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Summer is the time to relax and slow down, a time to seek relief from searing temperatures. Cats are geniuses for finding the coolest spots in their homes. Sometimes they stretch out on cold bathroom tiles or in places where there are refreshing cross breezes. Although kitties are not as active in hot weather as they are when it’s cooler, they still need to do more than nap. Encourage your cats to try these six cool activities that stimulate while encompassing their natural behaviors.
1.Keep your cat calm
A very active cat that is running around on a hot day will quickly become exhausted and dehydrated. Encourage your cat to relax when outside temperatures are soaring.
2.Keep them out of conservatories and greenhouses
These areas can get dangerously hot even when the weather just feels warm. Bear in mind that they both exclude cooling breezes and magnify the heat. Cats are also prone to getting accidentally trapped in conservatories and greenhouses.
Water can be made more appealing with toys. Float plastic hollow balls and other water-safe toys in bowls, fountains, and sinks. Your cat will enjoy batting and trying to catch the elusive objects. Make sure the toys are safe — that they can’t be swallowed or have pieces that can be bitten off.
Many cats love drinking and swatting at running water. Gift you and your feline companions with motion-sensitive water faucets that easily attach to kitchen and bathroom faucets. Although designed for humans, most cats quickly figure out how to activate them with head movements and paw swipes.
Pet fountains are also a hit with most kitties. You can choose from a variety of commercial models, including expensive, decorative ceramic ones as well as inexpensive plastic models. All pet fountains need to be cleaned at least once a week.
5.Use damp towels to cool down your cat
The warmest part of a cat’s body is their tummies, the pads of their paws, their armpits, under their chin and on the outside of their ears. Although most cats hate getting wet, try dampening a cloth with cold water and gently stroking your cat with it from their head and down their back.
6.Create a retreat
Cats are clever when it comes to comfort and they will seek out places such as the bath or sink as these often stay cool even when it’s hot outside. You could also try creating a cool and darkened indoor retreat for them to sleep in and feel safe. A top tip is to place a cardboard box on its side and position it somewhere cool and quiet in the house, such as behind a chair or on a cool surface like a wooden floor. Line it with a breathable natural fabric such as a cotton towel.
7.Watch out for signs of heat stroke
Although this generally only occurs on really hot days, it’s worth being aware of. Symptoms of heat stroke can include agitation, stretching out and breathing rapidly, extreme distress, skin hot to the touch, glazed eyes, vomiting and drooling. If you’re at all worried about your cat, contact your vet immediately.
Most kitties enjoy napping, playing, and hiding under furniture and in bags, boxes, and tunnels. Bags need to be safe — use only paper bags without handles. Make these places more enjoyable by angling them to catch a cross breeze. Encourage your cat to use them for more than hiding and napping by tossing favorite toys and rolling treats into them.
9.Encourage cool play
Ice cubes are a great way for cats to play and keep cool at the same time. Put a few on the floor so they can chase them as they scatter around the floor. Perhaps even consider flavouring the ice with a hint of chicken stock to encourage their interest.
10.Ensure there’s a shaded spot in your garden
If you have an outdoor cat and there are no naturally occurring shady spots in your garden, create one by placing some cloth or cardboard over an area to keep the sun out. Also, make sure you check outdoor buildings like sheds and greenhouses before shutting them as cats often get locked in accidentally overnight.
11.Know the right time for playtime
Choose the right times to play. Avoid energetic play sessions when it’s hot — the heat can cause serious health issues. Instead, encourage play during the mornings and evenings when it’s cooler. You may be able to entice your cat by rubbing her favorite toys with treats and catnip. Also, incorporate play into mealtimes by putting food and treats in puzzle boxes and toys.
12.Circulate cool air
Open the windows, turn on a box fan or keep air conditioning at a reasonable temperature. Your cat will appreciate having a cool place to relax indoors if it’s scorching outside.
13.Take care in the car
It’s less common for cats to travel in cars than dogs, but they are just as susceptible to the risks. If you are taking your cat to the vets, the cattery or a cat show, for example, never leave them in the car. Always make sure their carriers are secure, shaded and allow air to circulate. Solid plastic boxes with a secure wire mesh door are preferable.
If cats could write, they’d put tall cat trees and condos high on their must-have lists. They would also ask you to place them near screened windows. These are perfect locations for watching the goings-on in the neighborhood while enjoying a cross breeze and napping after a play session. Also incorporate the vertical territory into your cat’s play sessions by dragging pole toys, feathers, and ribbons over them for your kitty to chase.
15.Cats and hot weather could mean sunburn
Don’t forget cats are susceptible to sunburn, particularly those with white ears and noses. This can lead to painful blistering and sores, and long-term exposure can lead to skin cancers. It is possible to buy pet sunscreen to apply to the hairless areas on the end of the ears and nose. It’s also advisable to keep white-faced cats indoors during the heat of the afternoon.