How to prevent heatstroke in cats
Nobody likes to be burnt
Just like when us Brits head abroad to Spain and the sun hits us a little too hard, cats can suffer from heatstroke too. Unfortunately heatstroke can be fatal in cats, which is why it's crucial pet owners know what can be done to prevent it.
We've compiled a quick list on how you can avoid it affecting your cat. Read on for our top tips from Joii vet Jennifer.
Watch out for hot sheds
If you have a shed or conservatory, we recommend closing off entry. If your cat goes exploring and gets stuck, it can be a very dangerous place for them.
Give them a safe space
Now we've blocked off the hazardous spots, let's make sure you have a cool and well ventilated space available. If your cat likes to be outside, pop their favourite things in a good patch of shade to deter them from wandering into hot spaces.
While this one sounds obvious, we can't talk about heatstroke without reminding feline parents to make sure there is fresh, cool water within easy reach. Even better - put water in a few different places inside and outside to encourage them to drink throughout the day wherever they may be.
Avoid any stress or excessive exercise
While it may feel hard to skip play time, it's in your cat's best interest if you don't get them worked up. This can limit the risk of dehydration, will ultimately leads to heatstroke.
Skip regular playtime and instead keep your cat's mind satisfied with a frozen treat that they need to work for. This will engage mental stimulation without getting their heart rate up.
Our vets have a go-to summer treat they recommend pet owners try out. Get the frozen cat treat recipe here.
"While every cat is susceptible to heat stroke, there are a few risk factors to be extra wary of."
Know whether your cat has a higher risk factor
While every cat is susceptible to heat stroke, there are a few risk factors to be extra wary of. These include:
Very young and elderly have a reduced ability to regulate their own body temperature so are at an increased risk of developing heat stroke.
Fat cells in the body increase insulation meaning that overweight pets are more likely to overheat especially after exercise.
Due to their unique facial features brachycephalic cats such as Persians and Himalayans are at an increased risk of heatstroke. They often have underlying structural abnormalities (elongated palate and narrow nostrils) which can cause respiratory difficulties. They are also unable to efficiently reduce or regulate their own temperature so they must rely on their owners for help.
If your cat has long or medium length hair it is recommended to keep on top of grooming, particularly in summer, as this can be a contributing factor to heat stress. Always seek advice from a professional groomer or veterinarian if you have any concerns about your cat's hair coat.
Existing medical conditions
Cats with medical conditions such as heart disease, respiratory disease (including asthma) or kidney disease can all be more at risk of heat stress.
Let's sum it up
Now you know how to avoid it, be sure to remember the signs of heatstroke too, which include:
- Excessive drooling
- Rapid breathing
And if you need any advice, remember our online vets are here 24/7 in the Joii app.