Can Cats Get Heatstroke in Tulsa, OK?
Many cat owners are not aware of the heat-related conditions that cats can suffer from. Cats are just as susceptible to heatstroke as dogs, and cat owners need to be aware of this possibility when it comes to summer weather. Cats are usually inside during the summer, but that does not mean that they cannot get too hot while they are indoors as well.
Knowing more about cat heatstroke can be critical to ensure that your cat does not end up with this life-threatening health problem. Cats that have heatstroke need attention within a half hour of the onset of symptoms or they might die. Educated cat owners are much less likely to have to deal with this health emergency.
What is Heatstroke in Cats?
Cats get heatstroke when their body temperature gets above 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat exhaustion happens first, but the symptoms of this condition are harder to recognize for many pet owners. Heatstroke usually develops from a combination of dehydration and becoming too hot. Cats that have a temperature that is too high and that are not given enough water to drink can be at risk for developing this condition.
What Causes Heatstroke in Cats?
The most common reason that cats get heatstroke is that they have been locked into a hot space without proper airflow and without water. This could be a room in your home or even the car. Outdoor cats might be susceptible to heatstroke if the weather is hot and they are not able to get access to enough water to cool off.
Cats can only sweat through the pads of their feet. They can pant to cool off, and they can drink water. If they are not able to cool off by drinking water and getting to a shady place or an area with better airflow, they can easily get too hot and start to suffer from heatstroke.
An internal body temperature over 104 degrees Fahrenheit can cause damage to your pet’s organs and even death. You will need to act quickly if your pet has become too hot or has been trapped in a warm space for a period of time. The sooner that your pet gets to the vet, the better.
What Are the Symptoms of Heatstroke in Cats?
Cats show many of the same symptoms of heatstroke as dogs can display. You should be aware that these symptoms might not all be present. If the weather is hot or your pet has been unable to get to water, you need to start paying attention to the appearance of these symptoms.
- Rapid breathing or panting
- Respiratory distress
- Dark red gums and tongue
- Sweaty paws
- Thick saliva
- Having tremors or seizures
You should always trust your instincts when it comes to issues with your cat’s health. If you think that something is wrong with them, even if they are not showing all of these symptoms, it is best to take your cat to the vet right away.
How to Avoid Cat Heatstroke
You might be wondering how you can protect your cat from heatstroke. There are some simple ways that you can make sure that your cat does not suffer from this preventable condition.
Provide Access to Water
Make sure that your cat has access to enough clean water. This means that indoor and outdoor water bowls should be provided if your pet is an indoor/outdoor cat.
Provide Your Cat Shade or Bring Them Inside
Keep your cat inside when the weather is hot or provide a shady place with water at all times for your cat to escape to when the weather is not ideal.
Don’t Close Your Cat in a Small Space
Be sure that your cat does not get closed into a small, hot space for any period of time. This means that car trips are not a good idea when the weather is hot, and keeping your cat locked in a back room that might get really warm is also a bad plan.
Consider the Temperature
Pay attention to the ambient temperature and make sure that you are considering ways to keep your cat cool if the weather gets really warm. Having a fan in the main part of your home can help your cat to have a space with enough airflow to get cool enough, even if you don’t have air conditioning.
Kittens and Senior Cats Have Different Needs
Be mindful of the needs of kittens and senior cats in particular. These are the cats that are most likely to end up with heatstroke because they will be the most sensitive to heat. Overweight cats and cats with preexisting health challenges can also be more prone to getting heatstroke.
Heatstroke might not be a real risk for your cat if you have air conditioning and your cat stays indoors at all times. However, if your pet happens to slip outside on a hot day or they somehow manage to get into a space like the attic of your home, they could still get heatstroke. The more that you know about this condition, the less likely it will be that your cat will end up sick.
Cat Heatstroke Can be Prevented In Most Cases
Cat heatstroke can be prevented in nearly all cases just by being diligent about your cat’s environment. Making sure that your cat cannot get into a small and hot space can make all the difference in keeping them from getting overheated. You can also make sure that your cat has access to enough water at all times and that they are not allowed to go outside when the weather is quite warm.
Being informed about the symptoms and risks associated with heatstroke can make all the difference when it comes to keeping your pet healthy all year round. Indoor/outdoor cats are much more likely to suffer from heatstroke, but that does not mean that a cat that lives in an air-conditioned house cannot still be exposed to situations that could lead to heatstroke. Educated cat owners are able to recognize the signs that their cat is sick and respond accordingly.