It does not seem that the indoor cat does much. Sleeping in strange positions that are almost always in the warmth of the sun is usually where we find our indoor fluffy friends.
However, when playtime ensues and their heartbeat seems to be going 100 mph, how in the world does the cat sweat out the heavy workout?
Anatomy of the Cat
Cats are fluffy creatures with hair all over. Because of the hair that covers all of their skin, the small number of sweat glands that they do have on their body cannot expel or release any sweat.
The paw pads are actually where the majority of the sweat glands are. Watch this YouTube video.
Wet Paw Prints
According to A Moment Of Science, On a hot summer day, if fluffy is walking across a tile or hard floor, you may be able to catch a glimpse of a wet or moist paw print.
Again, this is because the sweat is literally coming out their feet! But, because their paw pads are too small to be that effective, cats have other methods of cooling down.
Beating the Heat I
Another way that cats cool down is by licking themselves all over. This works almost the same way that sweat works on humans. By distributing the saliva all over it naturally cools them down.
Beating the Heat II
In addition to licking themselves, cats will stay in the shade if they are feeling overheated. Cats can also take advantage of cool surfaces by laying over them and laying out their bodies.
Cats are known for sleeping for most of their days, but to remain at a cooler temperature, they will not overexert themselves.
Beating the Heat III
Cats aren’t known for their panting; that is more of a dog thing. The same way that a dog pants to cool down is how cat pants to cool down as well.
Because cats don’t normally and naturally do it as often, if your cat is panting, this is a clear sign of concern for the animal.
Make sure the cat has plenty of cool water and even rub or sprinkle them down on their fur in their groin area, neck and under the armpits with cool water. Having a fan handy and some cool air directed towards the cat is another option.
A cat’s temperature is mastered by the brain. The brain will send off signals to disperse body heat if the cat is playing, stressed or even frightened summarized by William R. Fenner.
If the cat cannot perform natural cool down exercises such as drinking water, finding shade or sweating it out, then heat exhaustion or death could happen to the animal.
According to Michael R. Lappin, DVM, Ph.D., a cat’s temperature should never hit above 102 degrees Fahrenheit at a consistent length of time.
This could be a sign of a fever and there other signs such as: not eating, a sad mood or state, an increase of frequency in breathing and listlessness.
Is there a Fever or is the Cat Just too Hot?
As a cat owner, there are ways to check to see if the cat actually has a fever, or if the cat is just too hot. Temperatures from outside, overexertion, stress, and excitement all play in roles of raising the animals body heat.
There are options for a rectal thermometer to check the temperature. From there, relax and cool down the cat and check the cat’s temperature.
If in approximately 20 or so minutes the cat hasn’t cooled off this could be a sign of something more serious.
As stated earlier, there are many more factors of why a cat may have increased body heat. Fever, for example, increases the body’s normal range of temperature which allows the body to function normally.
The fever helps the immune system so that it can send immune cells to fight the aggressor like a bacterial infection.
Cooling the Body Down
Again, if there are opportunities for the cat to be able to cool then there is no need to worry.
If the cat is not able to cool down itself or by its’ own methods, then stepping in is something you will need to do.
Just make sure that the body temperature is able to be controlled and come down.
If the cat seems and is too overheated for an extended length of time then it may be time to call the vet.
Ron DeHaven of the American Veterinary Medical Association explains that continuous panting after all the cooling ideas have been accomplished can lead to heat stroke.
Just as in humans, there are certain higher risk factors for cats like kittens, being elderly, overweight and having a sickness.
Heat strokes in humans can cause death; this is the same status for cats. Failure of major organs, swelling of the brain, disorders of blood clotting and death are the result of heat strokes in cats.
If taken to the vet as an emergency, the vet may use IV fluids and even keep the cat to monitor them to check on their progress.
Common Sense Uses
Think ahead to prevent the cat from becoming seriously ill or even dying. The best way to think about this, if the owner is hot, then the cat is going to be as well, never leave a cat in a car, if the cat is outside provided shade, have plenty of clean water as well.
These are just a few small measures that can help to beat the heat. Remember, cats are animals and have their own biological way of handling the heat.
In conclusion, there are many preventative steps to take to protect fluffy from suffering. Use the tips given by Laura Playworth from Vets Now to keep the cat cool all summer long, whether an indoor or outdoor cat.