Although they are originally desert animals, cats aren't built to withstand extreme heat for long periods of time. Like people, cats are also vulnerable to heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. It's scary. So watching out for the signs your cat is overheated is especially important during the summer months. Make sure Fluffy stays nice and chill.
In general, overheating is a serious condition in cats. “In spite of their reputation as desert animals, cats do NOT tolerate heat any better than people,” Dr. Adam Christman, veterinarian and board member of the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association (NJVMA), tells Romper. “Cats only pant or sweat through their foot pads in order to get rid of excess heat,” unlike humans who have the benefit of sweat glands to keep cool. The increase in body temperature can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and even death, he cautions.
There are many ways to help prevent your cat from overheating in the first place. “In order to keep cats healthy overall, I always recommend keeping your cats indoors and plenty of air conditioning in their home,” says Dr. Christman. In general, access to a cool, well-ventilated and shaded environment, as well as plenty of fresh drinking water, can help keep your cat safe from these heat-related dangers, Dr. Christman further explains.
Keep reading to familiarize yourself with the signs of heat exhaustion in cats, and if you are concerned at all that your kitty might be at risk, monitor your pet closely and contact your vet right away.