How to Keep Your Cat Cool in a Heat Wave

Last week, we were away, gone to Seattle for a wedding. Our friend Nick stayed at our house to watch over Rain and make sure she got plenty of exercise and affection while her people were missing in action.

Seattle was gorgeous and had a high temperature of about 75 degress. When we stepped off the plane getting home, the temperature was 99 degrees and the heat index was 115. Yup, southern Illinois is unpleasant in the summer. A writer friend quipped that she was pretty sure Satan had moved in down the block since it was, in fact, as hot as Hades.

Even though we have our air conditioning set to 70 almost around the clock, we were immediately concerned about Rain's reaction to the heat. Here's how we help her beat the heat:

 

Bring your cat indoors

Rain is an always in kind of kitty, but some cats love the outdoors. In this type of heat, consider opting for the indoor litter box and keeping your cat in the air conditioning. If air conditioning isn't an option, make sure there are lots of sheltered places where your cat can find shade, but can also enjoy whatever breeze exists.

Brush your cat

If your cat is like Rain, she had a dense layer of fur that will shed like crazy in this heat and humidity. Take a few minutes once or twice a day to remove the extra fur with a good brushing. Your cat will thank you.

Provide lots of water

Okay, so I know it seems obvious, but I have a dear friend who has one, sometimes two, water bowls for her three cats...and she lives in a mobile home, the equivalent of an oven, I think. While she gives her cats fresh water twice a day, they could probably use more water options. Rain, who you might have guessed, is a bit spoiled, has four water dishes -- one near her food, one in the living room where she can be close to her people, and two in the kitchen. We noticed a drastic increase in her water consumption when it's humid outside.

Refresh the water more often

Even if you have several dishes, consider refreshing your cat's water more often. In this kind of weather, water evaporates rapidly, gets warm, and just becomes unpleasant to drink.  Refill the water dishes often and if you do not have air conditioning, consider putting ice cubes in the water dish to help keep it cool longer.

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Tags: excessive, heat, humidity, water

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Comment by Gina Young on July 20, 2011 at 12:23am
my cats are all in doors too but i refresh their water 2-3 times a day. i used to only give fresh water once a day until i realized that there was no way i would drink it if it had sat there for a whole day. yuck. 2 of my cats also have an obsession with licking the sweat off my water bottles and pop cans. i think this is cute, funny and a good way for them to get a sip of really cold water lol... i also put out fresh water for our stray cats 2ce a day and i think that they like that!
Comment by Sandra on July 18, 2011 at 2:59pm

Brushing is really important in the heat - imagine wearing a fur coat yourself on a hot day! I've used ice cubes in the water, too.  There's a funny video with a kitty discovering its first ice cube in the water bowl - What is that in my bowl? - so cute!

Comment by Carla Long on July 17, 2011 at 7:08pm
A glass water dish also helps keep the indoor water cooler longer.
Comment by LaDonna Reed on July 17, 2011 at 6:53pm
When I put water down for my cats, I've been using ice cubes.  Now my cats are so spoiled by this, they will not drink water any other way.  Alot of times I freeze a couple of bottled waters, my cats like this too.  In any event my cats are too spoiled.

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