Temperatures outside are soaring, and cats are sensitive to the heat and need extra care in summer to help them cool down. Read our tips on how to ensure your cats happily welcome summer and steer clear of health problems, such dehydration and overheating.
Always have ample amounts of fresh water available and provide water bowls in various spots throughout your home, being sure to place them in a shaded area to prevent evaporation and clean the bowls every day. This way your cats will be encouraged to sip on water to quench their thirst and maintain a healthy water intake. To make it more refreshing and exciting, throw in cubes of ice. It's a good idea to leave a bowl of water outside for your cats as well to help encourage them to drink a bit more.
A green expanse with bushes or trees offers a cool respite to cats spending time in the open. You could even set up a shaded, makeshift hideout with your cats' water bowl and favourite toys to encourage them to keep out of the blazing sun. Cats are susceptible to sunburn, and particularly light-colored cats are more prone to sunburn, whilst cats with darker fur can absorb the sun's rays more. Apply a cat-friendly sun cream to sensitive areas of your cats' body (nose, lips and tips of the ears) before they gallivant outside the house and keep them out of the sun during the hottest time of the day. Also use it on cats that regularly sit or sleep by the window.
Grooming cats is another summer essential. Brush and groom your cats regularly to avoid matting fur or hair, especially for longhaired cats. A tangle-free coat will protect your cats' delicate skin and keep them cool.
For extra cooling, try dampening a cloth with cool water and gently stroking your cats with it from their head and down their back. Another trick is to transform your cats' favourite lounging spot to a chilled oasis. Freeze a bottle of water, wrap it in a towel and place it in position, ready for a relaxing cat-siesta. It is perfect to pop into their bed or their favourite lounging spot and provide a much-needed cooling effect in the heat.
Another option for keeping your cats cool in summer is to try to keep your cats' activity level to a minimum on high temperature days. Cats love to play and run around but can easily get overheated by strenuous activity, so it is best to keep any playing to times of day when the temperature is cooler.
Keep your home cool and comfortable by safely setting up fans or air conditioning in various rooms. A cooler room of the house would be one out of the reach of the sun's direct rays or an area carpeted with ceramic tiles or marble floor coverings. This will help prevent your cats from overheating and give them a refreshing place to retreat to if they get too warm. Keeping curtains or blinds drawn will also minimise the amount of heat that comes through windows.
Last but not least, NEVER leave you cats unattended in a car!