Cats and hot weather

British summer has officially started, with the hottest day of the year on Saturday reaching over 30 degrees in some areas. And while most of us will be taking the opportunity to enjoy the heat and the sunshine, our cats might not be having so much fun.

Hot weather can be dangerous for cats, especially young kittens, elderly cats, and sick cats. The risks include dehydration, heatstroke, and even sunburn. Here’s how to protect your pets as the temperature rises.

Sunburn: This might not be the first thing you think of, but your cats can sunburn just like you!

Sunburn on the nose
  • Cats that have light coloured fur are especially at risk
  • Ears and noses burn easily
  • Sunburn can increase the risk of skin cancer
  • Ask your vet for a suitable product, as not all are safe for cats.

Food and Water: Most cats will go off their food a little during warmer weather. This is normal, but if your cat stops eating altogether its important that you take them to the vet.

A fountain helps encourage drinking
  • Feed wet food instead of dry. Cats naturally get most of their water from their food.
  • Add a splash of water on the food to encourage your cat to drink.
  • Provide plenty of water bowls and keep the water fresh and clean. Place them around the house so your cat always has access to fresh water.
  • Try a drinking fountain – many cats prefer to drink from running water.

Keeping Cool: There are lots of easy ways to help your pet stay cool in warmer weather.

Cooling mats are an easy way to help your pet stay cool
  • Provide shady spots for your pet to rest
  • Use a fan to circulate air. Don’t point fans directly at your cat though!
  • Open the windows. If your cats are indoor only, use child locks to restrict how far the window can open.
  • Try a cooling mat – you can buy these at most pet shops
  • Wrap an ice pack in a towel to make a nice cool spot to lie
  • Wipe your cat down regularly with a damp cloth
  • Try playing with water! A small paddling pool and some toy fish can provide endless fun for many cats, and it keeps them cool.

Spotting problems: If you cat becomes dehydrated or over-heated it’s essential that you act quickly. If you spot any signs, you should take your cat to the vet right away. Dehydration and heat stroke can be fatal, and cats can become vet sick very quickly. The signs of dehydration or heat stroke are not always very obvious, but can include include:

Keeping hydrated!
  • Being lethargic or unusually sleepy
  • Being floppy
  • Vomiting
  • Breathing fast
  • Stumbling when they walk
  • Panting like a dog
  • Loss of appetite
  • Eyes looking dry or sunken
  • Mouth looking dry and gums looking pale

This video from Kitten Lady shows how to check for dehydration, and also shows a way of giving your cat some fluids if you can’t get to the vet right away. We would always encourage you to seek vet treatment – never try to treat your cat on your own. This is just a stop gap until you can get to the vet.

We hope this helps you keep your cats comfortable and safe through the summer. Now put your feet up, grab a cold drink, and enjoy the sunshine! Preferably with a cat on your lap, of course.

June Update

June was another busy month for us at Henry’s Haven, with 25 cats and kittens going to their forever homes.

Tabitha and Sierra were among the re-homes for this month. Look at those gorgeous little faces! These babies will be growing up loved and cared for rather than on the streets.

Sadly thousands of other kittens will be born to short, difficult lives in bushes and sheds. There’s a simple way to solve this of course – spay and neuter. We talk about neutering a lot here at Henry’s, because we see the unnecessary suffering that happens when people fail to neuter their pets. It’s the healthiest option for your cat, and for kittens everywhere. Healthy kittens are adorable, but poorly kittens that die in their first few weeks of life are heartbreaking. You can prevent this suffering. Please spay and neuter your kitties.

Also this month little Fleur was ill and needed emergency vet care. This meant an overnight stay and of course a huge bill for Henry’s! Thankfully Fleur is feeling much better now and improving every day but our finances are looking a bit less healthy.

Fleur – before her illness

Fleur’s vet bill wiped out our emergency fund, so we now need to raise funds to replace that. If you’d like to help us raise this much needed cash, you can help us by donating cash, helping out at a fundraising event (or even planning one of your own), or donating items for our auctions and tombolas. You can also help us more generally by buying a gift for our cats from our Amazon Wishlist.

A huge THANK YOU to all our supporters, adopters, and well-wishers. Your support is so important to us all.

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