Summer is coming, and many of us have already broken out the tank tops and sunscreen. It’s easy to look at your cat’s luxuriously thick coat and think she must be miserable in the heat. After all, you’d be practically dying if you were wearing a coat in this weather! Luckily, your cat does a very good job at regulating her body temperature and her fur coat plays a big role. Here are 5 important ways your cat stays cool as the temperatures rise.
(Note: While cats are very good at staying cool enough, they can occasionally overheat with dangerous consequences. Know the signs of heatstroke to keep your cat safe.)
#1 – They conserve energy. You may notice that your cat becomes more sluggish when it’s hot. That’s because cats understand that conserving energy helps keep their core temperature down so they don’t overheat. Hot cats will stay as still as possible and avoid overexertion.
#2 – They seek out cool surfaces. Does your cat splay herself out on the cool kitchen floor tiles when it gets hot? Or perhaps you’ve found her lounging on the bottom of the enamel tub? Cats know that they can lower their body temperature by coming in contact with objects that are colder than them.
#3 – They groom themselves more. You know how the air feels cooler when it touches you after you’ve been sweating? Cats don’t sweat in the same way we do, but grooming can help in the same way. Your cat will feel cooler when the air moves against her wet fur and when the saliva evaporates. If your cat will allow it, you can also gently stroke her fur with a cool, damp washcloth.
#4 – They benefit from their insulating fur coats. Your cat’s fur coat is an amazing thing. It helps her stay warm in the winter, but it also helps keep her cool in the summer. So while you may think shaving your cat in the summer is helping her, you’re actually doing her a disservice. Your cat’s coat acts as a thermal regulator, meaning it is designed to keep your cat’s body at a stable temperature in all kinds of weather. Her coat also helps her stay hydrated and keeps her sensitive skin safe from sun damage.
#5 – They drink more water. Just like you, your cat stays cool by staying hydrated. Make sure your cat always has access to clean, cold water.