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Five Tips to Keep Your Feral Cat Cool in the Summer

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Summer is one of the most anticipated seasons and for many, the best season. With it, gone are the cold and chilly days and warmer, brighter, and longer days are a welcome relief.

As much as the summer is pleasing, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. Summer days sometimes reach extreme temperatures and no one is safe from such conditions…even your kitty. For this reason, feral cat owners must identify ways to keep their cats safe in case the weather gets scorching.

We've listed down several tips to help you keep your cat cool all summer long as they enjoy the great outdoors.

1. Provide Your Cat with Plenty of Water

Cats aren't the best water drinkers, but like us, they need to stay hydrated - especially in hot weather. It is therefore vital that you provide additional sources of water and regularly fill them with water. If your cat frequently feeds on dry food, then access to water becomes paramount since they won't be getting any fluids from their diet.

TIP: Make sure the water bowls are placed in shaded areas, away from the sun. This prevents the water from heating up and evaporating in the heat. Also, use narrow, deep bowls opposed to wide, shallow bowls.

2. Use Ice in Their Water Bowls

Cats minimally sweat, meaning that their sweat isn't enough to cool them down when it is scorching hot. Even worse, cold tap water may not be enough to cool them down as it quickly heats up once poured it into the bowl. Putting some ice cubes into their water bowl cools down the water and may encourage them to drink more liquid.

TIP: If you'll be away for more than a few hours, drop several ice cubes into kitty's water bowl before you head out. If you’re leaving for the day, leave a frozen bowl of water outside. It will gradually melt and provide cold water later on in the day. 

3. Provide Some Shade

It's perfectly normal to find cats sleeping or relaxing outside during the day. But if it becomes too hot, you need to provide some shade. Relocate their outdoor houses under trees or near a building. Alternatively, put some damp towels above their houses to help disperse excess heat or place cold, damp towels inside their shelters so they can lay on them.

4. Invest in an Insulated or Elevated Cat House

An insulated cat house not only helps your cat stay cool in the summer but warm in the winter. It provides an escape in case of extreme heat or cold. Better yet, if elevated, it allows for air passage both under and over the house, which helps to keep your cat cool.

5. Invest in Cooling Pads or Mats

Cooling pads and mats are a great way to provide extra relief from the scorching sun. However, pick a product made of non-toxic gel material in case your kitty pokes a hole, and tries ingest the gel. Pads with scratch and chew resistant features would be better suited for destructive cats.

Spotting Heatstroke in Your Cat

Commonly known as hyperthermia, heatstroke is a severe medical condition that causes failure of a cat's internal organs due to high body temperature triggered by high temperatures and humidity.

The symptoms associated with heatstroke in cats can include: rapid panting or breathing, drooling, vomiting, anxiety, dizziness, lethargy, yowling and many more. Should you notice any of the above symptoms, contact your vet immediately for advice.

Even if your cat can take care of themselves, oppressive heat can hinder their outdoor activity or worse lead to medical conditions. Luckily, incorporating even a few of the tips and tricks mentioned above will go a long way in helping your cat get through the hot summer.

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