Just as over-exposure to the cold can be dangerous for cats, so can the heat. As the days become warmer and your kitty spends more time outside, cool spots for them to recharge will become harder and harder to find. Before we know it, it will be in the 90s outside and the heat will be inescapable. It will then be critical for you to look out for the signs of an overheated cat.
Heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and general overheating presents the same in most animals and humans. It is no joke; if left untreated, overheating can lead to extremely dangerous medical conditions. Respiratory issues, brain damage, stroke, and seizures can all occur if the overheating is persistent and severe. Seek immediate veterinary support if home remedies are not helping.
4 Signs your Cat is Overheated
Here are some signs to look for:
- Heavy panting or difficulty breathing
- Reddened skin on the ears, nose, and anus
- Cool to touch extremities such as their paws or tail – this is a sign that they’re shivering in an attempt to cool down
- Stumbling around lethargically with little energy
Something you might not consider is if you are hot, then your cat probably is, too.
If you notice any of the above signs, try to cool down your cat with a cool towel and some lower body massages. You can also provide them with more food or water if they are hungry or thirsty so that their metabolism will slow down.
Helping your Overheated Cat
Cats often seek out dark spaces away from sunlight which can cause them to overheat quicker. If you notice your kitty spending more time hiding under furniture than usual, it may be because they are trying to avoid the heat.
The best way of preventing overheating is keeping them inside during daylight when temperatures peak and giving them plenty of water throughout summer days so they don’t become thirsty. If your cat is amenable to getting into water, try putting it in a cool bath.
Other Things to Look For
Some cats are more susceptible to overheating than others. Alternatively, some breeds of cats will present with varying degrees of the different symptoms based on their physical makeup. For instance, a short-nosed breed of cat will have more breathing and respiratory issues caused by overheating than, say, a Savannah cat. Other breeds, such as Persian or Himalayan, may be predisposed to overheating due to their inability to properly regulate their own body heat.
Similarly, animals that have been on medication or had recent surgery may not be able to cope with the heat as well.