Keeping Your Cat Cool This Summer
Temperatures are rising, days are getting longer, vacation plans are being finalized – summer is here! With all the fun and excitement summer brings, we wanted to talk about some of the things we sometimes don’t think about in the heat of the summer as it pertains to our cats. Whether your cats live outdoors, indoors, or both, these tips will help keep your cats cool this summer.
Cats are quite tolerant to heat. They typically enjoy an ambient temperature of about 75-78 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of this, they may start to act more excited when warmer summer weather hits. For our indoor kitties, this may mean sunbathing at their favorite window. With air conditioning and the option to simply leave the sunny spot, it is easy for indoor cats to regulate their body temperature. However, for our outdoor kitties, it may not always be so easy to escape the heat.
Thankfully, cats are very intuitive animals, and have no problem seizing an opportunity for shade when they find one. For years, I had feral cats that I cared for outside of our home. During the heat of the summer, they would dig areas around our oak tree and flower beds where they could tuck themselves into the cool earth. Make sure that your cats have access to shade!
Secondly, make sure your cat has access to fresh water. There’s a saying you might recognize: cats in the wild don’t drink where they eat - they instinctually know that food may contaminate water. Cats can be very picky about their water – taste, temperature, and location are very important to them. Stagnant, stale water is not very enticing to a cat. A cat will dehydrate before it drinks water that it doesn’t like! Make sure that they always have a fresh water bowl that is preferably separate from their food. Cats may prefer for their water source to be elevated slightly, so that they don’t have to dip downwards to drink. Change water often to encourage hydration. If there are outdoor cats that live in your community, consider leaving fresh water out for them. It doesn’t mean you have to leave food out (because we all know what happens when you do that!), but leaving fresh water out is never a bad thing.