Cat Care

How to keep your cat cool in summer or hot weather

Ginger cat sleeping and stretching outside next to the fence

Unlike humans, cats can’t strip layers and most likely won’t want to jump into a cold bath or shower. Therefore, it’s vital that you keep your cat cool in summer by regulating the temperature of their environment to minimize the risk of a fatal heatstroke or discomfort.

If you don’t have air conditioning in your house or flat, here are the best steps to keep your cat cool when the mercury rises.

Frozen DIY ice treats

A fun, delicious and cold treat: tuna ice cubes!

Keep your cat cool in summer by creating frozen tuna cubes from canned tuna (in freshwater – DO NOT use tuna in brine) or complete wet food for cats.

Simply drain the water from the tuna can and add small amounts to the center of each cube in an empty ice tray. Then, top off each cube with a small amount of water and place the tray into the freezer and wait until all of the cubes are completely frozen.

When frozen, take a couple of cubes and place them in a bowl. Your cat might even enjoy it if you place the frozen cubes in their water bowl, as they’ll be playing with the cube as it floats around – a fun and stimulating way to keep your cat cool in summer.

This trick will keep your cat cool in summer, as she or he will be licking the tasty tuna as a treat and will stay cool and hydrated by licking freshly melted cold water on the cubes.

Ice cubes

Ice cubes

Contrary to the above tip, this one is less fishy! If your cat isn’t a fan of food floating in the water, doesn’t like the smell or you don’t have the required ingredients at hand, then this is another great way to keep your cat cool in summer or hot weather.

Simply pop a few ice cubes in their water bowl, or place them on a hard floor. Ice cubes on the floor will get your feline friend to swipe at them, which in turn will keep them busy indoors. Meanwhile, the melting cube will cool down their paws – where they can lose heat.

Groom your cat daily

Stay on top of grooming to keep your cat cool! Any excess fur will help trap heat and will make the summer less bearable for your kitty. Getting rid of dead hairs will not only mean that your cat has an ever-so-slightly thinner layer but when they groom themselves, their saliva will stick to their actual fur and will evaporate to keep them cool in summer. Therefore, it’s natural if you also notice that your cat is grooming itself more often than usual.

Ice pack

Ice packs in beds

There are many cooling mats for cats that can be purchased online to keep your cat cool in summer. However, taking an ice pack, freezer block or frozen vegetables and wrapping them in a blanket and placing it in your cat’s favorite spot will have the same effect.

Your cat will not only have somewhere cool to snuggle, but the area will also be nice and cold after you take the towel away

Wet towels

As mentioned above, we assume that your cat isn’t in a hurry to jump into a cold tub of water or shower to stay cool in summer.

Since most cats hate getting soaked in water, take a small towel and run it under cold water for 30 seconds and dab it over your cat’s fur. They’re unlikely to enjoy it (at first), but it’s essential in keeping your cat cool in summer and hot weather.

British Shorthair cat indoors licking its paw

Keep outdoor cats indoors

If you’re experiencing a heatwave, one of the most important ways to keep your cat cool in summer is to take them inside. During the day, inside will be colder than the outdoors and will mean that your cat can avoid the hottest hours of the day.

Create shade

If your cat is the adventurous type and you can’t keep them indoors, then make sure there’s plenty of shade around the house and in the garden for them to stay cool in.

Provide plenty of water

Ensuring that your cat is properly hydrated is one of the most important parts of keeping your cat cool in summer.

Indoor and outdoor cats should have access to several freshwater sources, with bowls that are refilled with cold water at least twice a day. Make sure that you keep any outdoor bowls in shade, and keep in mind that shade will change throughout the day. The same can be said for indoor bowls; keep them away from windows and ensure that the sun’s rays won’t reach it as the day goes by, to avoid heating up the water.

Cat water fountains are ideal for keeping your cat cool, as they encourage drinking, keep the water oxygenated and filtered throughout the day. When you have one set up, you can then add a couple of ice cubes that will keep the water and your cat cool.

Bengal cat laying on a chair

Keep your cat calm

This will either sound weird or obvious. However, keeping your cat calm, rather than active, will ensure that he or she stay cooler in hot weather.

Playing with your cat, or letting it chase things can quickly lead to exhaustion and dehydration, especially as your cat will find it harder to cool down when the surrounding temperature is higher.

Close your curtains

Keep your home or house cool by closing the curtains. This will prevent the sun’s rays from heating up the surroundings in your home, which will radiate the heat into the air.

Closing your curtains or blinds will not only keep your cat cool in the summer and hot weather, but it will also ensure that your home is cooler for you, as well.

Striped cat with green eyes being lazy

Know symptoms of heat stroke

The symptoms of heatstroke in cats include:

  • agitation or restlessness
  • stretching out
  • breathing rapidly or fast heart rate
  • extreme distress
  • skin hot to touch
  • glazed or watering eyes
  • vomiting or drooling
  • clammy paw pads

Being aware of these will enable you to act faster. If you spot any of these or are worried that something is wrong, you must contact your vet immediately.

Remember, whether your cat is indoors or outdoors, it’s important to keep your cat cool in the summer or hot weather.


About the author

Kacper Jednorowicz

Hi, I'm Kacper! I have a four-year-old female Bengal cat, called Coco. She's an active and friendly indoor cat that lives with us in the UK, but also enjoys several hours a day in the garden. Just like any responsible and loving cat owner, I want to ensure that she's a happy and healthy cat! My articles cover guides and reviews based on professional vet advice, our own experiences with Coco and plenty of research!

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About Meow Guide

Meow Guide's Coco
Our furry friend is a four-year-old Bengal girl called Coco – she’s crazy, has plenty of energy and is VERY noisy! More about us.