dog days of summer
Cats,  Holistic cat care,  Layla Morgan Wilde

9 Ways to Keep Cats Cool, Video & A Hot Giveaway

If you love cats, sharing makes us purrrr :-)


Temperatures across North America are soaring this summer. Cats usually love to be warm but extended or extreme heat can be deadly. Summer can be as much fun for cats as it is for human if we take care and plan. We’re sharing our favorite 9 ways to keep your cats cool this summer AND we have a giveaway for our favorite water fountain from PetSafe. GIVEAWAY has ended.

drinkwell 360 -giveaway-review-pet drinking fountain-cats-

I consulted with our friends at Cole and Marmalade and they whipped up this sweet video on how to make frozen kitty treats.

9 Ways to Keeps Cats Cool and Safe This Summer

1) Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate.

Cats are 80% water and can quickly become dehydrated in hot weather resulting in serious health issues. Dehydration can happen quickly from reduced water intake or increased fluid loss. Extreme dehydration can lead to heatstroke. Symptoms include panting, open mouth breathing, drooling, fever, vomiting, lethargy and collapse. On very hot days especially, cats need plenty of fresh, clean and ideally purified water. Keep several bowls of bowl in different locations and at least one water fountain. Add ice cubes for a fun treat. Don’t be surprised if you see an impromptu game of ice hockey so make sure the water bowl or fountain is placed on an easy to clean, non-porous surface.

There’s a reason cats like drinking from a faucet. Running water is cool and fresh. Fountains are more convenient that faucets and we have numerous bowls and fountains all over the house on each floor. If you don’t have much A/C or a fountain, replace the water bowls twice daily. Keep all bowls well rinsed and squeaky clean to prevent the growth of bacteria. If you have fountains, change the filters as needed.

cat-drinking water-tap-vet 101










2) Ice Is Nice But Cooling Gel Packs Can Kill.

  • We’re months away from snow and chilly weather. Odin can only dream of playing in the snow again but cats can enjoy some icy fun now.
  • chilling-quote-cute-cat-snow
  • Take one water bowl, add water and and a plastic ball or toy, then freeze. Allow to gradually thaw and they can play and paw to dig the toy out.
  • Freeze a small water bottle, tightly capped and place next to their bed. Some like rolling it on the floor. A bag of frozen peas or veggies warpped in dishcloth is a quick and safe substitute cooling gel packs which contain a toxic liquid.
  • Dogs love icy fruit pops and frozen bananas but cats can enjoy icy treats too. Try freezing canned tuna water into ice cubes trays and pop one into a bowl for a cool treat.
  • Cats are curious in any season. Keep all your cosmetics, sunscreen, bug spray etc. tightly capped and stored out of reach.cats-summer-stress-vintage art

3) Hot Spots, Cool Spots

  • Heat rises so without central A/C a basement or ground floor is cooler. Give cats access to cooler tile floors. Place their beds where there is cross-ventilation. Some cats like to nap in tubs or sinks.
  • Keep your house as cool much as possible before you leave for work. Leave on fans and A/C on but to save $ place on low. If you have individual A/C units, keep one on in one room and leave the door open a crack so cats can come and go when not at work or not home.

4) Made in the Shade.

If your cats are indoor/outdoor, leave water bowls on the porch or in a shady spot in the garden. Cats are instinctive about staying cool outdoors. Our Domino likes a wicker chair on the porch or a shady spot under bushes. Even our super-active Odin knows when to lay low in the cool grass.cats-climbing-porch-dancing

5) Patio Weather Means Catios

  • Catios or a screened in porch/sunroom are great ways for indoor-only cats to enjoy the outdoor breezes. Make sure there are blinds/screens to block the sun during peak hours and bowls of fresh water. Do not leave cats unsupervised in a catio when there is no one home.
  • There are some new DIY options from Catio Spaces
  • Catio spaces DIY
  • summer cat quote-hot weather

6) Black, White, Pink and Delicate Care

Cats with black fur will feel hotter in the sun. Remember, cats not able to sweat all over their body but only via their paw pads. A few wipes from head to tail with cool, wet (wrung out) washcloth will refresh. Cats with white fur or pink noses and paw pads are more prone to skin cancer. Keep delicate cats away from full sun during peak hours of 10 am to 2 pm. Keep blinds covered during those hours as well. Odin is one of these delicate pink-nosed ones who doesn’t want listen. But as always, it’s up to the cat guardian to be responsible.


7) To Lion-cut, Naked or Not

Lion cut cat
Photo credit: Buzzfeed








Long-haired cats like Persians, Ragdolls and Himalayans or cats with heavy or double coats suffer more in the heat. Some cats enjoy the breezy freedom of a lion cut, a grooming look popular in recent years. A cat’s coat offers protection against heat and cold and I never recommend extreme grooming for cats with short-haired breed or a regular domestic short hair. It can be stressful to be shaved and it’s not a DIY project. If you’re thinking of a lion-cut, consult an experienced groomer. All cats can feel cooler with more frequent grooming. Tools like the Furminator work well for cat who shed more during the summer.

