Keeping Cats Cool in Summer
As the temperature keeps climbing throughout the summertime, we must remain aware of our cats’ heat exposure and be proactive in providing ways to keep our cats comfortable and cool. While our felines are agile and dexterous enough to survive some environments on their own, as humans we should aspire to do everything we can to keep our cats safe from any sort of harm. In this article, we’ll go over how a cat regulates their own internal heat, common symptoms cats may experience while overheating, and various ways to provide cool areas for our felines to stay safe & cool in this summer.
Cats have such beautiful coats. Aside from their coats being visually stunning, a cat’s coat plays a large role in protecting them against mild outdoor heat, cool brisk weather, and provides some protection against the sun’s heat rays. Their fur is structured in two basic layers: the outer layer and the inner layer. During the cooler season, both layers remain intact to provide just enough warmth. However, the inner layer sheds soon after warmer weather sweeps in to help keep the cat cool. While it is debated whether fur patterns play a significant role in this feature, cats with white fur are well known to be vulnerable when exposed to direct sunlight. White is the lightest color there is, thus it reflects all visible wavelengths of light which increases the amount of exposure of light rays onto the skin of a cat. Heavy sunlight exposure to white cats can cause burns, various skin cancers, and other ailments, including causing insects to gather more than usual. What about a Sphynx? Those cats are exceptionally at risk for skin injuries, thus their home life should provide as much protection from the sun as possible. However, there are exceptions if the necessary safety steps are taken, such as putting a shirt on them, playing in outside tents, and avoiding hot concrete.
Our cats do their best to stay cool during the summer. They shed their under coats, regulate their internal temperature, and find the coldest parts of the house.Even then, they may not be as cool as they need to be, but that’s where we come in. We as owners and parents of our cats, can do so much to create a comfortable environment for them. Firstly, make sure your cat has a full water bowl, and even when they do, it’s important to keep cycling their water for a constant supply of cool, refreshing water. Secondly, helping out their coats and stomachs by manually brushing them for excess fur during the shedding of the inner layer will help to keep them exponentially cooler. Since most owned cats are indoors, they wouldn’t be exposed to the outside heat rays. However, colonies of strays would be, and aiding them during the summer heat is imperative. By building shaded areas in your own property for colony strays to find sanctuary, you can do your part to keep them safe from the summer heatwaves.
However much we may prepare for the inevitable, it is just as important to understand what it looks like if our cats undergo the worst in these situations. Overheating in pets may come from various different outlets such as too much playtime, medically induced high fever, and from their natural environment. There are many symptoms attributed to overheating; here are a few to watch out for: excessive panting, seizures, lethargy, disorientation, dry gums, rapid heartbeat, and vomiting. If you notice these symptoms, it’s important to contact a veterinarian right away. While overprotecting is not advised for a healthy lifestyle, being observant and prepared for any issues that may arise eases the stress of expecting the worst.
Summertime with our pets is the best time of the year! The sky will clear up most days, and the warm weather is bound to put a smile on you and your pets face. There’s never a reason not to enjoy the best in life with our pets, as long as we do it with their safety in mind!