The hot summer months come with some added responsibility when it comes to your cat. While it’s true that cats are experts at seeking out the coolest (and strangest) places to chill out, there are still a few things you can do to prevent heatstroke. Read on for some helpful guidance on keeping your precious kitty cool.
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MAKE A CHILL-OUT RETREAT
Even if your cat has a favorite bed, make a cooler alternative for it to sleep in during the summer months. If your cat's a fan of boxes — and what cat isn't? — you can make a comfortable chill-out spot by lining a small cardboard box with a clean, cool cloth. Make sure the fabric is breathable, and include a non-gel ice pack or bag of frozen peas under a towel for cooling.
PROVIDE PLENTY OF WATER AND ICE
Your cat will be drinking a lot more water during the summer months than it usually does. To keep up with your cat’s thirst, make sure its water bowl is full of cool, fresh water at all times. If you can, leave a few small bowls of water in the rooms your cat likes to frequent. If you don’t have air conditioning, consider also freezing a bowl of water overnight, then leaving it out in the morning. The ice will melt over the course of the day, and your cat will have access to cold water for a longer period of time.
LET YOUR CAT FIND ITS IDEAL COOL SPOT
Cats instinctively seek out the coolest spots in the house, so when it’s hot outside, don’t be alarmed if you walk into the bathroom and see your cat relaxing in the sink. It might look kind of strange, but can you think of a consistently cooler place to be in the house? Trust your cat’s instincts and don’t shoo it out of these cooler areas unless necessary.
SPRITZ OR TOWEL OFF
This tip's usefulness will depend on your cat’s tolerance for getting wet. Some cats are OK with a light spritzing of water on their coats, bellies, paw pads and ears to cool them down. Others will hiss and hide under a bed at the mere sight of a water bottle. For less water-tolerant cats, try using a dampened washcloth to pet your cat. Either method will help cool off your kitty.
SET UP FANS AND CLOSE BLINDS
Sometimes you have to leave your cat home all day without the luxury of air conditioning. Help your cat stay comfortable by leaving a fan or two on around the house. Close the drapes or blinds on your windows to maximize cooling. Keep in mind that cats love sunning themselves, so leaving one set of blinds up is fine.
PLAY WITH ICE
If your cat is extra playful and isn’t picky with its toys, try incorporating ice into its toy collection. This can be as simple as playing “fetch” with an ice cube in a cool indoor space. If you’d rather not have a watery mess afterward, try putting one of your cat's favorite toys in the freezer for a while to make it extra cool during playtime.
RESERVE PLAY FOR THE MORNING AND EVENING
During summer, limiting the times when you’re most active with your cat will help prevent it from suffering heatstroke. Keep your cat indoors during the day, and play with it only in the morning or in the evening when the temperatures outside are at their lowest.
Next: Summer Safety for Cats
RAISE YOUR CAT'S BED OFF THE GROUND
If your cat has a bed it just has to lay in, you can help cool out its spot by raising the bed off the ground a bit. This will allow air to circulate below it as your cat sleeps. You can also lay down a small towel and include a cold, gel-free ice pack underneath for an added cool-down on extra-hot days.
How to Keep Your Cat Cool During Summercats decoded
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