hot summer tips for cool cats
Cat Behavior 101,  Cats,  Holidays

Hot Summer Tips For Cool Cats

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

Every year I write about summer cat care but this year my focus is on the heat.

stay cool crazy hot

As the U.S. faces an unprecedented heatwave, with meteorologists predicting a scorching summer ahead, it’s crucial to understand how our feline friends differ from us in handling high temperatures:

Cats vs. Humans: Beating the Heat

heat wave

  • Body Temperature: A cat’s normal body temperature ranges from 100.5 F to 102.F (38 C to 39.2 C), higher than the human average of 98.6°F (37°C). This means they may not feel the heat quite as we do, but they can still overheat quickly.


  • Cooling Mechanisms: Humans sweat all over, but cats only sweat through their paw pads. They rely more on finding cool spots and panting (though less efficiently than dogs) to regulate their temperature.

Fun fact: Cats only sweat through their paw pads. That’s why you might spot damp pawprints on a hot day!


  • Water Needs: While humans might crave cold drinks in hot weather, cats don’t have the same instinct to increase water intake. This makes them more susceptible to dehydration.


  • Heat Tolerance: Surprisingly, cats can tolerate slightly higher temperatures than humans for short periods. However, they’re at higher risk for heat-related illnesses due to their limited cooling abilities.

Implications for the Hot Summer Ahead:

With the current heatwave sweeping across the U.S. and predictions of a particularly hot summer, cat owners should be extra vigilant:

1. Indoor Comfort: Ensure your home stays cool. If you’re uncomfortable, your cat likely is too. Consider running air conditioning or fans more frequently.

2. Outdoor Restrictions: Limit outdoor time for cats, especially during peak heat hours. The pavement can burn their paws even before it feels too hot to us.


heat wave cat care

3. Increased Monitoring: Watch for signs of heat stress more closely. Cats may hide discomfort, so check on them regularly.

4. Adapt Playtime: Shift active play to cooler parts of the day, mimicking how humans might avoid midday outdoor activities during a heatwave.

5. Emergency Preparedness: With potential power outages during extreme heat, have a pet-inclusive emergency plan. Include portable fans, battery-operated cooling devices, and extra water in your kit.

6. Community Awareness: Just as we check on elderly neighbors during heatwaves, keep an eye out for community cats or strays who may need access to water or shade.

Remember, while we can vocalize our discomfort and seek relief, our feline companions rely on us to recognize their needs and keep them safe during extreme weather events.

As climate patterns shift and we experience more intense heat waves, adapting our cat care routines becomes increasingly important for their health and well being.

As the mercury rises, our whiskered companions need some extra TLC. Let’s dive into ways to keep your cat cool as a cucumber and hydrated like a camel in the scorching summer months.

H2O is the Way to Go

hydration cats

Cats may love eating, but they’re terrible at managing their water intake. Wild, right? Make sure to:

  • Provide fresh water daily in multiple locations
  • Consider a cat fountain – many kitties prefer running water
  • Add ice cubes for a chilly treat
  • Mix in some low-sodium chicken broth for flavor

Did you know? A cat’s body is about 67% water, compared to 60% in humans. Yet they’re descended from desert-dwelling felines and don’t have a strong thirst drive. Sneaky hydration is key!

Keeping Your Cool Cat Cool

Chill Out with Frosty Treats. Spoil your kitty with some refreshing snacks:

  • Frozen cat-safe broths in ice cube trays
  • Small pieces of watermelon (seeds removed)
  • Chilled wet food

Remember, a cat’s stomach is only about the size of a ping-pong ball, so keep treats small and occasional.

Felines are heat-seekers, but too much warmth can be dangerous. We live in an antique house with minimal A/C and suggest these Try tricks:

There are all kinds of pet cooling mats available from heat deflecting fabrics to gel pads. We have a selection placed on the floor and their favorites chairs.

  • Create shady retreats with cardboard boxes or cat caves
  • Freeze a water bottle wrapped in a towel for a DIY cooling station
  • Brush regularly to remove excess fur
  • Consider trimming long-haired cats or have your groomer do a “lion cut”.


So this summer do whatever it takes to keep you and your furry friends cool! Tell us what works best for you!


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