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How to keep cats cool in hot weather

How to keep cats cool in hot weather
by Dr Caity Venniker

Read time: 3 min

We look forward to summer all year. The weather is hot. The days are long. The drinks are cold.

But summer also comes with risks, especially for our cats. And since they can’t always protect themselves, we’ve got to be there for them.

Read on to learn the risks of hot weather for our cats, how to spot the symptoms of heat stroke and how to keep them cool.

What is heatstroke in cats, and what are the symptoms?

Heat exhaustion and heatstroke in cats are very similar to what occurs in humans. When a cat’s internal temperature gets too hot and can’t cool down, their bodies are unable to regulate themselves. Once they reach this point, their organs can begin to fail, and it can be fatal.

If your cat’s temperature passes 39°C or higher, you need to take action fast. Trying to take your cat’s temperature could cause further stress, so learn the following symptoms of heat exhaustion to look out for without having to use a thermometer:

  • Panting

  • Lethargy

  • Restlessness

  • Stupor

  • Drooling

  • Vomiting and diarrhoea

  • Bright red or very pale tongue and gums

Which cats are most vulnerable to heatstroke?

Kittens, seniors, long-haired and obese cats are most vulnerable to heat. Flat-faced breeds like Persians and Himalayans are also at higher risk, as their nasal passages are narrower. This can inhibit their breathing and ability to cool down.

How do I keep my cat cool in hot weather?

  1. Water. Lots of it. Keep multiple bowls of cool, fresh water around so it’s easy for them to hydrate. And feed them KatKin obviously – the natural juices in our meals keep your cat well hydrated.

  2. Cold treats. Try mixing water with KatKin Sprinkles and freezing to make ice cubes. Or spread some KatKin onto a lick mat and freeze. You’ll keep them cool and entertained (and maybe distract them from sunbathing for a minute or two).

  3. Shade. Ensure there are plenty of cool, airy and shaded snoozing and spying spots. Keep your cat inside when the sun is at its strongest – between 10am-4pm. And for when they’re in the sun, we’ve got a blog on cats and sunburn here.

  4. Grooming. Humans produce sweat to stay cool. Cats do it by grooming instead. The evaporation of saliva from their fur keeps them cool. And stroking your cat with a damp, cool towel will help do some of the work for them. Just make sure not to soak them – fur can act as an insulation blanket if it’s soaked through.

  5. Fans. Use a fan and keep curtains closed during the day to control the temperature inside. Place ice packs near your cat’s resting spots to help them chill out.

When should I seek help?

If your cat seems to be just a little too hot, try using our cooling tips. But if they’re showing any of the symptoms of heat exhaustion or heatstroke listed above, get them to the vet. They’ll be able to offer intravenous fluids to try and cool your cat down quickly.

Remember – prevention is always better than cure. If you prepare in advance – getting cool snacks frozen when you know there’s hot weather on the way; making sure that your garden has shade – you’ll be better placed to protect your cat this summer.

Want to know more?

We’ve got lots more advice for cool cats over on our Instagram, including some extra tips from our in-house vet, Dr. Grant.

If you have any questions, our cat-loving team of vets, vet nurses and customer champions are on hand 7 days a week at 020 4538 4144 or

Can’t get enough of cats, all year round? Sounds like the KatKin Club House is the place for you. It’s a cat parent’s haven full of photos, advice and cat chatter.

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