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 that can severely harm your cat. When their body temperature gets too high, cats can even suffer organ failure, seizures, or death, as explained in Pet MD. If you even suspect a serious heatstroke is the case, then get help at once. "Tell [your vet] what you see and that you’re on your way,” said Dr. Jane Brunt, veterinarian at the Cat Hospital at Towson in Baltimore, in Catster. “Immediate care is important to reverse the life-threatening and/or long-term effects of heatstroke.” Get your cat to the vet right away.
For milder signs of discomfort from heat, try to help your feline friend cool down and feel better. Put your cat in a cool interior room, give them plenty of chilled fresh water to drink, and place a chilly compress on the cat's neck, as noted in Petcha. If your cat does not seem better soon, then contact your veterinarian for advice right away. Hopefully, though, you and your cat will stay nice and cool all summer long, and overheating won't even be a possibility.
Although it's perfectly normal for dogs to pant as a way to cool off, this behavior is more concerning for cats. Open-mouthed breathing, AKA panting, is a potential symptom of overheating in cats, as noted in Cat -World. Keep an eye on your kitty to monitor this symptom, and seek veterinary advice if the panting is excessive or labored.
Cats can sweat, just not to the same degree humans do. So if your cat has sweaty feet on a hot day, then she's getting pretty warm, as explained in Catster. Help her cool down a little.
Granted, most adult cats tend to spend a lot of time sleeping. But if your cat is especially lethargic, and/or shows additional signs of overheating, then it's time to get help, as further explained in Catster.
4Vomiting & Diarrhea
This is one of the signs that requires immediate veterinary care. If your cat is experiencing vomiting and/or diarrhea from a heat-related illness, then get to your vet at once, as explained in Preventive Vet. It's in your pet's best interest to get additional help.
5High Body Temperature
If you have a pet thermometer on hand, then consider taking your cat's temperature. A temperature of 101 Fahrenheit is considered normal for cats, and anything above 102.5 is considered hyperthermia, as explained in Catster. If the cat's body temp gets to 105, then heatstroke is a real concern, as further explained by Catster. If you don't have access to a pet thermometer, then contact your vet for advice.
6Trembling & Unsteadiness
If they get too warm, cats can lose some of their stability and balance while walking. If a cat's walking gait becomes wobbly or unsteady, then the cat may be combatting heat sickness, as explained in Pet MD.
If possible, take a look at your cat's teeth and gums. When a cat has red gums, then it's sometimes a sign of overheating, as noted in Catster. Get your kitty into a cool space right away, and watch closely for any other signs of overheating. If this or any other symptom gives you concern, then contact a veterinarian at once. By keeping a close eye on your kitty, you can both enjoy a safe, chill, and healthy summer this year.