Our hot summers and your cat.. some hints on having a cool kitty.

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It’s the middle of summer here in Australia and temperatures are soaring.  It’s going to be 37 degrees here where I live and I’m sure there will be plenty of places that will get even hotter!  It seems like our Aussie summers are extending more and more into Spring and Autumn with temperatures soaring much higher for longer periods.  Not great for us, but most of us can get some relief by taking a cool bath, or hanging out at the local shopping centre if we don’t have aircon.

Our pets on the other hand don’t have that option.  If they are outdoors, finding a shady spot is about the best they can do.  Our indoor ones often tend to gravitate towards tiled floors or cooler parts of the house where possible. Still this often isn’t enough, so how do we keep them from feeling too heat stressed with their fur coats on?

Here are a few hints and tips to help you keep your cool kitty even cooler this summer.
First things first: Make sure you groom your cat regularly during Spring to ensure that they shed all the winter coat they’ve built up.  This in itself will help them stay cooler during the hotter months of the year whether they are an indoor or outdoor cat.

Outdoor kitties
  • Make sure that your kitty has access to at least one spot outside that stays shaded all day long.
  • Ensure drinking water is in a cool shady spot all day around and see that there is more than one lot of drinking water, just in case one gets tipped over or hit by the sun.
  • Put ice blocks in their drinking water, it will help keep it cooler for them
  • Frozen ice bricks placed under towels in a shady spot will provide extra coolness.
  • Buy a cool gel mat, these act through pressure and body temperature to cool your kitty down when he lies on it.

Indoor Kitties
  • Keep windows on the sunny side of the house closed and window coverings drawn to keep out the heat.  This will stop the house heating up as much over the course of the day.
  • Keep windows on the shaded side open to allow for ventilation.
  • If you are staying home, then use fans to help circulate the air.
  • Make sure that kitty has access to your bathroom.. Many bathroom floors are tiled and are much cooler than carpeted or wooden areas.
  • Keep all drinking water cool by placing ice blocks in it during the day.
  • Place towels in the fridge or freezer for awhile to cool them and then place these on the floor or anywhere kitty likes to lie.
  • Cover large flat ice bricks in towels to make a cool spot for your cat to snuggle up to.
  • Place a cooling gel mat in a favourite spot to help your kitty keep cool.
  • If kitty is still looking heat affected, then dampen paws and muzzle to help them to regulate their body temperature more effectively.

The most important thing is that you monitor your kitty for heat stress. Heatstroke is very serious and can very quickly cause death, especially in old or very young animals or those carrying excess weight. 
Watch for these signs:- excessive heavy panting, lethargy, glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, excessive thirst, vomiting, lack of coordination.

If you think your pet might be suffering then do the following
  • Move them to a cooler spot
  • Bathe paws, head, neck and chest in cool (not cold) water
  • Small amounts of water and or ice cubes can be given
  • Take your pet to the vet.
With a few preparations and a little bit of TLC, your kitty will weather the heatwave in perfect condition.

Kitties keeping cool
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Kitties keeping cool
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Kitties keeping cool
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