hot cat question

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pagey3 | 10:57 Mon 03rd Jul 2006 | Animals & Nature
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my 9 month old kitten is a house cat. we live in a top floor flat which, predictably is very very warm at the minute, and can't leave windows open, not only for max's safety but for general security.

I leave the skylights open a few inches to circulate some air, but max is still finding this hot weather difficult to cope with and this morning was even panting like a dog!

we leave glasses of water around the house for him, and have been adding a little water to his food so he doesn't dehydrate, but he's off his whiskas milk too which is worrying.

One of us always pops home at lunch to play with him and air the flat for an hour, but can anyone suggest anything else to make my little one a bit more comfortable in this heat?

he's still his energetic, bitey little self, I just want to make sure he's ok and not getting sick in the heat.

You must all think i'm such a neurotic cat mum as I'm always on here asking about max, but there always seems to be lots of helpful advice on offer so here I am again, and thanks in advance for any help!


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It sounds to me like you're doing the right things. With the skylights open a bit there is some air getting in and as long as he has plenty of access to a good supply of water he'll be fine. Don't worry about him being off his milk, water is what is important. He probably won't eat much when its hot either, my Sam certainly doesn't. He even turned his nose up at his favourite meat last night.

Groom him every day as well to make sure excess hair is kept off as this will help him stay cooler. Sam is long haired and I took about 3 handfuls off him yesterday. Try to make sure there are a few shady spots in your flat for him as well, so that he won't be lying in direct sunlight.

Don't worry too much, it sounds like you're doing fine.
Question Author
thanks anna, the grooming is a good idea, and just rung the vet and he said get a plant spray and spray him with water, as this evaporating off their bodies cools them in much the same way as sweating works.

our flat doesn't have many cool spots its a right old sun trap, so yesterday i trailed go-cat all down the stairs to our front door hoping it might tempt him to go down there and realise its cool down there, but the silly thing lay all day on a black leather chair - he doesn't help himself at all bless him!

it just worries me cos we work all day and although I pop home at lunch time to see him and play with him he has 4 hours morning and 4 hours afternoon on his own and he seems to enjoy lying in the patches on sunlight on the landing, which is going to do him no good at all!!
Sounds to me like he's ok. Despite appearances cats are generally fairly smart and if he's too hot lying where he is he'll move and find somewhere cooler. My cat is basically indoor as well, although he has started to venture out as he's got a bit braver but he's in all day by himself while I'm at work and he's absolutely fine. I know he's been entertaining himself because I find his toys scattered round the house!
Question Author
thanks for the reassurance :-)

yeah max likes playing with cotton buds which we find in the strangest of places so he can't be too fatigued!
Another idea, may be daft but it has worked for an long haired cat I had a few years ago, fill a hot water bottle with cold water and ice then put it somewhere out of the sun. He may find it and enjoy the coolness as mine did.
Good luck
Question Author
that's a good idea! he likes lying under the bed I will leave one there for him to enjoy!
Pagey3, please don't think I am a nutter but I discovered yesterday (32 degrees!!) that my cat adores having ice cubes melted and rubbed into his back and sides. I do't think he is particularly kinky but he goes all pathetic and just lays there loving it until it is all melted when he whimpers and scratches at the freezer for another one!
In fact I just got off the phone to hubby and he is at home icing the cat up ;-P
It might be worth a try anyway - good luck!
Just thought my cat is called Diego after the sabre toothed tiger from Ice Age. spooky....
That's so funny Natalie_1982, I'm going to have to try that with Sam! Like the cold hot water bottle idea too.
Question Author
LOL natalie that's very funny I will give it a go tonight!!
When it gets really hot in my basement suite i have been know to fill the bathtub with cold water and run a fan aiming out of the bathroom. It usually only cools the closest room but that is enough to help me sleep. Weird huh
Question Author
natalie - last night max kept running around then panting like a dog - he wouldn't drink water from anywhere and I was panicking so I tried the vets idea of a water spray, which made him v grumpy, so this morning, at my wits end, I decided to give your ice cube trick a go - and what do you know - he loved it! he did walk away after about 20 seconds of it, but he was very contented and purring like a pneumatic drill - ha ha - these cats are all a bit kinky it seems! thank you for your tip!
No worries Pagey 3, I am glad it worked for someone else so I know that Diego is not the only weird one!!
Dont worry Pagey, not many people know this but its a fact that cats can stand very high temperatures, they love heat! I had a conservatory and often would come home from work to find both my cats asleep on the window sills in the full sun, no windows open and i could not stand the heat in there! Cats arent daft, if they are uncomfortable they will move places....
RQ xx
Invest in a large electric fan. You will probably also find it helpful yourself at night trying to sleep in this hot weather.

You can also try rubbing his fur gently with a cool damp towel. This moisture will evaporate from his fur and have a temporary cooling effect.

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