Cats and Hot Weather

Like humans and dogs, cats can suffer from too much heat. Cats love to find a warm spot to sleep on or take a nap on a sunny windowsill, but as temperatures rise, they may overheat which may be dangerous for them. There are precautions you can take to ensure that your furry friend does not overheat when summer presents extremely high temperatures. There are also signs you can watch out for when kitty starts to overheat.

Activity in Hot Weather

Your kitty may become less active when temperatures rise. And instead of chasing toys and roaming around, may prefer to stretch out on a cool surface. This is normal behaviour and is an attempt on kitty’s part to avoid generating more heat. You can help by providing a cool spot in your house or a shady spot in your garden where your furry friend can relax.

Hydration in Hot Weather

You may need to encourage your cat to drink in hot weather – in order to stay cool, staying hydrated is vital. You can make drinking water more interesting for your feline friend by providing more water bowls. Your kitty may think that he/she may as well have a drink when passing a bowl. Cat love clean, fresh and flowing water. You could provide a drinking fountain or a hydration station. You can even connect these to a smartphone app in order to monitor your cat’s drinking habits. The water does not have to be ice cold for your cat, even on a very hot day. When grooming, which may increase in hot weather, your cat may lose water in their saliva. Your kitty is attempting to keep cool by the evaporation of their saliva. You can help by wetting your hands and stroking your cat’s head, or you could try a rub-down with a damp towel, if kitty will allow it. Water-shy cats may object to this but should soon realise that it is helping to keep them cooler.


Cats do not usually pant but when the weather gets hot, when kitty has overexerted him/herself or when stressed, this is a harmless reaction. It simply means that kitty is breathing hard. Cats often pant briefly for short intervals. Panting can help with temperature control. The evaporating saliva from the cat’s mouth can cool your kitty’s body. If you notice your cat panting, you can help to lower his/her temperature by the above-mentioned methods of stroking your feline friend with wet hands or by providing your cat with a damp towel to lie on.

If the panting occurs often because kitty has overexerted him/herself or if your efforts do not seem to help, you should contact your vet.

Avoiding Overheating

If you are feeling uncomfortable in hot weather, the chances are that your kitty is feeling uncomfortable too. Here are some tips for you:

  • Try to keep your cat inside where you have some control over the temperature.
  • Ensure that kitty has access to cool, shady places to escape the sun and heat.
  • You may want to keep unscreened windows and doors open to allow breezes into your house, but there is a possibility that your cat may fall out. Unscreened doors and windows should be kept securely closed. Make sure that screens are secure.
  • NEVER leave any pet in a parked car. The temperature in a parked car can rise in minutes, even if a window is cracked open, and your cat can suffer from fatal heatstroke.
  • Always ensure that kitty has access to clean, fresh water.

And finally…

Consult your vet if you are worried about your kitty’s health or behaviour.


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