How Do I Keep a Cat Cool in Summer?

While I am not be an expert in cat health, I feel, as a cat parent, I need to raise awareness about the potential risks cats face during high summer temperatures. Keeping your cat cool is important and I wanted to do something positive to spread the safety word.

I have reached out to my fellow members of the Cat Writers’ Association for help on lots of different things you can do to preserve cat health, including hydration and prevent smoke inhalation during fires.

Browse our essential tips or click through a linked blog post for further reading.

Cat Heat Safety Tips

Tabby cat enjoying summer shade.

– Bionic Basil® and the B Team

From our experience, it’s always a good idea to have multiple bowls available in different locations around the home. Though obviously not where they would pose a trip hazard. And the amount of bowls available is really dependent on how many kitties mew have.

8 Warning Signs of Dehydration in Cats

Essential reading from the KasPack. What exactly is dehydration? How do you prevent it? The most common signs of dehydration in cats include:

  • Dry or sticky gums
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Sunken eyes
  • Loss of skin elasticity

Read more on the Kas Pack’s report page.

The Purrfect 10: Ways to Help Your Cat Beat the Heat – Melissa and Mudpie

Give a cooling wipe down: Many cats enjoy being wiped down with a damp paper towel or washcloth. The moisture on their fur cools them off, just as their own saliva does when they groom themselves. Do this in front of a box fan or open window for added comfort.

Thomas The Tuxedo Formal Adoption Portrait
Thomas enjoying the shady garden.

– ChirpyCats

Keep your blinds or curtains closed, especially on West or South-facing windows that get slammed by heat all day. This is about the only time your cat will avoid the much-beloved sun puddle.

Survival Tips to Keep Your Cat Safe, Happy, and Healthy During the Hot Summer Months – Zee and Zoey

Recognize the signs of heatstroke. Heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness are all possible symptoms of heatstroke from extreme temperatures. 

For Smoke Inhalation – Amy Shojai

Soot and ash causes irritation and can clog lungs but it’s the invisible gasses that often kill. Gasses like acrolein, benzene, formaldehyde and carbon monoxide danger, even after the pet seems to recover, and can affect pets hours to days after the initial inhalation. Keeping pets on the first floor, low to ground, helps because smoke rises. Getting them into fresh air immediately also helps enormously. If people need to evacuate, so do the pets.

– Lola the Rescued Cat

Don’t confine your cat to one room, especially a sunroom. We need the ability to move around to seek shade and coolness. A closed up room gets very hot very quickly.

Tabby cat wearing an adventuring harness

3 Tips to Help Your Cat Spend a Good Summer – The Swiss Cats

Provide your cat some cool water throughout the day. The ideal is a water fountain, but several bowls of water at various places in the house (and in the garden) suit perfectly. The water should be renewed several times during the day. You can add an ice cube in the bowl (only one !) to keep the water cool longer.

– The Island Cats

NEVER EVER leave pets alone in a parked car. Did you know that on an 85 degree day it only takes 10 minutes for the inside temperature of a car to reach 102 degrees (39C)? And in 30 minutes it can reach 120 (48C) degrees or higher.

Vital Summer Tips for Adventure Cats – Kitty Cat Go

Temperatures start rising in the late morning time, with the hottest time of the day being around 3pm. Aim to go on your outdoor adventures before 10am or after about 5 or 6pm. That way you and your cat are avoiding the hottest parts of the day.

4 thoughts on “How Do I Keep a Cat Cool in Summer?”

  1. Since most cats stay in the home, and most homes have air-conditioning, I would hope cats are not at too much risk of harm from heat. Of course, traveling is another story.

  2. The hot weather is always a worrisome time for cats and dogs (and horses!) With Huskies, and one a wooly, I was always keeping them cool with pools, sprinklers, misting fans when outside and cooler beds, cooler collars, and a/c inside! While I do not have cats, I did always worry about our adopted feral, Binx, in the heat. He used to love to climb the fence and walk around the perimeter of our pool and lay on our deck. So I purchased a cooler bed and left it there in the shade along with lots of fresh water for him. Great list of links I’ll be Pinning to share!

  3. Very important information! My cats used to love it when I would wet them down with a cool cloth in the summer. I think that’s the only time they didn’t mind getting wet. In fact, the two of them would wait and push the other out of the way to get cool first. Smart kitties! I’m sharing all this critical info with my pet parents.


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