Signs That Your Cat is Too Hot

Welcome to another hot summer. Unfortunately, our cats don’t sweat like we do, so they have a more difficult time staying cool and hydrated. When a cat is dehydrated, their organs can no longer function properly. Some organs begin to shut down, while others, like the heart, work harder. That’s why it’s important to be aware of signs that your cat may be becoming dehydrated and take steps to correct the situation quickly. 

Make sure your cat always has fresh water to drink. An average sized cat needs the equivalent of about one glass of water a day. An aerating fountain often encourages more drinking. Leaving bowls of fresh water in various parts of the house, in addition to offering water with meals, encourages a little more lapping as your cat makes the daily rounds. 

Also, install a paw-safe fan at your cat’s favorite relaxing spot to help her breathe in cool air when she’s ready to settle in for that afternoon snooze. 

Dehydration can occur for several reasons such as fever, vomiting and diarrhea, kidney disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or advanced age. Cats  with these problems will succumb to summer heat and dehydration faster as well. 

Watch your cat carefully, especially on hot days, to make sure she’s not panting, or looking gaunt with sunken features, dull eyes, or skin that doesn’t bounce back when pulled up. If she’s lethargic, having difficulty drinking, or if she has dry, sticky gums and thick saliva, is vomiting, constipated or refusing to eat, it’s time to move into action to help your little one regulate her body temperature. 

When cats become dehydrated, they can’t eat or urinate, so it becomes difficult to simply ‘fill’ the cat back up again. 

First, offer fresh water, broth or tuna juice to encourage trying to drink. If some fluid can be taken, then give her a diet of wet food. Even pate’ meals with a few extra drops of water mixed in can help to make a difference. 

Check with your vet. If your cat is elderly, sick or exceptionally dehydrated, you may need to bring kitty in for subcutaneous fluids. Your vet may also recommend an electrolyte mix to quickly restore body functions to normal again. 

Give your kitty fresh water often, and make sure that both of you stay cool and hydrated for the summer.  

Heron’s Crossing provides end-of-life care for pets in the Metro Atlanta area. In-home appointments with compassionate vets are available. If you’d prefer a home-like setting away from your home, our Decatur office is also available by appointment.