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Beat the Heat! Here’s How to Keep Cats Cool in Summer

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Summer brings fun, sunshine, and… scorching temperatures! While you might be preparing for pool parties, beach getaways, and ice cream cones, your fluffy friend needs extra TLC to stay cool and comfy during this hot season. That’s because they don’t sweat like us, making it hard for them to regulate their body temperature. But don’t worry—we’re here to tell you how to keep cats cool in summer.

Why Hydration Is Key


Have you ever played basketball outdoors on a scorching hot day? You get thirsty quickly, right? It’s the same for cats. They need access to fresh, clean water to keep them hydrated, especially during summer. The only problem is that some cats have a low thirst drive, so they might not sip enough on their own. Here are the things you can do to keep the water flowing:

Set Up Multiple Bowls Around the House

Put water bowls in different parts of the house, particularly in areas where your whiskered companion frequently goes. That way, your cat can have water wherever it roams.

Consider Investing in a Water Fountain

Cats love running water, so why not get a cat water fountain? It mimics a natural fresh water source that may encourage your kitty to slurp more. Plus, the gentle bubbling sound entices your furry buddy to sip.

Add Ice Cubes to the Water

Adding ice will keep your cat cool in this scorching weather and encourage them to drink more. There are two ways to do this. First, you can put ice cubes in the bowl. The cool water stays fresh as the ice cubes melt, promoting better hydration for cats.

You can also incorporate ice cubes into your cat’s playtime. Let your playful, fluffy friend bat on these cubes. Not only will it encourage your cat to take a swig, but the cooling effect on its paws as the ice melts will also keep it cool, especially on hot days.

Add Some Flavor to Their Drink

Flavoring your cat’s drink can promote hydration. Add a drizzle of unseasoned chicken broth or tuna juice to flavor it. Don’t add garlic, onion, or high-sodium condiments to the drink, as these can harm your cat’s health. Remember, a little goes a long way.

Switch Dry Food to Wet Food

Dry food may be more convenient and doesn’t spoil quickly, but switch it to wet food to increase your fur kid’s water intake. Dry food only has an average of 6-10% water content, whereas wet food has 70-85%. Thus, switching it up will keep your cat hydrated from the inside out.

Signs of Dehydration to Be Aware of

If your cat doesn’t drink much, it could lead to dehydration. Here are some warning signs to be aware of.

  • Less Frequent Urination – Check your cat’s litter box usage. If it’s peeing less, or its urine is dark yellow or concentrated, it could mean your fluffy floof is dehydrated. 
  • Lethargy – Keep an eye on your cat’s behavior, too. If your usually playful feline becomes a sleepy head, it could be a sign of dehydration.
  • Loss of Skin Elasticity – Check your cat’s skin elasticity. Gently pinch the skin on its back between the shoulder blades. If the doesn’t spring back, it could indicate your cat needs to drink more.
  • Dry Gums and Nose – A cat’s gums should be pink and moist. If it has dry, sticky gums and a dry nose, you need to encourage your cat to sip more water.

Create Cool Zones

cat lying under cherry laurel bush

Like us, cats look for cool spots to rest when the weather is hot. Here’s how to keep cats cool in summer months:

Provide Shady Areas Inside and Outside Your Home

Create shady spots for your cat to sleep and lounge indoors and outdoors. Put curtains and blinds on the windows or strategically place your furniture to create an indoor shade for your four-legged baby. Plant a tree or add a catio (an enclosed outdoor cat space) for outdoor or stray cats to keep them cool during this season.

Improve Air Flow

Good air circulation will keep the surroundings cool. Open the windows to let the air come into your house. Just ensure they have screens so your cat won’t escape. You can also use an electric fan to provide a gentle breeze. Ensure the fan is cat-proof, or position it away from your curious kitty’s reach. If the temperature is close to triple digits, book a reservation at a cat-friendly hotel to keep you and your furry pal cool.

Turn on Your Air-Conditioner

Air conditioning is a lifesaver on scorching days. Turn on the AC to reduce indoor temperature. But remember, sudden temperature changes can upset your cat. If you use the air-conditioning unit, keep it at a moderate temperature and avoid blasting it directly on your furry companion.

