While the rest of us humans are dripping sweat and standing in front of window A/C units to stave off the summer heat, cats seem to have a cool head about it all. Cats may not pant like dogs or sweat like humans, but they do have some pretty interesting and clever ways of staying cool.
1. They Sleep More
If any species could get an award for the best napper, it would be cats. During the summer months, you may notice your cat taking longer naps. It’s not your cat being lazy, however, it’s your cat being smart. Cats, unlike their canine counterparts, know that exerting extra energy in the heat will only wear them down. They opt to sleep during the warmer parts of the day and reserve any activity for the cooler parts of the day, like early in the morning or in the evening.
2. They Rest On Cool Surfaces
Ever notice how your cat seems to take a liking to your bath tub or the tile floor underneath your kitchen table during the summer? Cats cool themselves off by placing their belly on colder surfaces, like a very mellow ice pack. Provide your cat with these types of shady, cool surfaces to take their naps on during the hot summer season.
3. They Groom Themselves More
Cats can’t sweat like humans do, so they groom to keep themselves cool. When cats groom themselves in hot weather, their saliva evaporates off of their coat, cooling them down just like our sweat does once it evaporates off our bodies.
4. Their Fur Is Magical, So Don’t Get Rid Of It
You may also notice your cat shedding a lot more. This is most likely their undercoats leaving them with just an outer coat. This may lead you to think that getting your cat a summer shave is a good idea to keep them cool, but it’s better to leave their coat as is. Cats’ coats are amazing and act as thermal regulators, keeping them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. You can help your cat groom by brushing out any excessive undercoat, but don’t give them a shave.
5. They Drink More Water
Although your cat may not be great at drinking water year round, cats have a natural inclination to drink more water during the warmer months, just like us humans. It may seem obvious, but this is not a skill all pets possess. If it doesn’t seem like your cat is drinking enough water during the hot months, be sure to have multiple bowls of water out. Feel free to put an ice cube in the water as well if you feel that will make hydrating more attractive to your cat.
Sometimes They Need Help Staying Cool, Though
While your cat has a lot of innate abilities to keep their body temperatures regulated during the hot season, sometimes cats need additional help. Cats with black coats, longhaired breeds, or cats that are brachycephalic (short muzzled) are more prone to heat related injury or illness than other cats. Be sure to always have clean water readily available for your cat and a cool and comfortable spot for them to rest.