Cooling Your Feline Friends: Tips for Beating the Heat During Summer (Indoors and Outdoors)

During the scorching hot summer days, I gained some valuable knowledge about how to keep my furry feline friends cool. As a responsible pet owner, it was essential for me to ensure that both my short-haired and long-haired cats didn’t overheat. The intense heatwaves in my already sultry location taught me a few tricks to prevent any unpleasant situations. Thankfully, the hottest days of the season have passed, and I’m relieved because we experienced abnormal heatwaves for nearly two weeks. The oppressive heat was unbearable for me, but I made sure to prioritize my cats’ comfort by implementing measures to keep them cool.

Maintaining a comfortable temperature for cats can be challenging, especially without air conditioning or under unusual circumstances. Recently, a reader named Phoebe reached out to me with a frustrating dilemma – her cat is sensitive to heat but also afraid of air conditioners and fans. The key to keeping cats cool is to approach the problem from various perspectives and try different solutions until you find one that works. Although it may take significant time and effort to discover a solution that satisfies your cat, the end result is typically straightforward and replicable. If you feel like you have exhausted all of your options, don’t worry! Cats are notorious for their finicky behavior, so you’re not alone. In this article, I will offer some tips that might help you keep your furry friend cool during the summer months. After reading, please feel free to share any ideas you have in the comments section below. Someone else’s suggestion could be the perfect solution for you and your cat. Before we dive into the recommendations, let’s take a look at Phoebe’s email describing her cat’s situation.

Tips for Keeping Your Indoor and Outdoor Cats Cool in Hot Weather
1. Provide a Variety of Cool Surfaces for Your Cat to Rest On
If your cat doesn’t like cooling mats, try investing in an elevated pet bed that’s flat and comfortable. You don’t need to get one that’s specifically made for pets – surfaces like ceramic, marble, granite, tile floors or even a standard bathtub could work just as well. If your cat is already resting on a cool surface, you might not need to add any more.
2. Use Shade to Your Advantage
Draw the curtains or blinds during the day to keep the sun out, and consider using black-out thermal insulated curtains to keep the cool air in. Providing shade for your outdoor cat is just as important, so make use of quick and easy-to-set-up outdoor furniture.

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1. Use Fans and ACs to Keep Your Cat Cool
If your cat doesn’t like the direct flow of air from a fan or AC, don’t worry because air circulation can still help keep the room temperature down. Just like humans, cats may not always want to sit directly in front of a fan or AC. So, try to give your cat a spot away from the direct flow or angle the fan towards the wall to keep them comfortable. If your cat becomes okay with fans angled away, but you need the house to be cooler, place a bowl of ice or an ice pack directly in front of the fan to circulate coolness around the room. If you’re keeping an outdoor cat, you can also buy affordable outdoor fans to keep them cool during hot weather.

2. Try Other Non-Electric Tricks to Keep Your Home Cool
There are several tricks you can use to keep your home cool without electricity. For instance, block out all sunlight during the day, but once the sun sets, open all windows and let the cool air in all night to lower the temperature. You can also close off unused rooms to focus on cooling what you need and avoid allowing cool air to spill out into other rooms. Additionally, avoid taking hot showers if possible, as they increase heat in the home. Stoves and ovens can also generate heat, so try to minimize their use or cook outdoors during cooler hours of the day.

3. Keep Your Outdoor Cat Inside During Heatwaves
While some cats may refuse to stay indoors, it’s recommended to keep outdoor cats inside during heatwaves. This will allow you to monitor them for signs of heat stroke, such as restless behavior, panting, sweaty feet, drooling, and excessive grooming. If ignored, these signs can lead to rapid pulse and breathing, redness of the tongue and mouth, vomiting, lethargy, stumbling, and eventually, seizures or a coma. If keeping your cat inside all day isn’t feasible, you can try to keep them indoors during the hottest parts of the day and let them out in the evening when it’s cooler.

4. Keep Your Cat’s Drinking Water Cool
Keeping your cat’s drinking water cool is not only refreshing for them but can also benefit you in several ways. You can place ice in their bowl a few times a day or keep a spare water bowl in the fridge and replace it with the one outside a couple of times a day. Additionally, placing the water bowl on tiled floors can help keep it cooler than on wood or laminate floors. Finally, placing an ice pack under the water bowl can also help keep it cool.

Encouraging your cat to drink more water is essential, especially during hot temperatures. You can try adding catnip to your cat’s water or mixing their food with water to ensure they stay hydrated. It’s also a good idea to leave a faucet dripping if your cat prefers running water. Regularly brushing your cat can help keep them cooler, but it’s important to do so in short, frequent bouts to prevent over-stimulation. The Furminator is an excellent brush for removing a lot of hair in one go, while the Kong Cat Zoom Groom Massage Brush works well on short-haired cats. If possible, shaving your cat can also help keep them cool. Brushing should be done at night when it’s cooler, and multiple times throughout the night if needed.

If you have a house with multiple levels, take advantage of cooler spaces like basements to keep your cat comfortable during hot times of the day. Make sure the basement is a safe and pleasant place for your cat to be, and leave the door open for easy access. On the other hand, keep your cat out of incredibly hot spaces such as rooms with full sunlight or sheds that get too hot. This is especially important for outdoor cats who may get trapped in places like greenhouses. Play with your cat at night instead of in the morning to avoid the “zoomies” during hotter parts of the day, and snuggle with your cat at night to give them attention without making them overheat during the day. Overall, prioritize your cat’s comfort during the hot summer months.

Do you have any tricks up your sleeve to help your feline friends beat the heat during scorching summer days? Share your experiences with us! What methods worked wonders for you and what didn’t? It’s always helpful to know where to start when it comes to keeping our beloved pets cool and comfortable. Have you ever encountered a situation where your cat overheated or suffered from dehydration during the hot weather? Let’s exchange thoughts, advice, and stories on how to tackle the heatwave together. Drop a comment below and let’s chat!

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