What Are The Signs Of Salicylate Toxicity
Signs of toxicity include:
- redness and irritation of the skin where the cream has been applied
- if ingested, vomiting and diarrhoea
If youd prefer not to use sun cream on your cat, try to limit their time in the sun and make sure they are taking breaks from the sunshine, especially during peak afternoon hours.
What Are The Signs Of Heat Stroke In Cats
Heatstroke can arise quickly in dogs and cats, even with limited exposure to hot weather. Persian cats are more prone to heatstroke because they cant pant as effectively. Older, or overweight, cats are also at higher risk and must be carefully monitored. Some of the signs of heatstroke include:
- Redness around tongue and mouth
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Too Hot
Cats can be aloof, so its not always easy to notice that they are struggling with the heat. There are a lot of things that you can do to keep your cat cool and comfortable, but being able to recognize signs that your cat is overheating is a matter of safety.
Minor changes to demeanour are normal as seasons change, but you should be on the lookout for behaviours that are dangerous, destructive, and out of the ordinary. Here are some things you might notice if your cat is too hot:
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What To Do If Your Cat Gets Hyperthermic
Initial emergency treatment must be done immediately in order to normalize body temperature.
Move the cat to a shady and cool place to bring its body temperature down. Apply or spray cool water on to the animals fur and skin. Then apply a fan to maximise heat loss. Wetting down the area around your pet can also help. Do not use ice-cold water or ice as this may worsen the problem.
If your pet is alert enough and able to drink water, offer small amounts frequently. After the initial care take your pet to the nearest vet. Remember that heatstroke is an emergency and should always be evaluated by a vet, even if your cat seems to be recovering.
How To Keep Outdoor Cats Cool During Summer
If your cat loves to spend most of her days exploring the neighbourhood, then you may need to consider additional measures to keep them cool. Beyond the tips above, like cooling gear, there are additional things you can do to ensure that your cat can safely enjoy a hot summer day.
Even if your cat doesnt love water, leaving out a large bowl, or even a kiddie pool of fresh clean water will ensure that your cat will know where to come to rehydrate or even cool down if she so chooses to get in. Your cats survival instincts will tell her to find water if she needs it.
Your cat is going to explore as she pleases, but that doesnt mean that she wont need a reprieve from the beating sun. Providing an insulated shelter, like a dog house, will help her get out of the sun and control her body temperature.
Limit Outdoor Time
This may not be an option that your cat appreciates, but it is in her best interest to keep her inside during the hottest parts of the day. Changer her outdoor time to early in the day or in the evening when the sun isnt as hot.
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When Is It Time For A Veterinarian Visit
It may be difficult to gauge when a trip to the vet is warranted. Observe the cat for its everyday behavior. Do the cat pounce and play like normal? Do you notice any lethargy attributed to its movements?
A cat thats lethargic may need a vets assistance. Hills Pet Nutrition suggests a pinching test on the skin between the shoulder blades.
The skin and fur should relax into place after a gentle pinching. Skin that remains in a pinched shape, however, means that the cat is dehydrated.
Its time for a vet visit in this case.
How To Protect Your Pet In The Sun
You need to keep your pet cool, so keep them indoors in a cool area during the hottest part of the day .
Whether they are inside or outside, make sure your animals have access to shade and fresh drinking water at all times.
Sarah James Vet Nurse and Bought By Manys Technical Claims Manager said: “Despite the heat, it is still a good idea for your pet to get outside in the garden for some fresh air, however, make sure they are shaded as pets get sunburned too!
“Remember, some human sunscreens can be harmful to pets, so utilising shade via trees is best as they allow a nice amount of airflow.
“If theres no garden shaded space available, you can create some by putting a double duvet cover over a rotary washing line.
“Alternatively, let your pet lie on floor tiles with the windows open to keep them cool.”
Sarah explained the importance of keeping your pet cool with water.
She said: “Its important to encourage your pet to drink more water during hotter weather to stop them becoming dehydrated.
“An easy way to cool them down is by putting ice cubes in their water bowl, and guiding them to their water bowl throughout their day. Be sure to top it up regularly.
“Giving ice cubes on their own to your pet that is already too warm can upset their bodys cooling system .
“The best thing to do here is give them tepid water and only give cool water for pets that are of a normal temperature.”
