KEEPING CATS COOL
Pets are extremely vulnerable to heat and in these very high temperatures, our cats will benefit from a helping hand. Most pet cats are on the loose and will probably choose sheltered spots for themselves under shrubs or sheds, lying on ceramic tiles in kitchens and bathrooms etc. Kittens and cats that are confined for any reason need a very careful watch kept on them to ensure they do not suffer from dehydration and heat exhaustion.
The following are tips you can use to help your cat through the heatwave.
1) Give him a good grooming. That fur coat is really warm in this weather so comb or brush him thoroughly to help him get rid of any surplus hair. You will be surprised how much comes off even a shortcoated cat.
2) Ensure that he has access to cool spaces. Ceramic tiles and hard flooring are much cooler to lie on than carpet. Even if you don’t usually allow your cat access to toilets or bathrooms, their coolness is a necessity now.
3) Wet a length of kitchen roll or an old towel with cold water and gently wipe it over his body. Try to get to his armpits, his pawspads and the outside of his ears. Most cats are not keen on getting wet but you will find that many will tolerate, even enjoy, such attention in this temperature.
4) Make sure there are lots of bowls of water about to encourage him to drink. You can even lace some, but not all, with ice cubes to lower the temperature of the water. Some cats seem to enjoy water on the rocks!
5) Place a damp towel in the freezer for a short time and then lay it out on the floor. It will lower the temperature a tad and your cat may choose to lie on it or walk about on it to cool his paws.
6) Ice cubes are fun to play with as they skid about a hard surface like lino – but don’t let kittens get too hot chasing around!
7) If you are travelling, do not cover the cage with a blanket at the moment. Ensure there is plenty of ventilation at all times. Turn the airconditioning on. It may be a little more expensive but you will all find the journey much more comfortable.
8) Apply sunscreen to the ears and noses of cats with white ones!
9) Take very special care of elderly cats and kittens. Keep them indoors in a cool room during the hottest part of the day. Be sure you know where they are. Getting locked into a shed or greenhouse in this heat may well prove fatal.
If your cat is distressed, is stretched out and panting, has glazed eyes, is vomiting, dribbling or is unduly agitated, he may be suffering from heatstroke.
HE NEEDS VETERINARY HELP.
Move him to a cool place and wrap him in a wet towel leaving his mouth and nose clear. Keep his head damp at all times. Get him to the vet as soon as you can.
Donations for any of our other cats (see Rogues Gallery for a view of just some of the cats in our care at any one time) should be sent to the Secretary Holly Cottage, Montpellier Road, Bream GL15 6LZ.