Do Cats Get Hot?
How Hot Is Too Hot For Cats?
Estimated Read Time: 5 ½ minutes
Summary: In this blog, we learn all about how to keep cats cool in summer. We’ll find out whether cats shed their fur in the summer months, what temperature is too hot for cats, tips for keeping your cat cool in the warmest season as well as the signs of heatstroke in cats, and what to do in this instance…
Do Cats Get Hot?
Just like humans, our feline friends can swelter and struggle in the heat (despite them often choosing to laze in the warm sunshine spots in your yard or on a windowsill!).
Cats are very susceptible to heatstroke and can overheat quite easily! Heatstroke is a medical emergency in cats, so when the mercury rises and you’re a cat parent, it’s essential you help out your furry friend to prevent this from occurring…
How Hot Is Too Hot For Cats?
A cat's average temperature is between 99.5°F and 102.5°F; anything above this becomes a risk for heatstroke to set in. A cat’s temperature should never go past 105°F, as this can prove fatal.
You can take your cat’s temperature with a thermometer at a 90°C angle in their ear, but this will most likely be a two-person job as a cat, flustered or not, may be very resistant to you doing this.
How To Keep Cats Cool In Summer
Provide plenty of water; every pet should have access to clean, fresh water in a clean bowl at all times. Read our blog on How Much Water Cats Should Drink here.
Cool, well-ventilated space; make sure there is shade available all day in your yard and use the air-conditioning or fans in certain spaces inside that your cat likes to hang out in. Outdoor cat shelters for summer can be sourced and purchased from most pet stores if you’re struggling to find shade for them outside. Try your best to keep your cat out of hotter rooms like conservatories and orangeries.
Groom them; if your cat is a long-haired breed, daily brushing can help keep them cool as this will remove excess fur and reduce knots and matting.
Ice cubes; ice cubes can make great cooling toys and provide ample entertainment for your cat during the summer months. Encourage your kitty to bat them around on some hard floor in a cool room.
Open the windows; this will encourage any cooling breeze through your home.
Check rooms and vehicles before you close doors; your cat may have snuck in somewhere to sleep. Before you shut off a room in the heat, make sure they’ve not ventured in there first!
Stroke them with a damp cloth; this will relieve them of the heat and keep their fur cooler.
Place a wrapped ice pack, cooling mat, or frozen water bottle in their bed; this will help keep their body temperature down whilst they rest.
If your cat goes out with you, never leave a cat in a vehicle even with the windows open. Vehicles retain and build in heat rapidly regardless of open windows or not, and this can prove fatal for any pet.
Do Cats Lose Hair In Summer?
Yes, cats go through a seasonal shed; noticeably more so if your cat is allowed outdoors. This is normal. They’ll shed hair in the spring ready for the warmer months, and grow a thicker coat in the fall ready for the colder ones. Your cat’s breed will determine how big their shed will be; the thicker and longer the coat the more they’ll lose and then grow.
Brush them regularly during these periods to help remove excess fur. This will also help reduce the likelihood of hairballs.
What Are The Signs Of Heatstroke In A Cat?
Signs your cat may be suffering from heatstroke include:
- Confused state
- Muscle tremors
- Very red or pale gums
- Panting/noticeably odd breathing
- Drooling/excessively salivating
- Diarrhea and/or vomiting
Cats sweat through their paws, so a trail of wet paws with no evidence of them having been somewhere wet could also be a sign they are very hot.
If you suspect your cat is overheating, you need to get your vet on the phone - fast; heatstroke can be fatal in cats. They will most likely advise you to get your cat somewhere cool, offer them water to drink, spray cool water on their fur, and fan them. Do your best to continue this treatment on your way to the veterinarians.
Cats that are obese, dehydrated, over-exercising, flat-faced, long-haired/fluffy, a kitten or a senior or have respiratory/heart issues or conditions are more vulnerable to heatstroke than most other cats.
Why Are My Cats Ears Hot?
A cat’s ears are the thinnest part of their bodies and sometimes heat radiates from them. This isn’t usually something to worry about, particularly if they’ve been bathing in a sunny spot. A better body temperature gauge is to check their stomach or under their armpits.