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How Do Cats Cool Themselves
Being homeotherms, cats are naturally equipped to control their body temperature. Of course, they can only do so much, but this instinctual ability makes them generally equipped to manage normal warm weather conditions. Heres how they do it:
Like dogs, cats pant to cool themselves. Panting allows cool air to circulate in their body, which helps to reduce body temperature. Panting in cats is not as common as it is in dogs, so you might not notice your cat panting. Excessive panting means that they are struggling to control their temp, and you need to intervene.
Cats sweat through their paws, like dogs. Sweat facilitates heat removal from the body as the moisture from the sweat evaporate. Its rare that youll notice super sweaty cat feet, but this in combination with panting is your cats involuntary method of cooling down.
This one is pretty unique to cats, but grooming is actually another method of cooling down. When grooming, cats leave behind a little moisture, and like sweat, the moisture from their saliva helps to draw heat out of their body.
How Can I Tell If My Cat Is Too Hot
Most commonly, cats that are feeling warm will act uncomfortable. They may be restless and move around from place to place, seeking cooler temperatures. They may not eat as much and drink more. You may see them pant, especially after exercise. Or you may notice them grooming more often to increase the cooling effects of evaporation.
When cats start to get dangerously hot, they can experience heatstroke when the body temperature gets to 104° F or above. At these high temperatures, organs and systems can start to fail and shutdown. Cats with heatstroke may pant excessively, drool, sweat from their footpads, appear disoriented, vomit, stagger, and have bright red gums. Heatstroke is a medical emergency and should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
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What Causes Hyperthermia
Exposure to extreme external heat like a fireplace and sunlight is the most likely cause of hyperthermia. As cats love warm environments, we would notice that they usually linger in these areas. However, because they naturally have warmer temperatures plus when they get too much exposure to heat, they sometimes fail to self-regulate.
While cases of hyperthermia in cats are most common during the summertime, its still possible to occur at any time of the year.
Symptoms Of Heat Stress
Normal body temperature for dogs and cats ranges from 101 102.5. Anything higher than 103.5 is considered hyperthermia and may indicate heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Of course, most of us dont carry around rectal thermometers to check our pets temperatures, so there are other signs that can alert us of heat stress! The first thing to remember is that if were feeling hot, its likely our pets are too. After all, how would you like to walk around in the summer heat in a fur coat you couldnt remove? The first reaction to heat that your dog or cat will display is panting. Of course, panting is normal for dogs less so for cats and is usually sufficient to cool them off.
However, if panting isnt enough to dissipate the excess heat, Fido and Fluffy will begin to act restless and distressed, looking for cooler locations. The panting wont stop, though it will, in fact, get faster. In addition, your dog and cat may begin salivating excessively, will have bright red gums, and their heart rates and body temperatures will begin to rise. They may also vomit and have diarrhea. These are the early signs of heatstroke. If no relief is found, symptoms can worsen quickly. As this happens, they may have seizures, go into shock, or fall into a coma. In addition, their gums may go from bright red to purple or blue . If these symptoms are not treated immediately, death can result.
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Ideal Indoor Temperatures For Cats
What’s the ideal temperature in your home? Your cat can handle warm temperatures, but many veterinarians still recommend you leave the AC on if you’re not there. To be safe, leave your thermostat set, so it doesn’t get any warmer than 78 to 80°F when you’re not home.4 It’s also okay to let the AC run cooler than that if you want to treat your pet.
Keep in mind that running a fan without the AC isn’t enough to keep your cat cool on a hot day.5 Fans work best by evaporating the sweat on our skin. Furry animals don’t use sweat in the same way, so fans don’t work as well on them.
How Hot Is Too Hot For A Cat
Cats evolved from desert-dwelling animals but can still be at risk of overheating as the warmer months hit. Unlike people who sweat to cool down, cats only have sweat pads on their feet and nose. If the cat is unable to cool down sufficiently, he or she is at risk of heatstroke which can be deadly.
Its hard to give an exact temperature as the answer will vary from cat to cat. What we can do is be prepared and take steps to ensure our cats remain cool as the mercury rises so that we can avoid cats overheating and developing heatstroke.
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What Should I Know About Warmer Temperatures And Heatstroke
Cats that dont go outside are protected from many warm weather hazards, but only if the temperature inside the home remains within a healthy range. In an effort to reduce energy usage and costs, some pet owners shut off fans and air conditioning when they leave the house in the morning and turn them on when they return later in the day. However, when temperatures outside reach dangerous levels, temperatures inside the house can, too. Being shut inside a hot house can be dangerous for your cat. Like dogs, cats rely heavily on panting to cool themselves off. When the temperature in the environment increases, panting becomes less effective. This means that your cat could be locked inside with minimal options for cooling down.