8) Moderation Not Marathon

As the saying goes: Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun. Make sure your cat play and exercise time is not during peak sun and heat 10 am to 2 pm. If you don’t have A/C, be careful not to over stimulate cats with vigorous play. Watch for signs of panting. A cat ready to stop playing will roll over to their side.

Odin-dog day afternoon

9) Stay Cool on the Road


  • If you must travel with your cat i.e. to the vet, keep the A/C and make sure the cool air vents to the backseat where the carrier is safely secured.
  • If there is no A/C on open all four window at least part way and place a cold wet(wrung out towel) over half the carrier or place an small ice pack cover with a wash cloth in the carrier
  • Place a small bowl of crushed ice in the carrier.
  • For longer trips without A/C buy a small battery operated fan.
  • NEVER leave a cat alone in a car even with the windows open.

drinkwell 360-giveaway








drinkwell 360-pet water fountain
This is the entrance hall and our cats #1 favorite location for the Drinkwell 360 stainless steel water fountain. This is our third summer and it’s as good as new.
FTC Disclaimer: PetSafe is sponsoring our giveaway in exchange for an honest review and to promote Pet Hydration Month. At CatWisdom 101 we only recommend products we’ve tested and trust.


  • Jennifer A Shepherd

    I know I’m too late for competition, but I’d just like to say that cat fountains can literally be life savers.
    My 8 yr old boy had crystals and needed to drink more or he would die. Tuna water etc didn’t work. Only once I got a fountain did he start to drink loads. He lived another 5 yrs πŸ™‚
    Every cat slave should have one.

  • Red

    Given my cats ice cubes in a bowl or put in the water dish for many years. Have even made homemade treats but never thought of making tunasicles. My cats are fascinated by running water, I know they would enjoy the fountain.

  • Em

    Love the idea of tuna popsicles. Never thought of it. I’ve done ice cubes for years. My 4 Little Ladies get fresh water put in their bowl every 2-3 hours and it gets washed out daily. They would be fascinated by the fountain cause they are when either me or my husband runs the shower .Always have an audience sitting on tub edge peeking around the shower curtain.

  • Connie Marie

    I have 2 boys who really need to drink more and their favorite is the faucet, but it plays havoc with my water bill!!
    This would be better than perfect because it’s filtered water, much better for them. We’ve had a crystal scare and don’t want another for sure!!
    Great Giveaway!!

  • Faith

    I have been trying to save up enough for a fountain because I always have to run the sink when I am in the bathroom to make sure my four cats will drink enough water. I do love the frozen food idea !

  • Molly

    Great tips, thank you. Our indoor cats do ok because we have a/c but the neighbourhood ferals have had it rough this summer. So far, everybody is still with us but we are careful about checking their water daily. Our indoor cats have an old Drinkwell fountain that is small, I love the looks of that stainless steel one! Multiple cats could drink at the same time instead of our old one that only has one stream of water.

  • Marcie Hanaburgh

    These hot days seem to be harder on the outdoor feral than my pets who are inside sans ac. I keep the shades closed and the ceiling fan going.

  • Catriona

    That’s a nice fountain. I wish they sold nicer fountains where I live. I had to buy a replacement Catit on-line. Pricey to ship, but my cats love it compared to the Drinkwell I got at Petco.

    Of course cats aren’t picky and will drink water out of an inexpensive decorative fountain over a bowl. Cats tend to be dehydrated even prior to heatwaves and fountains encourage them to drink more, so the cheapest fountain out there is better than nothing!

  • Michele P

    My cat Stubby loves fresh, running water. Usually he won’t drink from his dish unless he has to. He usually jumps up to the bathroom sink and waits for me to turn it on so he can have a drink. He could definitely benefit from…and stay well hydrated with one of these awesome fountains.

  • Sarah Prodell

    I desperately need a water fountain for my three cats so I can FINALLY turn off the bathtub faucet and stop wasting water.

  • Kathryn

    I think all kitties should be so lucky to have such a fountain. When I’m rich, I will get one. I know Ched and Mao would love one.

  • Andrea

    All wonderful tips! Many of my cats just love ice cubes in their water bowl. It seems to get them to drink more water too. But I’m not sure my cats are interested in keeping cool. I don’t have air conditioning upstairs and yet most of my cats spend the day lounging up there instead of downstairs with the ac. Hmh.

  • Carolsue

    My vet actually recommended one of these for my cat because he is prone to urinary tract blockages. Our dogs could certainly use this, too! These bowls are great, I am told! It’s been way too hot lately for ALL of us!

  • Delyne

    It has been unusually hot here this summer, the kitties would love to have this fountain for nice cool drinks. It will entice them to drink more water for sure. <3 Thank you Layla for this giveaway.

  • erin dear

    What a great way to help keep pets hydrated during the warm summer months and all year long! I would love to win for my furbabies!

