May 30, 2019

Nathan Head


Heat Stroke in Cats

Rising temperatures mean rising health and safety risks for our cats

Risk Factors for Heat Stroke in Cats

While cats can suffer from heat stroke, it doesn’t happen as often as with dogs. Cats tend to be smarter (or more concerned) than dogs about their own comfort, and they do a better job of seeking out cooler areas when they need to. In addition, a cat’s coat also protects it from the heat (and not just the cold).  With that being said, cats can still suffer from heat stroke.

Cats are more likely to get heat stroke in the following situations:

  • Becoming trapped in a clothes dryer (this is not an infrequent occurrence)
  • An outdoor cat getting trapped in a shed or other “oven-type” structure during a hot period
  • A cat left confined without ready access to water and shade
  • A cat left in a hot car for a prolonged period of time (as might happen during a long distance drive for a move or trip)
  • A cat playing outside, vigorously, during a hot day
Cat exhibiting signs of heat stroke

If you notice your cat exhibiting one or more of the following symptoms, it could be an indication they are suffering from heat stroke or some other condition that warrants medical evaluation:

  • Panting
  • Sweaty feet (cats sweat through glands in their paws)
  • Disorientation
  • Vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Lethargy
  • Drooling or thick/sticky saliva
  • Bright red tongue, mouth

If you feel your cat is suffering from heat stroke, please take immediate action!  Move your cat into a safe, air-conditioned, environment to prevent injuries and further heat absorption. Put a cool, wet towel or blanket underneath them (or have them lay on a cool surface such as kitchen tile).  If they are alert enough and able to drink water, offer small amounts frequently. You can add some tuna water or chicken broth to the water to encourage them to drink.  If the symptoms don’t resolve quickly, please bring your cat in for a veterinary evaluation (possibly at an emergency center).

* Excerpts from above borrowed from

Heat Stroke in Cats

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