15 June 2021

Heat Stoke in Cats

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Claire Smith, Vet

Heat Stroke is more common in dogs but did you know that cats can get heat stoke too?

The signs of heatstroke in cats are similar to signs in dogs, importantly however they can be more subtle and can include:

  • Panting
  • Drooling and salivating.
  • Agitation, restlessness or pacing.
  • A bright red tongue.
  • Very red or pale gums.
  • An increased heart rate.
  • Breathing distress.

Here are some tips to help keep your cats cool in this very hot weather.

Make sure there is plenty of fresh water available both inside and outside of the house. Cat’s will often have a preference about what they drink from, so try out a few different containers.

Make sure there are plenty of shaded areas outside. Items such as garden furniture, trees and bushes all provide good shady areas. Cardboard boxes can also be used to provide a shaded zone for your cats with an entrance and exit cut into them.

Place cooling mats in beds and areas where your cat likes to sleep. These are available from most pet shops and online stores.

Make some tuna water (not brine) or chicken broth (no added salt) ice lollies for your cat to lick or place some ice cubes made the same way in your cats water to keep it cool and encourage him or her to drink.

Keep a close eye on long haired cats who are more susceptible to heat exhaustion. Regular brushing can help.

Make sure white cats or those with pink skin on their ears or nose are kept out of the sun or use pet friendly sun block as they are more prone to sun burn.

Reduce playtime, especially with kittens as they will be more likely to overheat.

If you think your cat might have heat stroke please contact your vet.

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