As Australian summer heat waves approach, it's important to take extra care to ensure the safety and comfort of our feline friends. With temperatures expected to soar, it's more important than ever to take steps to keep our cats cool and comfortable. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Limit outdoor activity to the coolest parts of the day, such as early morning and late evening. The hot ground can burn our cat's paws and make them uncomfortable. It's also important to remember that hot pavement or asphalt can get extremely hot during the day and can burn our cat's paws, so it's best to stick to cooler surfaces like grass or dirt. Additionally, during a heat wave, it's essential to limit our cat's exposure to direct sunlight as they can easily get sunburned. Use of cat sun cream can also be considered to protect their sensitive skin. The best time to take them out for a walk or let them play outside is early in the morning or late in the evening when the sun is not at its strongest.
- Keep our cats indoors as much as possible: Indoor cats are less likely to suffer from heat-related illnesses and are also protected from sunburn and other hazards that can occur outside. Additionally, indoor cats have access to air conditioning and other forms of cooling that can help them stay comfortable during the hot weather. It's also important to keep windows and doors closed during the day to prevent hot air from entering the house.
- Watch for signs of overheating or dehydration: As pet owners, it's important to be aware of the signs of overheating or dehydration in our cats. These signs include panting, lethargy, dry gums, and a decrease in appetite or drinking. If we notice these signs, it's important to move our cat to a cool, shaded area and offer them water. It's also essential to monitor their body temperature, a temperature above 39.5°C (103°F) is considered a fever, and it's a sign of heat stroke.
- Wet food and water: Wet food is a great way to keep our cat hydrated during the hot weather. The water content in wet food can help keep them hydrated, and it's also a great way to add moisture to their diet. Additionally, we should make sure that our cat has access to fresh, clean water at all times. It's a good idea to have multiple water bowls around the house, in case our cat prefers to drink from a certain location.
- Provide a cool spot for our cat to relax: During a heat wave, it's important to provide our cat with a cool and comfortable spot to rest. This could be a room with air conditioning, a cool tile floor, or even a damp towel. It's important to remember that cats will often seek out cool spots on their own, so we should make sure that our cat has easy access to cool areas of the house.
- Be mindful of older cats or cats with health conditions: Older cats and cats with health conditions are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. It's important to keep a close eye on them and take extra precautions to keep them cool and comfortable. These cats may have a harder time regulating their body temperature, so it's essential to monitor them closely and take action if we notice any signs of overheating.
- Keep an eye on their grooming habits: Cats are usually good at keeping themselves clean, but during a heat wave, they may need our help. If our cat is panting heavily or not grooming themselves as much, it may be a sign of heat stress. We can help by providing a shallow pan of water for them to lay in or misting them with water to help them cool down.
- Consider a cooling pad or mat: These products are designed to keep our cat cool and comfortable during hot weather. They work by absorbing heat from our cat's body and releasing it into the air. They are easy to use, and our cat can lay on it to cool down.