Many cat owners are not aware that their cats can get heatstroke. This is a more common thought on the minds of dog owners since dogs go out in the sun with their owners and go running or hiking or playing on the beach in the sun. Cats can be very susceptible to heat as well, and under the right conditions, your cat might get heatstroke.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of cat heatstroke can be very helpful for a variety of reasons. If you know what to look for, you can also be more aware of how to prevent this problem. You will also know when to take your cat to the vet for treatment related to their heatstroke. This condition can be deadly in short order, so you need to be sure that you know how to recognize that your cat is showing signs of heatstroke.
Signs of Cat Heatstroke
The signs of heatstroke in cats can be different than some of the symptoms that dogs commonly show. You will need to be sure that you start paying attention to your cat as soon as they show any of these symptoms. The sooner that your cat gets treatment for their sunstroke, the better. Heatstroke can be deadly within half an hour, so there is no time to waste if you think that your cat has heatstroke.
The common signs of heatstroke in cats are:
- Excessive panting
- Restless behavior
- Sweaty feet
- Muscle tremors
- Excessive grooming
- Wobbly movement
- Loss of balance
You should make sure that you do not wait too long to take your cat to the veterinarian if they are showing these signs of heatstroke. There is a short timeframe during which your cat’s life can be saved. Make sure that you do not wait too long to see if your cat gets worse or shows other symptoms. Prompt treatment of this condition can be life or death for your cat.
Some cats will show mild symptoms for the first ten minutes of overheating. It can also be hard to tell when cats are not feeling well because they are quite stoical. You will want to be sure that you check your cat’s skin with the tent test to verify if they are dehydrated. You should also feel the temperature of their feet and their nose to see if these areas of their body feel hot.
Treatment for Heatstroke in Cats
Treatment of heatstroke in cats needs to be taken care of by a vet. You will want to call your vet as soon as you think that your cat has heatstroke, and you will want to make sure to wrap your cat in a cool and wet towel before you leave the house. If you live very far from a vet, make sure that you tell the vet office this information so they can offer additional supportive care things that you should do before you leave to take your cat to the vet.
Your cat will likely be given IV fluids to help hydrate their body again and to protect their organs from damage. The vet might also give your cat electrolytes to help get their blood and other body systems back into balance. Supportive care might need to be given to your cat for organ damage or secondary problems that have cropped up due to the heatstroke event.
Many cats will have to stay in the clinic with the vet for at least forty-eight hours to be sure that they can be monitored as they recover. Cats often have ups and downs during the recovery process related to heatstroke, and the vet can be sure that your cat gets immediate attention if new problems crop up.
Prevention of Heatstroke in Cats
Prevention of heatstroke is essential since this condition is so dangerous for your cat’s health. Always make sure that your pet has access to plenty of clean and fresh water. You will also need to be certain that they are not kept in a hot car, a hot room, or a hot cat carrier when the ambient temperature is above seventy degrees.
Cats should be kept inside when it is hot out, and they should never be kept in a parked car or other kinds of space without circulating air. It can get incredibly hot in spaces like this quickly, leading to life-threatening conditions for animals of all kinds. Cats that live inside without air conditioning should be given access to a place that has the benefit of a fan to circulate the air.
Cats who are indoor/outdoor pets should be brought inside and kept inside when there are warm weather conditions outside. Your cat might be smart enough to stay in the shade when it is hot, but if the temperature is too high, even being in the shade will probably be a problem for your pet.
Preventing Cat Heatstroke is Important
Most cat owners are not aware that their cat could ever get heatstroke. Since cats live indoors for the most part, this is not as common as heatstroke in dogs. However, cats can get heatstroke, and the condition can be serious and life-threatening. If your cat is kept in a small, hot space like a cat carrier or in the car when it is hot out, it can get heatstroke.
Making sure that you recognize the signs of heatstroke is important. Cats can be tough to diagnose in the early stages of an illness because they can be secretive about how they are feeling. Cat owners need to be sure that they start paying attention if they see that their pet is panting, acting restless, or lying down a lot when it is hot out. Catching heatstroke early can be critical to saving your pet’s life.
Welcome to Kryder & Harr Veterinary Clinic! Our animal hospital has been a fixture in the Granger community since 1981, practicing full-service veterinary medicine for all our pet parents and their furry family members. At KHVC, we pride ourselves on our history, of providing excellent customer service for our clients, along with dedicated, compassionate, and exceptional medical care for all of our patients.