How to Keep Your Cat Cool in the Summer

Table of Contents


How to Keep Cats Cool in Summer

Symptoms of Heat Stroke in Cats

How to Treat Heat Stroke in Cats

Keep Your Cat Protected

Just like us humans, many cats enjoy spells of warmer weather! However, they can also overheat and risk developing complications such as heat stroke. Cats more at risk of illness as a result of the mercury rising include very old or young cats, cats with a dense, fluffy coat and those with pre-existing medical conditions. 

Felines with flat faces (you might hear these being referred to as brachycephalic breeds) like Persian cats and Scottish folds also have a harder time regulating their temperatures because of their shorter nasal passages.

 Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do as a cat parent to keep your puss comfortable and extra chill in warm weather!

How to Keep Cats Cool in Summer

  • Keep your cat hydrated - A hydrated kitty is a happy kitty! It’s important to make sure their water bowls are always topped up with clean, cool water. If your cat isn’t drinking enough, you can try to make it more interesting for them by:

    -Getting them a water fountain - a bit diva-ish, but loads of cats prefer water when it’s running

    -Adding ice cubes to their water bowl. Water on the rocks if you like!

    -Adding a splash of chicken broth to their water (mmm)

    -Making some cat-friendly ice lollies out of their favourite flavours like tuna brine or chicken stock (the internet is full of recipes for icy treats)

  • Make sure they have access to plenty of shade - Most cats love sunning themselves in the toastiest spot they can find, but you don’t want them to overdo it. If there aren’t many shrubs or trees for your cat to recline under in your outdoor space, create a cool shaded area for them by stringing up tarpaulin, sheets or towels. It’s a well-known fact that cats love cardboard boxes. These double up as a great makeshift sunshade. So think twice before collapsing that next box from your latest delivery! On REALLY hot days between May and August in the UK, it’s best to keep them indoors between 10am and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest.

  • Cool things down inside - Indoor cats can overheat too! Net or mesh pet screens for windows and doors can help keep your home well-ventilated and stop you from worrying about them escaping. Close curtains and blinds to keep the house cool for your cat. If it’s hotter outside than in, keep the windows closed. Place fans around your home to keep the air circulating - just don’t point the fan directly at your cat (it could be the last thing you do).

  • Try cooling mats or cooling beds - Most cats would be horrified at the idea of setting foot in a paddling pool, so buy a pet cooling mat or give them a towel soaked in cold water to lie on. Stroking your kitty with a cold wet towel or wet hands (if tolerated, of course) will also help them to cool off. You can also freeze a plastic bottle full of water, wrap it in a pillowcase or towel, and place it in one of your cat's favourite spots. A bag of frozen peas or sweetcorn will also do the trick.

  • Apply cat-friendly sun cream (yes, it's a thing) - All cats (but especially light-coloured or hairless cats) can get sunburnt and develop skin cancer, so you should protect them with cat-friendly sun protection before they head out on a hot day. Make sure you apply it to any areas that aren’t covered with a lot of fur like ears and noses. If your cat’s skin looks sore, crusty or scaly, speak to your vet right away for advice.

  • Keep your feline well-groomed - it’s perfectly normal if your cat is grooming themselves more than usual in the heat. This is a cooling mechanism similar to sweating: as the saliva evaporates off their fur, your kitty will cool down. It’s also a good idea to brush them on a daily basis to get rid of excess fluff that’s keeping any heat in. Cats with longer, heavier coats might like a shorter summer haircut to let heat escape but leave this to a professional groomer who won’t disrupt their natural cooling system.

  • Check cat hiding spots - The phrase 'curiosity killed the cat’ didn’t just appear out of thin air. Your cat might be hiding out in a shed, greenhouse or other confined space in hot weather, so thoroughly check inside (including in cardboard boxes and on shelves) before closing the door.

Symptoms of Heat Stroke in Cats

A lot of people are aware that dogs can suffer from heat stroke, but many don’t know that it’s a serious risk for cats, too.  Heat stroke develops when your pet can't reduce their body temperature by sweating through their nose and paw pads or by panting.

Signs of heat stroke include:

-Heavy panting and rapid breathing
-Agitation, restlessness or pacing
-Raised temperature (between 38.3 and 39.2° Celsius is normal)
-Seeming dazed, lethargic, drowsy or has glazed eyes
-Lacking coordination or appearing disoriented
-A rapid pulse
-Excessive salivation and thickened saliva
-Sticky gums
-Muscle tremors
-Vomiting or diarrhoea
-Loss of consciousness

How to Treat Heat Stroke in Cats

For the best chance of survival and to prevent brain damage, you need to gradually lower your cat’s body temperature using the methods listed below, and take them to the nearest vet immediately.

  • Move your cat to the most shaded and cool area you can

  • Avoid cooling them down too rapidly to avoid shock - this can also be fatal

  • If possible, wrap your cat in cool - not cold - wet towels, targeting the paws, underarm, belly and groyne areas where there’s less fur

  • If you don’t have towels, wet down their fur with cool water until their breathing settles down, but not too much that they start shivering.

  • Place them in the breeze of a fan.

  • Allow them to drink small amounts of cool water

  • Even if your cat looks like they may be recovering or you just suspect they might have heat stroke, they should still always be checked by a vet as quickly as possible.

Keep Your Cat Protected

The hot weather presents another challenge for our furry feline friends! Peak flea season also occurs in the summer months. Those opportunistic blighters are everywhere.

And remember folks, 95% of fleas live in your home environment, not on your pet. 

To break the flea lifecycle this peak flea season and to help ensure a flea free forever, treat your home with Itch Flea Home Spray.


 Here's what our in-house vet Dr. Zoe Costigan has to say:

“For existing infestations or if you’re new to Itch, I recommend using a one-off blast of Itch Flea Home Spray (link to home spray product page) to deliver almost certain death to the fleas hiding around your home, combined with Itch Flea Spot on flea solution which kills new adult fleas coming into contact with your pet within 24 hours (plus the powerful formula kills flea eggs and larvae to stop them coming back!)

Then keep up their regular monthly flea treatment to stop the microscopic mingers ruining their summer of fun with a monthly Itch Flea subscription so you never forget to protect your pet!”


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