  • Linda

    I would love to win a fountain like this for my cats! I have 2 and while one drinks from the water dish I have out daily, the other has never had an interest in drinking water from a plain dish and so I actually have to add water to his meals so he is properly hydrated. I have thought about trying a fountain like this for him to see if he’d drink running water instead of just sitting in a bowl. I know the other cat would love it!

  • Meowmeowmans

    That was such an informative post, Layla. Thank you for sharing all of this really important stuff that all cats and their people need to know. πŸ™‚

    That fountain is cool!


  • Tamago

    Lots of great advice! I like that Drinkwell fountain because it’s stainless steel. We’ve tried several fountains, but the one Goro loves is plastic. Well..maybe it doesn’t matter much because he plays with it rather than drink water from it πŸ™‚

  • Penelope

    Great Post! Wes has cooled down here for a few days and mes LOVING it! Mes been outside lots and mes been enjoying every minute of it!
    Special kisses for Merlin!
    Nellie Bellie

  • ellen

    The cats say…. always leave a faucet dripping somewhere if you plan to be gone for more than half the day. Truly anything can happen to you humans (you dont have 9 lives you know as we do) No, we know we dont pay the water bill and frankly dont care although do think this water fountain might fit our needs.

    Our human who serves us typed this, pardon her,

  • Sweet Purrfections

    Mom Paula has several fountains in our house. All three are different types to meet the needs of how we like to drink. This fountain would be excellent to satisfy both of our needs: Truffle drinking from stream and Brulee drinking from the bowl.

  • Cathy Keisha

    Hi Layla! I’d love to entered to win the fountain. Our 360 is on it’s last paws. Luckily we do have central a/c but we feel for the outside community cats although TW didn’t see any today. Not even P-Kitty was out.

  • Dezi and Lexi

    It be hotter than a…well yous know. Weez luv dat fountain. We didn’t know PetSafe made dat one. We sure wuld like to win it. wiff sis Lexi havin’ da CKD she hogs our fountain so me has to use da water bowl still a lot of da time. But lookit all da stweams on dat one. Me kuld dwink fwum it even ifin sissy was twyin’ to hog it. Paws cwossed we win. Gweat posty.

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Lexi

  • Kitties Blue

    Thanks for good suggestions. Some things I hadn’t thought about trying. When it gets super hot the kitties don’t even want to be on the catio but rather come into the A/C and lie on the tile. Hope to win the fountain. We have a Drinkwell 360. We all love it and would like to have one upstairs. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

  • Skeeter And Izzy

    Thank you for the great tips!!!!
    We would love to win this deluxe furbulous Drinkwell Fountain!!!! Play time fur sure!!!!!
    Odin is sooooooooooooooo cute!
    Skeeter and Izzy and the Feral Gang + Twig & Peanut & Romeo + all the Angels ~>^..^<~

  • Karen

    We do not like the heat here. We have central AC. The cats do not go out. SO our house is pretty comfortable all the time.

  • Cleopawtra (Becca Cook)

    My human wipes us down with damp clothes when it gets really hot here, eve.n though we have AC. The AC doesn’t reach all the rooms so she puts out fans to help keep us cool. The fountain looks really nice, but I don’t know about drinking from running water. I’ve never tried it so it might be fun.

  • Shelley P

    Great tips! What a pawsome fountain! I think my cat would drink more water with a flowing fountain like this πŸ™‚

  • Dorothy

    That was excellent information. I leave a bowl of fresh water in the tub, in addition to the fountain and water bowl that are normally out, because Hitch likes to play in the water and the tub is good for splashing around…even if he enjoys the fish bowl best for wading.

  • da tabbies o trout towne

    hay……wears R commint~~~~~ doodz…manee thanx for takin de time ta post bout & share theeze tipz….ewe can betcha we will be tryin toona jooze frozen !! N best fishes two everee one on winnin thiz way awesum fountin !!! β™₯β™₯β™₯

  • Amy Orvin

    My kitties would love to drink from this fountain. They stay cool by being indoors only but they would love a fountain. Thank you for the chance.

  • Sheila K.

    Even though I have 3 water bowls set out in various places around the house, my wonderful now-geratric kitty-boy has decided that he simply must drink out of the bathtub faucet … at all hours of the day and night! I think he would really like this water fountain, and mommy might be able to get some sleep at night!

  • Raine

    These are excellent tips, thank you. I didn’t realize that cats could only sweat through their pads. Thankfully we have central air but I’ll still find my guys napping in the bathtub during a heatwave. The fountain is great, perfect way to encourage extra hydration !

  • Kathryn

    Wow, any of these cats and cat lovers owned by their cats would love the Drinkwell. I know Ched and Mao would. Such great information in these posts. Thank you. I do change their water about 5 times in 24 hours.

  • Summer

    My human likes it warmer, but she always puts the car A/C at an uncomfortably cool (for her) temperature when I am in the car! BTW, what’s wrong with gel packs? Not that we ever use them, but I didn’t see the answer in your post and I’m curious!

    • Andrea

      As to your question, Summer, gel packs are good in themselves but if a cat “accidentally” pokes a hole in them they could be poisoned by the gel inside. It’s usually better just to avoid using them for cats.

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