Even though heatstroke is more common in dogs than in cats, cats can get it, and it is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary attention.
Signs of heat stroke
- Panting or rapid breathing
- Excessive grooming
- Sweaty paws
- Bright red gums and tongue
- High fever
- Extreme lethargy
What to do if your cat has heat stroke
Prompt treatment is of the essence – get your cat to a veterinarian immediately if you think she has heat stroke. While transporting the cat you can
- Cover her with towels soaked in cold water
- If your cat is conscious, try to get her to drink some cold water. You can use a syringe if possible.
- Never use ice packs or immerse your cat in ice cold water to reduce body temperature, as this can cause shock.
How to prevent heat stroke
The best way to prevent heat stroke is to keep your cats inside. If your cat does go outside, make sure she has access to plenty of fresh, cold water, and shady areas. But even indoor cats may suffer from heat exhaustion on really hot days, especially in homes without air conditioning.
For more on how to prevent heat stroke and keep your cats comfortable in hot weather, read Keep Your Cat Cool This Summer