The RSPCA has issued advice for cat owners on how to keep their cats cool in the heatwave (video).
With temperatures currently in the 30s, the RSPCA is reminding owners to remember there are some simple steps they can take to make their cats feel more comfortable in the heat.
Sam Watson, RSPCA cat welfare expert said: “Although cats usually like their environment to be a degree or two warmer than us, some of the hot temperatures we are experiencing at the moment will push them out of their comfort zone. If you have noticed your cat seems more lethargic than usual, and needs to cool down, there are some simple steps you can take to keep them cool.”
Create shady spots in the garden using cardboard boxes and umbrellas
Put a fan on the floor on a low setting
Freeze a bottle of water, wrap it in a towel and place next to your cat’s bed or favourite spot
Provide your cat access to a ceramic or granite floor which will stay cool
Use a cooling mat but make sure to supervise your pet
Groom your cat to help them shed some of their fur
Make sure paler cats have pet-safe sun cream when sunbathing in the garden
Sam added: “Cats do not sweat as much as we do. In fact, they can only sweat on their paws and between their toes. This means they need to be able to make choices on where to spend their time, and this helps them regulate their temperature.
“Therefore, it is very important that they have a range of places to spend time in the hot weather. They might choose to sunbathe, especially in the cooler parts of the day, but they will also want to find some cooler places to spend time.
“Not only do cats need to drink more often in the hot weather but water evaporates faster so providing extra sources of water with them, with some ice cubes in to keep it cool is a good idea. Some cats also prefer to drink running water so providing a pet fountain could be a good investment.”
If you are concerned that your cat may be struggling in the heat then contact a vet immediately.
Sam explained: “Panting, restlessness, lots of grooming, red or purple gums, sweaty feet, lethargy, vomiting and staggering are amongst the signs that your cat is uncomfortable, and at risk of heat exhaustion. If you notice any of these, it’s very important to call your vet for advice. You can undertake some first aid by moving your cat somewhere cooler, sponging them down with some cool to tepid water, and offering them some water.”