Cats and Hot Weather

In extremely hot weather, never leave your cat outside in the sun & heat for long periods of time without shade and access to cool water. Also remember cats can get sunburned too. (see article “Sunburn in cats”)

When the weather is hot, cats need somewhere cool to rest so that they are not overcome by heatstroke. If your cat goes out and heads for a sunny spot, it might be an idea to keep him/her in during the hottest part of the day, between 11am - 4pm.

Cats that do go out in the heat of the day, even if it's just to sit, are at risk of getting sunstroke. Cats like any small animal become heat stressed when temperatures increase over 21oC so it is important that they have access to shade and that they have plenty of clean cool water.

If your cat does get heatstroke, you need to deal with it very quickly. Symptoms include heavy panting, a rapid heartbeat, drooling saliva, and the tongue and lips often become very red, later turning to a bluish tinge. Just like dogs left in hot cars your cat will quickly become very weak and distressed quickly and  will have a high temperature, which, if it continues to rise will cause him/her to collapse and eventually go into a coma and then possibly die.

Having removed a cat from the situation that has caused this, try and lower his/her temperature gently by applying a cold wet cloth to his/her skin, although you must be very careful not to lower it too far as it could actually cause hypothermia.  Do this as a temporary measure whilst you arrange to rush your cat to the Vet as every minute will count!!!

Remember You have a responsibility to ensure the well-being of animals under your care. With a bit of forward planning you can greatly increase the comfort and health of your cat during periods of hot weather