancer, aren’t exclusive to humans.

Your cat needs protection from the sun as well.

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Veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth Falk told Pet Finder: “Light-skinned, white-haired cats that spend a lot of time lying in window sills are at risk for developing a certain type of skin cancer on the tips of the ears.”

When choosing a sunscreen that’s suitable for your cat, look for ones that contain the equivalent UVA and UVB barriers of human SPF 15 of SPF 30.

Hypoallergenic, fragrance- and dye-free products should always be used for your furry friend.

Cats can be more sensitive to ingredients in sunscreen than other animals - and are more likely to ingest products applied to them, so ideally you should seek out sunscreens specifically made for cats.

You can get this sunscreen from Amazon for £13.79, which is cat and dog safe.

Ice cubes

The RSPCA recommends adding ice cubes to your cat’s drinking dish, or making tasty ice cube treats.

Make sure your cat always has access to drinking water.

Pet Finder has a great recipe for “catiscles”, a cool and refreshing treat that your cat will love.

Wet towel

Most cats don’t like getting wet, so leaving a paddling pool out for them to take a dip isn’t the most practical way to keep your feline companion cool.

Alternatively, lay out a damp, cold towel for them - or stroke them with it to let them get some relief from the soaring temperatures.

Grooming

Keep on top of your cat’s grooming routine.

Excessive fur will trap heat, so removing any excess hair will ensure they’re not holding onto any more heat than they need to be.

You might notice your cat grooming themselves more as well, but that’s no cause for concern - this is their own method of cooling down.

What are the signs of heatstroke?

As temperatures rise, the chances of your cat suffering from heatstroke also increase.

These are the signs you need to keep an eye out for:

- Rapid breathing

- Quickened pulse

- Redness of the tongue and mouth

- Vomiting

- Lethargy

- A staggered walk or stumbling

- A temperature of over 40 degrees celsius

What should I do if I think my cat has heatstroke?

If you’ve found your cat unconscious in a hot area, soak them in cool (not cold) water, taking extra care not to get water into their mouth or nose.

If you can, place a bag of ice or frozen vegetables between their legs, and get them to a vet as soon as possible.

If you find your cat still conscious but showing signs of heatstroke, take them to a cool area and let them drink as much water as they want.

You should then get them to a vet as soon as possible.