How Cats Keep Cool in the Dog Days of Summer

cat in the garden

Summer Cat

In our last post, we talked about dogs sweating (or their lack of), how to avoid overheating and what you need to know about the glands in a dog’s paw. But as we all know, dogs aren’t the only ones who can be affected by the summer heat. Since we’re probably going to have at least a few more scorchers (if not more) this year, we want to use this post to focus on what cats do to manage their temperature during the summer.

Cats, Sweating and Panting

Like dogs, cats don’t do their sweating out of their brow. Instead, the area where you’ll find sweat glands on a cat is their paws. If a cat gets scared, there’s a chance they’ll sweat so much that they end up leaving wet paw prints wherever they walk. But in normal cases, cats just do a little sweating through their paws. However, since these glands are small, they’re often not enough to fully cool a cat.

Needing other ways to cool down brings up the subject of panting. Although this behavior is very common in dogs, cat owners probably don’t notice this action as often. However, cats can and do pant. When this happens, it means they’re very hot, so it’s a good idea to provide water and a cooler environment if possible.

Cats are vulnerable to heat stroke or overheating, so watch out for signs like drooling, heavy panting or staggering. In the event you see these signs, use a damp cloth on your cat’s belly that’s cool but not cold and seek veterinary care as soon as possible.

Other Ways Cats Beat the Heat

Because sweating through the paws is only a minor part of cat’s cooling down and panting is reserved for especially hot situations, you’re probably still wondering what they do to stay cool. One of the strategies cats use is finding the coolest spot available. That may be under the bed or on cool tile floor. So while it may look like a cat is hiding, there’s a good chance they’re just trying to beat the heat.

Another very interesting way cats stay cool is by mimicking the process of sweating. They do this by licking their coats even more than normal when it’s hot. By getting their saliva all over their coat, they can enjoy a cooling effect when it evaporates. You can help your cat stay cool by being sure to consistently brush during the hottest months. Some cats also enjoy playing with ice cubes, so you should definitely try that out as well.

By providing your cat with a comfortable environment throughout the summer, along with a daily diet of great cat food, you can help your cat continue to feel its best even when the weather is absolutely scorching outside.

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