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Summer is here! Many of us are looking forward to the warm weather and fun summertime activities. Our feline pals also enjoy this time of year. After all, sunbathing is one of Fluffy’s favorite activities! However, hot weather can be dangerous for kitties, so you’ll want to take some steps to keep your cat cool. A local Leesburg, VA vet discusses how to do that in this article.
Cats really aren’t equipped with efficient cooling mechanisms. They can only sweat through her paw pads, and panting isn’t very effective for them. If your furball gets too hot, she can quickly develop heat exhaustion, which can in turn become heat stroke. (Note: this may very well have something to do with the reason cats are so sleepy. Perhaps Fluffy knows it isn’t safe for her to overheat, and is erring on the side of caution by spending most of her time napping!)
Panting is often one of the first signs of heat exhaustion in cats. Fluffy might pace, groom herself incessantly, and/or meow differently than usual. More serious symptoms include trembling, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, pale or dark gums, hyperventilating, and an elevated pulse. Your kitty may also breathe through her mouth and/or drool. If you notice any of these symptoms in your feline buddy, take immediate steps to cool her down, and contact your vet. First and foremost, immediately offer your kitty some water. You can also wrap her in a cool, wet towel, put a bag of frozen veggies between her legs, or hold her in front of an open freezer door. Another option is to put your pet in front of a fan and mist her with a light spray of water. As you are doing this, get on the phone with your vet and ask for further instructions.
Make sure that Fluffy always has fresh, clean water. On really hot days, drop an ice cube into her bowl. Brushing your kitty regularly will help as well. Dead fur and dander can get quite hot and itchy, and will also decrease the insulating qualities of your cat’s fur. We also recommend keeping cats indoors, in rooms cooled by fans and air conditioners.
Please feel free to call us, your Leesburg, VA vet clinic, anytime. We are dedicated to offering great veterinary care!