I feel sorry for cats in summer. It seems as though they’d get awfully hot under that thick coat of fur. I ask Lily, every once in a while, if she’d like to take off her coat. However, I guess the hot weather isn’t as hard on cats as it would seem—well, except for those who live out of doors or in pens without any cooling relief. And removing their coat is one of the worst things we could do. (More about that in a minute.) When I mention my own two cats, we’re talking cats kept inside with various cooling methods in place.
Here are a few facts with regard to cats and hot weather. While, of course, they can be overcome by heat, just as we can (we discussed this a few weeks ago), they are also engineered to handle the heat to some degree. Licking their fur, for example, is a method they use to cool down. They also seek out cool places to spend their days. A cat knows to conserve energy in the heat. So you might see your cats—especially those who live outside—sleeping more.
Are you thinking of shaving your cat in the summer so she’ll be cooler? Don’t do it! Cats’ fur is designed to keep them warm in the winter and provide insulation from the heat of the summer. This is not to say that cats are completely self-contained and the heat won’t harm them. It will. And it is up to us to make sure they have plenty of water to drink and to play in, if they’re so inclined. You may recall my post about water features you can provide for your cat on a hot day—ice cubes or ping pong balls floating in a pool of water, for example. Some cats will bat them around and stay cooler in the process.
What are some of your cat’s cooling habits? Have you used a cooling pad? Does she allow you to spray water on her to cool her down? Lily loves to drink from a spigot and generally gets sprinkled in the process. Katy used to lay inches from the swamp cooler or a fan. Winfield liked to poke his paw in a bowl of water. Most cats will simply sleep a hot day away and become more active when the sun goes down.