(In Warmer Months)
Not that cats need much help when it comes to being cool. Any cat human will tell you cats are cool. Big cats and small cats alike. They effortlessly exude cool. Cats are cool end off. Every now and then however during in the summer months or if living in a temperate climate they need a little help keeping cool. The cool from the heat cool and even then they look cool beating the heat.
After 12 years in the Mediterranean, the boys and I have finally come up with ways to help them keep cool when the heat hits. So here are my tips for helping keep cats cool.
Cotton Pillow Cases
Cats will instantly find all the cooler shady spots to beat the heat in. They can be anywhere, in some odd places, behind the sofa/couch against the wall is one, but they’ll find them with a look of hoomin, please switch off the heat. As my boys are ‘seniors’, not that they think they are, I place cotton pillow cases down in these areas, especially on the floor to help protect their joints. The pillow cases also provide extra coolness as the cotton’s cool to the touch and maintains coolness.
In the winter I place blankets on the the sofa making them warmer to sit on for humans and cats alike. In the summer, I place cotton pillowcases making the sofa/couch much cooler to sit on and they more so AJ loves them.
The bed’s also a cool place they love to hang out on now the duvet is down to the duvet cover only. Like the cotton pillowcase it’s cool to the touch, so it’s perfect to nap on. Taking up the whole bed of course. Yes, cat toys on the bed. They save my clothes when I’m changing from being thumper kicked.
Coolie Blocks and Frozen Water Bottles
In the cool areas they find I place coolie blocks and frozen water bottles wrapped in tea towels to provide cooler air. Just make sure the blocks and bottles are wrapped to avoid skin getting attached and if any leaks the towel will soak them up.
Swap Winter Radiator Hammock For Summer Weight
Diesel loves hammocks. He had years ago nylon stackable cubes that he loved to hang out on the top tier during the summer. He could curl up, be up high which he loves and could see everything. Eventually his weight busted it and my sewing only helped so much. He has a cat tree crows nest but being fluffy material it can get hot up there. He had as a winter radiator bed which I swiped for a regular 50cm x 70cm pillow case which fits perfect and he gets to curl up, with a cool air flow underneath and still see what’s going on. I did want to get him a dog hammock/sun lounger, but they’re too big for the apartment and there’s no where to put it, hence switching out his radiator bed which works a treat.
AJ has arthritis which should get better during the warm months, I try to find beds that are lightweight and cool enough while providing padding. The straw weave on this bed is quite good at retaining coolness, though in this room he prefers the bed unless it’s too hot then will seek out the corner. He also likes yoga mats and it’s a race who get to it first when I start my practice.
Any cat will tell you they keep them cool in summer and warm in the winter.
Though they finished moulting a few weeks ago, brushing helps them keep cool by removing hair and any other debris they might have picked up. I also find it keeps them, especially Diesel less agitated. When it’s hot any thing thing can bother you, so it’s the same for them.
If you can leave a through draft or breeze to help keep the air moving and fresh. When it’s super hot it’s piece of mind when your out knowing they have a fresh air supply. It’s easier in an apartment block as you can leave windows ajar without too much worry of thieves, escapee cats etc. In London I used to leave the higher up slat windows open out the back. It’s also nice when you get back as the place isn’t stuffy. When I’m in, I have the balcony doors open and they’re in and out cooling off and on the very important business of neighbourhood watch.
To help keep the air moving! AJ every now and then when it’s super hot will sit positioned a little away from it, but definitely in it’s air flow.
Provide Plenty of Water. More Than Normal
Cats ancestors are desert dwellers but they still need plenty of water when it’s hot. I can only speak from experience, 2 sturdy porcelain water bowls are ideal. If one’s knocked over they still have water and as they’re quite deep, you can be out all day without worrying they won’t have enough. Plus being heavy they’re less likely to get knocked over. My boys drink more than average as they’re both on medicine with makes them drink more than the average cat (and pee. I get through so much litter!). They’ll drink mostly from one bowl but when the water hits a certain level they’ll start on the other. For cats who only drink from the tap, if they drink only from when a human’s around I’ll be honest I don’t know a solution. Diesel will also drink from the toilet so I always make sure to flush before leaving (I follow the if it’s yellow let it mellow (for a while!), if it’s brown flush it down). But he also pees in it so it’s up to him what he prefers. Any water they don’t drink, I give to the plants.
Water On Head, Ears, Paws And Belly
Cats wash more during the summer to keep cool as the salvia acts as a coolant. To help them on super hot days or during a heatwave I’ll put or gently dab cool cold water on their ears, paws and belly to help lower their body temperature. I say gently, it normally goes everywhere as they’re hoomin, no! followed by a huge cleaning session. Cat’s can’t sweat like humans and will pant if overheated which can be scary. You want them to drink like a dog would, but they won’t even if you place a water bowl next to them. Cat logic I don’t get.
This is the only thing that hasn’t worked. I thought it would be perfect them especially AJ to have something cool and padded to sit on that protects his joints. The idea is it’s always cool. However it’s not. It heats up in the sun and ambient temperature leaving it warm and they haven’t taken to it. I think a 6mm+ yoga mat cut up will be better.
How do you keep your pets cool when it gets hot?