Summer happiness for house cats: Tips to fight the heat

Cats love to snooze in the sun. But at 38°C in the shade, this can quickly become too much. Heatstroke, sunburn, and dehydration are imminent. These tips will get your pet get through the summer in good shape.

Braun-weiße Katze leckt sich das Maul und sitzt vor einem pinken Futternapf.

Unlike most mammals, cats can hardly sweat to regulate their body temperature. Sweat is secreted mainly via the paws. However, this does not serve to regulate heat but rather to mark territory. Cats can cool themselves only by panting or licking. Both will additionally dehydrate your feline friend. But don’t worry: You have plenty of options for providing your cat with relief in hot weather.

Tip: 1 Keep your home cool

Your cat is not stupid. It knows exactly when its getting too warm. In an overheated home, however, it can hardly escape. That’s why you should keep your rooms as cool as possible. If the windows are barred, you can ventilate overnight. If this is not the case, lock a room overnight and keep the windows open. You should always keep the windows closed during the day. And it is best to darken the rooms so that they do not heat up even more. You can provide evaporative cooling (e.g. with the help of a nebuliser or humidifier). On the other hand, air conditioning units and fans are treacherous for cats. They can easily catch a cold or develop conjunctivitis from the draught.

Tip: 2 Cool underlay

Do you have cool floors in your home? For example, in the cellar or bathroom? Then give your cat access. You can also provide a refreshing underlay. Either with a self-cooling mat from a pet shop, a damp towel, or a cool pack on which you place a thin, cosy pad.

Tip: 3 Getting your cat wet

Because your cat cannot sweat, it will lick its fur more often. Support them by rubbing them with a damp towel or wet hands. A good side effect: you are removing hair, which your cat loses more of in the heat. And it excretes less fluid through its saliva.

Tip: 4 Small ice bombs

In zoos, ice bombs have long been a popular way of refreshing the animals in the summer heat. You can freeze diluted cat’s milk, unflavoured chicken broth, or even wet food puréed with water to make ice cubes. Your cat will love it.

Tip: 5 Water splashing

Cats are not normally keen on water games. However, some change their mind in summer. Maybe yours too? To tempt your feline friend to splash around, you can place a toy or ice cubes in a large bowl of water. Many cats love the cool water.

Tip: 6 Even more fresh water

Make sure that your cat does not become dehydrated in the heat. Encourage them to drink. For example, by distributing several water bowls around the home. Preferably in places where your pet often walks past. Cats also like a drinking fountain. If none of this helps, you can make the water more interesting with a few drops of cat milk.

Tip: 7 Feed only wet feed

Dry feed is tricky in summer. It is best to provide only wet feed. This consists of over 80% moisture. This will automatically increase your cat’s fluid intake. You can also stir in a few spoonfuls of water. So that your furry friend gets an extra portion of cool water.

Tip: 8 Feed more often and in smaller portions

In general, you should make sure that wet food always stays fresh in summer and does not spoil. So feed in smaller portions but more frequently. Especially if your cat is the kind that doesn’t eat everything straight away. The new Poésie® Petit in small 50 g packs is a practical way to provide your pet with fresh food at all times. 

And what about outdoor cats in summer?

If your cat is an outdoor cat, make sure that it has free access to the inside at all times. This means that it can avoid the midday heat and go outside only in the early morning hours or in the evening. And yes, also cats can get sunburnt. Especially on light-coloured areas such as the face or ears. You should therefore try to apply cream to the relevant areas of skin. The sun cream should have a high sun protection factor (at least SPF 30) and contain no harmful additives or perfume. Baby sun screen, sensitive products, and natural cosmetics are well suited for this.