Cats in warm weather

Keep your cat cool during the summer months

Keeping your cat safe in the summer

As the weather warms up and the sun begins to shine, you’ll need to think about looking after your cat during hot weather. Here are our top tips on keeping your cat cool and safe during the summer months.


Keep your cat safe from the sun

Many cats love soaking up the sunshine, choosing the warmest spots in the garden to enjoy. Make sure you take precautions to avoid your cat getting dehydrated or sunburnt. Overexposure can lead to skin cancer.

Provide plenty of shade both inside and out. From sheltered plant pots to cardboard boxes, these items offer makeshift sunshades for outdoor-loving moggies.
Think about planting shrubs or using cat hides and boxes in the garden. These help your cat hide away from the sun’s potentially harmful rays.

If your cat has white fur, try keeping them inside between 10am and 3pm, when the sun is at its hottest. Speak to a vet about suitable sunscreen for cats, to ensure they don’t suffer from sunburn.

Keeping your cat cool

Keeping your cat cool inside your home is important too. Place fans around the house to keep the air circulating, remembering not to point the fan directly at your cat.

Another handy tip is to freeze a bottle of water, wrap it in a towel or pillowcase and place it somewhere your cat goes regularly. This stops them from feeling overheated during hotter spells. Remember to ensure that your cat can get away from the bottle if they chose to, and make sure the bottle does not leak!

How can I tell if my cat is dehydrated?

When your cat does not take in enough fluid through drinking or eating a wet (canned) diet, your cat can become dehydrated. During the summer months, this is more likely to happen. Normal hydration  is important for cats as it helps maintain a normal body temperature, removes wasteproducts and maintains proper circulation.

To assess whether your cat is dehydrated, look at our top tips:

- Assess your cat’s gums. If your cat’s gums are sticky or tacky, this may be the first sign of dehydration
- Test skin elasticity. In a well-hydrated cat, the skin should snap back into place immediately. If it doesn’t, it could well be dehydrated
- Check your cat’s eyes. Severely sunken eyes that appear dry can indicate significant dehydration
- Feel your cat’s paws. If the paws feel cool or cold, this could be a sign of  dehydration

If dehydration is suspected, please seek veterinary advice

Ways to keep your cat hydrated

To prevent your cat from getting dehydrated, encouraging  them to drink water is key. Here are some ways to get your cat to drink more water:

- Place water bowls away from food bowls. Cats don’t like to drink in the same place that they eat
- Avoid plastic bowls. In the heat, these can taint the taste of the water. Use glass, ceramic or metal instead
- Make sure the water bowl is large, with a big surface area too
- Keep the water topped up so your cat doesn’t have to put their head into the bowl, and to make sure your cat isn’t left without any water at all
- Many cats prefer running water, so try offering a cat fountain
- Putting water bowls in different places around the house will help cats always find somewhere to drink
- If your feed your cat tinned food, small amounts of water can be mixed into the food, which will increase fluid intake

Find out more about keeping your cat hydrated

For more on drinking, visit Cats and drinking

Concerned about their health in the heat?

If you're worried about your cat's behaviour, or they're displaying signs of ill health, please speak to your vet immediately.

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