Instead of turning off the air conditioner, try leaving it on a conservative but comfortable setting while you are out. Make sure your cat has plenty of fresh water, and consider closing curtains to reduce the heating effects of sunlight through the windows. If there are parts of the house that are likely to be cooler, make sure your cat has access to those areas.
What To Do If Your Cat Does Get Overheated
If your cat shows signs of hyperthermia, you need to do the following:
Move the cat to a shady and cool place so she wont get any hotter. Put her on top of a cool and wet towel or blanket.
Make a note of the time, for the vet will want to know.
If the cat is alert and can drink, offer her some cool water. Dont give her ice-cold water, for that can chill her and cause other problems. Try to have her drink small amounts of water, but dont force her to drink, and dont pour the water down her throat.
Take the cats temperature with a rectal thermometer, preferably a digital thermometer. If her temperature is over 104° F, start trying to cool her off. Put her near a fan and spray cool water on her body. Stop once her temperature reaches 103.5° F .
Dont use ice packs or extremely cold water, and dont put her in a tub of water. Doing the latter will only scare her. Dont try to cool your cat too quickly.
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Which Cats Feel The Heat
Any cat can struggle in the heat, but some will find it more difficult to cope than others. If your cat fits into one of these categories, they may need some extra care to stay cool during the summer months:
- Flat-faced breeds such as cats with short noses like Persians or British Shorthairs, can have difficulty breathing because of the shape of their face and therefore struggle to cool themselves down, especially in hot weather.
- Fluffy cats and cats with long, thick fur will feel the heat more than their short haired friends. They might need extra help to cool down in a heatwave along with regular grooming.
- Older cats or cats with health problems are generally more sensitive to the heat and more prone to serious problems like heatstroke. It can be safer to keep poorly cats inside the home and monitor them closely, so that they dont become overwhelmed by the heat outside.
- Overweight cats carry extra fat, which puts their body under additional strain and insulates them, making it much harder for them to cool down.
Should I Let My Cat Outside In The Summer
As we noted before, cats enjoy the heat. But if it is hot outside to you, it will also be hot for your cat. On warm days, you should limit your cats outdoor exposure. Hot sidewalks can be rough on your cats paws. A grassy area is a better solution for outdoor time.
Also, a reminder that you should never leave your cat inside a parked car. Temperatures inside a car can rise quickly. On an 85-degree day, a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees in just 10 minutes.
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How Do I Know If My Cat Is Too Hot
Fortunately, cats show visible signs when their body temperature increases above normal and reaches a point of discomfort or distress. The following signs demonstrate that your cat may be too hot and require immediate cooling:
- Restless behavior
- Non-stop grooming
Giving your cat a bowl of cold water and bringing her into a cooler room in the house could help to cool her down. If left untreated, these symptoms will only worsen as your cat nears the point of heatstroke a dangerously high internal body temperature of at least 105°F .
The video below discusses heatstroke in cats even more in-depth:
Certain Breeds Are More Affected Than Others
Every cat breed has unique features. They will all try to cool off in the same manner because of their genetic makeup. However, some breeds are better at cooling off than others.
Cats with pointed snouts can pant with ease. Their jaws can open wide with ample surface area for evaporation. You may even see the tongue hanging out a bit.
Flat-faced cats, in contrast, cannot open their mouths as wide as other breeds. Their panting is less effective for cooling purposes. As a result, these cats will have more problems with cooling down than other pets.
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Air Circulation Plays A Role
Consider the difference between a closed room with a ceiling fan and the same space without air circulation. On a hot day, that fan makes the room a lot more comfortable for both humans and cats.
Your cat can probably tolerate 80- or 90-degree temperatures in that room when theres a fan moving the air around. This wind chill cools the cats skin and fur.
Think about adding a cat tower to a room with a ceiling or floor fan. This tower might be several feet off of the ground, which brings the cat a bit closer to the moving air. It will appreciate the cooling sensation.
Watch For Signs Of Heatstroke
Extreme temperatures can cause heatstroke. Some signs of heatstroke are heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure and unconsciousness.
Animals are at particular risk for heat stroke if they are very old, very young, overweight, not conditioned to prolonged exercise, or have heart or respiratory disease. Some breeds of dogslike boxers, pugs, shih tzus and other dogs and cats with short muzzleswill have a much harder time breathing in extreme heat.
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