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Cats and summer heat

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
This is my first summer with Niko (or any cat, for that matter) and I have a few questions about how cats handle heat and humidity. We have AC units in our bedrooms, but not in the rest of the house. At first, I thought we'd be able to just leave our doors open a little bit so he could come and go as he pleases, but he hates being in a room where the door isn't wide open.. so he just doesn't even come in. Normally, it's hard to keep him /out/ of my room.

I've been able to lure him in periodically, but he doesn't stay for very long. Is it safe for him to be out in the house without AC for long periods of time? I frequently refresh his water and add ice to it in between changings, but is there more I can do to keep him cool? A dog owner friend of mine suggested wetting/dampening him down (yeah right), but that's just not gonna fly. Some cats might not mind that, but he'd flip out. Perhaps some ice packs with a towel on top?
post #2 of 13
how hot does it get inside w/o the AC?
post #3 of 13
My baby was a feral & used to the FL heat to certain extents. She meows & complains if AC gets too low
post #4 of 13
It depends on how hot your House gets. I turn the A/C on if we are not going to be home all day. Mine are ok if its 80 in here.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, yesterday it was 95 degrees, if that's any indication. :/
post #6 of 13
Maybe just make sure he is drinking water and is not panting. My silly cats were laying in THE SUN yesterday! Here I was worried about them! I just keep the hydrated and give them wet food that has lots of gravy in it so they lap all that up.

We have fans going too. But they don't seem to care too much. I was suprised.
post #7 of 13
mine like to lay in the sink/tub and we keep ice in their water as well as if your going out and you have a basement maybe put everything down there??
post #8 of 13
I just moved from one coast to the other and yesterday was our first hot humid day (as opposed to schorching dry heat) and my cats were sprawled around on the cool wood floors even though the ac was on upstairs in my room. I would just leave the door to your room cracked so he can go in if he gets hot enough and make sure there its lots of water available.
post #9 of 13
95 is to Hot for Cats. Mine pant if it gets that hot inside. Its 94 outsie right now and 78 inside.
post #10 of 13
95 F is too hot for some cats and just fine for others. If your cats have short hair and are accustomed to the heat (not in 73 F air conditioning all the time suddenly stuck in 95 F), just provide every possible cooling mechanism. Don't try to get your cats to play when it is hot; just let them lounge around and cool down.

Make sure there are lots of cool surfaces to lie on, close the drapes on the side of the house with sun hitting it, and supply as much water as possible. Watch your cat's behavior while you are home; if the cat is acting fine and there is a huge amount of water available, don't worry about it. Cats can't sweat, but they can lick themselves to get their fur wet, so they can use water to cool down.

While ice packs with a towel sounds clever, I doubt a cat would sit on something like that (not very conductive). Here's a crazy idea; refrigerate a baking pan then put it on the floor? I've never tried it, but a cats do stretch out on cool conductive surfaces like wooden floors and bathtubs. A refrigerated baking sheet would warm up pretty quickly; maybe a baking sheet over ice? Again, the cats may just ignore all of our attempts to make them more comfortable.

If your cat is choosing to stay out of the air conditioning, that's one sign that it's not too hot in the house. Trust Niko's own thermoregulatory drives.
post #11 of 13
Golly how in the heck do you live inside with 95 degree temps??!! Wow. If you have A/C units in two rooms, just leave the doors open and let the air circulate through the house a little. Keeps lots of fresh water in different places too.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your replies! I've been giving him fresh, cold water very often and luring him into one of the bedrooms to nap during the hottest parts of the day. Also, he's a short hair cat, and I "defuzzed" him with the FURminator to get any excess, loose hair off so it doesn't add to the warmth. Good news, though: the heat has forced him to get out of his "I'm gonna freak out if you shut the door" thing. I've been leaving my door closed, yet not clicked shut (if that makes any sense). He can, and often does, push the door open if he wants to come in- and keeping something behind it so it only opens wide enough for him to fit has been working on keeping the cool air in. When not in here, he seems mostly content to sprawl out on the tile floor underneath our dining table. Hopefully, this heat wave will subside soon.. but in general, the whole summer will probably be pretty close to this.

I actually had to take up all of his toys, though, 'cause he just wouldn't stop playing! He's such a nut, sometimes. In this heat, to be darting around the house after pink mice, is insane. And yanno what else is crazy? When he does join me in the coolness, he has to be all curled up against me. If I were in his place, I'd park my butt in front of the AC and sprawl out. I want /no one/ touching me. *giggles*

Originally Posted by greenvillegal View Post
Golly how in the heck do you live inside with 95 degree temps??!! Wow. If you have A/C units in two rooms, just leave the doors open and let the air circulate through the house a little. Keeps lots of fresh water in different places too.
Heh, trust me.. it's been no picnic. And oy.. the humidty, which makes it soooo thick and disgusting, I can't even describe it. In the summer, I become a hermit and stay in my room when I'm home. In here, it's fine and dandy, but cooking in the kitchen feels as though I'm ten feet from the sun. As for keeping our doors open, that wouldn't work very well for a few reasons. We have a fairly large house, but tiny bedrooms and with the open floorplan, the cool air would just dissipate till you could barely feel it at all. And since we only planned on using these in the smaller rooms, we got small and low BTU units... it'd waste a lot of energy to try to cool the entire house with 'em.
post #13 of 13
I think cats will naturally find the cool spots.

I was interested in how Larry would deal with it, since it's been awhile since I've had a cat. And with the other two I had, years ago, I didn't have air conditioning, and tried to keep the apartment cool by keeping the shades down and a fan on when I was at home.

Now I have an air conditioner, but I don't leave it on when I'm gone - or the fan......nothing is on when I'm not at home. But with the shades down and the windows open, Larry seems to just find the cool spots. He likes the linoleum floor....it's cool. I add ice water to his water bowl and he seems to enjoy that. He seems fine.

Man.....it's been brutal the past few days. Yikes!
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