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  • Writer's pictureAudrey G., Owner, Petite Paws Austin

Cool Cats: 8 Tips for Beating the Texas Heat

As the sweltering Texas summer heat rolls in, please ensure that your feline family members remain comfortable and safe indoors. With their luxurious fur coats, cats can be particularly susceptible to heat, and since they can't sweat like humans, they need a little extra help to stay cool. Here are some practical tips to help keep your indoor cat cool and content when the summer heat is on.

1. Ice, Ice, Baby

If you don’t have a cooling mat, you can create your own. Freeze a water bottle, wrap it in a towel, and place it in your cat's favorite lounging spot. This DIY ice pack will provide a cool surface for them to lay on or against.

2. Water World

Water is crucial for cats to regulate their body temperature. Make sure your cat always has access to fresh, cool water. Consider placing multiple water bowls around your home to encourage frequent drinking. You can also try add a couple of ice cubes to their water bowl for a refreshing twist or invest in a cat water fountain, which can be more enticing for some cats due to the flowing water.

3. Cool Spots and Shade

Create cool retreats for your cat around the house. Cats naturally seek out cool surfaces, so providing access to tiled floors, shaded areas where you cat can escape the direct sunlight. Cooling mats designed for pets can also make a big difference, and close curtains, shades, or blinds during the hottest part of the day to keep indoor temperatures lower.

4. Air Flow

Good air circulation is vital to keeping your home cool. Set a fan in your cat's favorite lounging spot to create a gentle breeze. Make sure the fan is on a stable surface and out of your cat's reach to prevent any accidents.  If you don’t have air conditioning, placing fans strategically to create a cross breeze can help. Just be mindful of the fan settings and avoid placing them directly where your cat likes to rest, as some cats might find the direct airflow uncomfortable.

5. A Helping Hand

Regular grooming can help your cat stay cool. Brushing your cat helps remove excess fur, reducing the risk of matting, which can trap heat close to their body. For long-haired breeds, consider a summer trim, such as a “lion cut,” but avoid shaving your cat completely, as their fur provides protection.

6. Did Someone Say Treats

Offer your cat some cool treats. You can make cat-friendly ice lollies by freezing wet cat food or tuna water in ice cube trays. Another fun idea is to give them frozen catnip toys. Not only will this help cool them down, but it will also provide entertainment and mental stimulation.

7. Easy Does It

Encourage your cat to stay calm and avoid overexertion during the hottest parts of the day. Engage in playtime during the cooler morning or evening hours. If your cat is particularly energetic, consider providing puzzle feeders or other low-activity toys to keep them entertained without too much physical exertion.

8. Know the Signs of Overheating

Monitor your cat’s behavior and body temperature during the summer months. It's crucial to recognize the signs of overheating in cats, which include excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, and vomiting. If your cat shows any of these symptoms, immediately move them to a cooler place, offer water, and contact your vet for further advice.

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