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Heat Stroke in Cats: 14 Tips for Prevention, Symptoms and Treatment

by Letomi
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Heat Stroke in Cats: 14 Tips for Prevention, Symptoms and Treatment

The Cat is Always Panting on the Floor in Summer and Likes to Blow on the Air Conditioner, I Suspect It Has a Heat Stroke, What Should I Do?

1. Summer is indeed a high incidence of heatstroke in cats. High temperature, high humidity, and inadequate ventilation can lead to heatstroke in cats. If you can detect it in time and treat it or seek medical attention, you can avoid serious physical damage. If not detected and treated in time, heat stroke can damage the internal functions of cats and can be life-threatening in serious cases.

2. Many people suspect that their cats are suffering from heatstroke, so they will find ice packs to cool them down and find medicine to take. I would like to remind you that cooling should be done, but do not give your cat medicine at this time, because the “cause” is not clear, and heat stroke is not solved by feeding yourself medicine. You just need to provide the cat with enough clean water and food.

3. When heatstroke is suspected, observation of the cat is not enough but must be combined with the cat’s body temperature to determine whether it is heatstroke, and in serious cases immediately cool down and take it to the doctor.

4. Taking your cat’s temperature is a clear indicator of heat stroke. However, instead of taking the underarm temperature and oral temperature like people, cats should take the rectal temperature (anal temperature), which is more accurate than the body surface temperature. Scrub the cat’s bottom clean, apply a little petroleum jelly or lubricating fluid to the thermometer, gently place it in, and leave it in for about three minutes to be accurate.

5. The normal body temperature of a cat is between 37.5 and 39.2°C (99.5 and 102.5°F). If it is within this normal range, then the cat’s poor condition may not be heatstroke. You can continue to observe it for half a day to a few days while the ambient temperature is 26°C (78.5°F). Also pay attention to the mental state, whether vomiting or diarrhea, if it is still bad, then send it to the doctor to investigate the cause.

6. If the cat’s body temperature exceeds 39.2°C (102.5°F) but is not yet 41°C (105.5°F), the cat is in a state of hyperthermia, but not to the extent of heatstroke, which is not life-threatening, but does require attention.

If at this time the cat also shows symptoms of panting, sweaty paws, drooling and wanting to find a cool place to stay, and frequently using its tongue to lick its fur to cool down, that means the cat is about to suffer from heat stroke.

7. It is possible to relieve your cat’s hyperthermia status at home, and you need to cool your cat immediately: immediately move your cat to a cooler place and use air conditioning, a fan, or an electric fan to speed up air circulation. You can also peel back the cat’s fur, wet the surface of the cat’s skin with water or a wet towel, and blow again, which will accelerate the cat’s heat dissipation.

After a few hours in this way, take the temperature again and continue to maintain it if it recovers, and consider sending it to the hospital if it does not recover or if the temperature is higher.

8. If the cat’s body temperature has reached 41°C (105.5°F) or higher, it means the cat has suffered heat stroke and may show symptoms of shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, red lips and tongue, vomiting, and in severe cases, fainting.

At this point, you cannot wait for the cat to cool itself down, you must take the initiative to cool it down with ice and send it to the doctor: move the cat to a cool and ventilated place and put ice packs on the neck, abdomen, inner legs, armpits and other places with thicker blood vessels. In addition, ice packs can be applied to the top of the head to reduce the possibility of nerve cell death. The cooling action should also be taken to the hospital as soon as possible after the cooling action is done.

9. Many cat owners will use ice packs for a long time to have a good cooling effect, but, when the cat’s rectal temperature drops to 39.4~39.7 ℃ (102.9°F~103.5°F), there is no need to cool down. If you continue to use ice packs will lead to hypothermia, but will trigger muscle tremors, leading to another temperature rise.

10. If conditions permit, it is strongly recommended that you keep the heatstroke cat in the hospital for observation for 24-48 hours, and check the heart, kidneys, and liver to avoid organ damage caused by heatstroke.

Some heatstroke injuries are not apparent at the time but are delayed, and many pet owners are unaware of this and think that the cat would be fine when the temperature was lowered, thus missing the opportunity for emergency treatment.

11. Some more ways to help your cat prevent heat stroke: first of all, make sure the room is cool and ventilated. If you are not at home during the day at work, it is also recommended to turn on the air conditioning and adjust the temperature to213 about 26°C (78.8°F).

And it’s best to do an important action: draw the curtains to avoid direct sunlight on the cat, which will cause heating.

12. You will also want to provide your cat with plenty of water, which can be filled with a little ice (except for kittens and cats with weak stomachs).

13. Many people will think, is it easier to shave a long-haired cat in summer to be less prone to heat stroke? I don’t recommend doing this. Although shaving helps to dissipate heat, shaving can cause serious psychological problems in cats, and the gains outweigh the gains. All you need to do is trim your long-haired cat a little bit shorter.

14. There are several categories of cats that are at higher risk of heat stroke than others, and if your cat happens to be, then you should pay particular attention to cooling down and watching your cat closely:

  • Persian cats, exotic shorthair cats, and Himalayan cats, which have short noses that affect air circulation and can have higher body temperatures than other cats;
  • Fat cats cannot efficiently dissipate heat in summer;
  • Black cats, black is easier to absorb heat, try to avoid direct sunlight in summer;
  • In long-haired cats, the hair is too long to hinder heat dissipation.

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