Heat stroke is a condition that is characterized as critical. It occurs if the cat has been exposed to high temperature for a long period. At the same time, the animal did not have the opportunity to take measures so that thermoregulation was normalized. This often happens during the hot summer months. The owner's task is to predict and prevent overheating of the pet.
What is cat overheating
It is generally accepted that the normal body temperature for a cat is 38–39 degrees. In kittens, it can be slightly higher, but no more than 39.5 degrees Celsius. Based on this, cats at any age can be exposed to overheating many times more than humans. If the cat suffered from heat or sunstroke, then her body temperature will be 40 degrees or higher.
It is worth noting here that rectal measurements (in the rectum) are taken into account.
Most likely, animals who:
- do not have a formed system of thermoregulation, that is, kittens;
- weakened due to age or disease;
- have increased weight, for example, with obesity;
Obese cats are more prone to overheating
- have features in the structure of the skull, for example, shortened muzzles (Persians, British), frequent breathing with a flat nose does not give the same cooling effect as other cats;
- suffer from diseases of the cardiovascular system;
- have a dark color, for example, black;
Dark-colored cats overheat faster than their fair-haired cousins
- have a long coat or too short.
How to understand that a cat needs help
By nature, cats are thermophilic animals. They tolerate cold much worse than heat. But any cat falling into inappropriate conditions can receive heat stroke. Before the onset of heat stroke, the cat develops symptoms of overheating. You can stop the process at this stage with minimal consequences for the health of the pet.
The first symptom of a cat getting overheated and needs help is a protruding tongue and frequent breathing with an open mouth. The cat begins to breathe like a dog. This is a thermoregulation mechanism that is activated at the level of the reflex. But unlike a dog, in cats it is not so effective.
When overheated, the cat instinctively begins to breathe with its open mouth
The second sign is the pose of the animal. The cat tries to lie down and flatten as much as possible on the surface, while stretching its paws. But if the animal is breathing normally, then this is just a sign that the cat is hot, thermoregulation has turned on, and outside help is not yet required.
However, if these two symptoms appear together, the animal should be helped to cope with overheating. The set of measures in this case is simple. It is enough to provide the animal with a cool place, plentiful drink and moisten the paw pads with cool water.
Symptoms of heat stroke and first aid to a pet
Heat stroke is much more serious than overheating. In an animal, it manifests itself through the following symptoms:
- the cat itches all the time;
- through the chest of the animal you can feel the heartbeat with an accelerated rhythm;
- if the condition is very serious, then the pulse becomes threadlike;
- the color of the mucous membranes turns red, this is clearly visible on the gums of the cat;
- the cat cannot quickly switch attention and absentmindedly looks at one point;
- the animal overcomes drowsiness;
- the pet loses consciousness;
- rectal temperature measurement shows 40 degrees and above.
If heat stroke is extremely strong, then the animal may suffer from:
- loss of coordination.
Heat stroke can have serious health consequences for a cat. They are associated with impaired renal activity. First aid consists in cooling the pet (it can be wrapped in a damp towel) and drinking (if you do not drink it yourself, you should inject the liquid with a syringe without a needle into the mouth). It is advisable to bring the animal to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Help your pet in the hot season
When the air temperature in the street reaches 25 degrees Celsius, one should begin to look after the animals. At the first symptoms of overheating, the cat should be provided with the most comfortable living conditions (shadow or cool room, clean water without restrictions).
Do not leave the animal for a long time in a confined space, for example, in a closed apartment or car.
With a certain frequency, the cat must be subjected to water procedures (at least just wipe the coat with wet hands or a piece of cloth dampened with cool water). It is worth noting that wetting the cat's coat with cold water only from above is categorically not recommended, since this effect will be akin to the greenhouse and will only aggravate the situation. Therefore, rubbing movements should be done so that the undercoat gets wet.
Besides the fact that the cat needs to be cooled by bathing, it should always have unhindered access to drinking water. It should be clean and at room temperature. In addition, if possible, you can arrange drinking fountains, where the cat can not only drink, but also wet her paws.
Cats with great pleasure drink water from special fountains than from a bowl
Water in large containers (basins) can also be a good solution. Cats are happy to drink water from them, in addition, evaporating moisture prevents the air from drying out in the room and facilitates the condition of the pet.
In the summer, the apartment is especially hot. My cat was saved by lying in the wash basin in the bathroom. It was advisable for him to turn on the water with a thin stream. After getting drunk and having washed up, after a while he left and stretched himself on the tile in the kitchen.
Decreased physical activity
During the hot season, the number and duration of outdoor games must be reduced several times (the animal instinctively does this, usually in the heat all the cats are spread out in a cool place). If a cat wants to play, do not forbid it, but you cannot force an animal. This will only increase the risk of overheating or heat stroke.
In hot periods of the year, cats can lose their appetite, preferring light food. At this time, the pet can be offered poultry or rabbit meat, fish should be present in the diet no more than 2 times a week. If the cat is used to eating industrial feeds, then you should consult with your veterinarian, which is suitable for this period. But wet food is preferable because it contains water.
Cat ice cream
Many owners want to pamper their pet, and in hot weather they offer the cat ice cream. There will be no great harm from a small piece. But abuse the ice cream in the diet of a cat is not worth it. Sugar can adversely affect your pet’s health. It is best to freeze the cream and treat the cat to them. You can also offer a piece of frozen goodies (for example, a ball of paste).
At high air temperature, you can not leave the cat in a room that is not ventilated. It is necessary to ensure a constant flow of fresh air. If this is not possible, then it is necessary to use fans or air conditioning to create favorable living conditions.
The fan will provide a favorable indoor climate during the hot season
Video: how to save a pet in the heat
Cat owners need to be vigilant not only in the hot months, but also year-round. But when the air temperature reaches high levels, you need to look closely at the behavior of the pet. Heat stroke can be fatal or cause great harm to the health of the animal. Therefore, you should adhere to the recommendations of veterinarians to prevent overheating.