Newsday Tuesday — Cats Weathering the Heat

Parts of the US have had record heat waves this year, and those of us with animals are reminded regularly to keep our pets safe during these extreme weather events. If you don’t have an air conditioned barn for your farm animals, make sure they have shade and plenty of water. We used to hose our horses down on hot days. Our neighbors fill large plastic bottles with water, freeze them, and place them in their rabbit cages. It’s all rather elementary, isn’t it? If you’re suffering from the heat, most likely the animals are too. So what can you do to make your cat more comfortable?

1: If at all possible bring her inside where, presumably, the temperature is several degrees cooler. While most cats won’t lounge in front of a fan or small air conditioner, some will. Our Himalayan, Katy, loved to lay inches from our window air conditioner and feel the wind blowing through her fur. She looked like she was on a wild ride in a convertible. Smart cookie.

2: Offer your cat a cooling pad. Yes, there are heating pads that are warm to the touch and cooling pads with elements inside that keep them cool. If you live where temps rage, invest in a cooling pad for your pet (and maybe one for yourself).

3: Some experts suggest providing a water feature in your home for the cats. Fill your bathtub or a well-secured bin or children’s swimming pool with a few inches of water and float ice cubes or plastic balls in the water. Your cat might enjoy batting at the objects and, in the process, cool off a bit.

Here’s a site with additional tips for keeping your cat cool on a hot day and for identifying when your cat has become over heated. Here’s a site that gives tips for a variety of pets on a hot day

If your concerned about heatstroke in your cat, here’s a great article that should answer all of your questions and give warnings as to what to watch for in your cat.

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