Use Cooling Mats and Beds

Here’s a question: how do you keep cats cool in a hot season without AC? Give them cooling mats and summer cat beds! Get a pressure-activated cooling mat for your kitty to curl up on. It doesn’t need electricity or refrigeration compared to regular cooling mats to keep it cool. You can also improvise if you don’t have a cooling bed. Place a towel over a frozen water bottle for a DIY cooling pad.

Leave the Bathroom Door Open

Tile floors, especially in bathrooms, can offer a cool refuge for your pet. Leave the bathroom door slightly open so it can come in when the temperature gets too hot.

Grooming Matters

Man holds a grooming brush on top of a grey tabby cat's fur

Regular grooming is essential, but it’s even more crucial in summer. Here’s why you should groom your precious fuzzball in hot months.

For Better Heat Regulation

Thick, matted fur traps heat, making your cat feel hotter. It also causes irritation and infections, as it traps moisture, which is the breeding ground for bacteria and skin problems. Regularly grooming your cat will help eliminate these issues, keeping it cool and comfy during these blazing hot days.

When Hiring a Professional Help Is Best

If you’re caring for a long-haired cat breed, like Maine Coon or Persian, hiring a professional groomer is best. They can do a summer trim to beat the heat and deal with rugged mats.

Adjusting Playtime and Activities

Scottish kitten playing in a cardbox

Cats love to play, but the scorching temperature and intense exercise are a recipe for heat exhaustion. Knowing how and when to play with your frolic furball can prevent these issues. Here’s how to adjust your kitty’s playtime.

Timing Matters

Schedule your cat’s playtime when the temperature is colder. Take your feline friend out early in the morning or after the sun goes down. That way, your cat can still have an outdoor adventure without the risk of overheating.

Opt for Mental-Stimulating Games

For indoor games, choose mental-stimulating toys or give them a cardboard house to explore. These games don’t require the physical exertion of running or chasing. Rotate the toys to keep things exciting and boredom at bay.

Set Up a Catio and Supervise Outdoor Exploration

For cats that enjoy outdoor adventures, a catio will keep them cool under the heat. It’s a safe, enclosed outdoor space that lets them enjoy the gentle breeze, the outdoor view, and the sounds. Supervised stroll on a leash and harness during cool hours can also be fun.

How to Spot and Manage Heatstroke

Portrait of a ginger cat indoors

Heatstroke is a severe emergency for cats in hot weather. It can develop quickly and can be life-threatening if not addressed early. Cats don’t often show clear signs of discomfort until they’re ill, so understanding and recognizing the symptoms is crucial.

Symptoms of heat stroke include bright red gums, rapid panting, staggering, drooling, weakness, and vomiting. Act fast if you see any of these signs. Wrap your cat in a cool, damp towel and take it to the vet immediately—every second counts.

Caring for Cats With Special Needs

Cute Devon Rex cat in bath towel

Some cats are more susceptible to heat-related problems than others. Take extra care if you have:

  • Senior Cats – Older cats have difficulty regulating their body temperature. Provide them with accessible chill zones and water sources around your home.
  • Round-Faced Breeds Round-faced felines like Exotic Shorthair, Himalayan, and Persian have short airways. Their facial structure makes it difficult for them to breathe and cool down efficiently, adding to their vulnerability.
  • Overweight Cats – Cats on the plus size are more at risk of overheating. Consult your vet about a healthy weight management plan to help your burly feline lose those extra pounds.
  • Cats With Health Conditions – If your feline has cardiovascular or respiratory problems, extreme heat can be fatal to your pet. Talk to your vet about taking extra precautions.

Additional Cool-Down Tips


No matter how fully prepared you are, there are days when the temperatures are extra hot. Here are some quick and easy tricks to keep your floof cool when the temperature soars:

  • Give Them Frozen Treats – Make frozen treats using watered-down tuna, sardine juice, or unseasoned chicken broth for a tasty, hydrating snack.
  • Damp Washcloth – Wiping down your fur kid’s nose and paws with a wet cloth can freshen them up on a hot day.
  • Never Leave Your Cat in a Parked Car – Even if the windows are open, the temperature in the car heats up to a dangerous level in just a few minutes, which may lead to fatality.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to keep cats cool in summer will help you make well-informed, common-sense choices. With clever hacks and preparation tips, you can help your four-legged fuzzball beat the heat and enjoy the season safely. Go forth and be your cat’s summer superhero!


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