Summer Heat Safety offers excellent heat safety tips here (click or tap to open the article in a new window.)

Here is a summary of signs of heat stroke, dehydration, and paw pad burns, and what to do:

white cat with ginger ears in a harness with leash

Photo by Taylor Deas-Melesh on Unsplash

Signs of Heat Stroke

  • Drooling
  • Excessive panting
  • Red gums
  • Increased heart rate
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
    Seizures (severe heat stroke)

What To Do

  • Get your cat to a cool and shaded area
  • Provide cool drinking water
  • Help your cat cool with a fan or a cool, wet towel
  • Call your vet as soon as possible

Signs of Dehydration

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Muscle tremors
  • Excessive panting
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Dry nose
  • Sunken eyes (severe dehydration)
  • Collapse or shock (severe dehydration)

What To Do

  • Offer a small amount of water with ice – drinking too much at once can cause vomiting.
  • Call your vet right away.

And for people with cats that will go for walks on a leash:

Signs of Paw Pad Burns

  • Blisters on paws
  • Missing skin
  • Redness
  • Limping
  • Refusal to walk
  • Discolored paw pads
  • Excessive licking

What To Do

  • Clean paws with water and antibacterial soap
  • Soak paws in cool water
  • Bandage paws (prevents licking and infections)
  • Call your vet as soon as possible

Keep your feline friends safe and cool!

Please do not leave your cat (or any pet) unattended inside a parked car. Even with the windows cracked and parked in the shade, the temperature inside the car can quickly heat to 90 degrees or higher when the outside temperature is 75 degrees.

Be sure they have access to plenty of fresh cool water. If they are outside, check during the day to make sure it’s cool and out of direct sunlight.

Remember that cats (and other pets) can’t sweat. If they are outdoors, they need shade or access to cool areas. Make sure there will be a shady area available throughout the day as the sun moves. Even better is if they have access to a cool place indoors. 

Avoid walking your cat on asphalt. If it’s too hot for you to keep your hand on the asphalt, it’s too hot for your cat and can burn their paw pads. Try to wait to take them outside for walks or other activities during a cool time, in the early morning or late evening.