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Do cats need extra water in hot weather?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am concerned about the poor cats during heat waves (We just went through our first 4 day spell). Both of them are a pretty lazy, and eat a lot less, which is fine. Bailey drinks water from her dish, but Sam never has. He eats canned food, which the vet says has plenty of water, as cats don't need a lot. But on hot days I have been adding water to his food. I feed him the nutro canned food that is chunks of meat in "gravy", so adding water is easy, and he laps up all of the gravy before he eats the chunks, so I know he likes it.

Is getting more water into him something I need to worry about?
post #2 of 10
Yes, cats and dogs, just like humans, need access to plenty of cool water on hot days. Make it colder, and more interesting at the same time, by floating ice cubes in the bowl. And adding water to the food like you're doimg is a great idea! If your cat prefers to drink from the sink, leave the faucet running at a thin trickle during the hottest part of the day.

**The following taken from a post from last year by Hissy**

Signs of heat stroke

Anxiety, possibly demonstrated by pacing
Increased heartbeat
Respiratory distress or hyperventilation
(Breeds with flat noses may exhibit this earlier because of compromised airways.)
Dark red gums
Increased internal body temperature
Your cat's internal temperature should be between 100.5° and 101.5° F. A temperature of 104° or more is a definite warning sign.

You can help your cat survive extremely hot weather by keeping him indoors in a cool interior room. Rubbing him down with a damp towel will help; so will immersing his feet in a tub of cool water. Wrapping a cold compress under the cat's neck will also help cool him off. He may fight at first, but most likely will appreciate it once he gets used to the idea.

Strangely enough, cats affected by external heat may refuse to drink water, exacerbating the problem of dehydration, so you may want to "force" water by using an eyedropper or syringe. Be careful not to shoot the water down his throat as it can enter his lungs and/or cause choking. Just dribble a drop or two at a time in the corner of his mouth will help hydrate him and draw his interest to drinking on his own.

If your cat exhibits any of the signs above that lead you to think he is suffering heat exhaustion, cool him down as quickly as possible by immersing him in cool water, and then wrapping him with wet towels. Then get him to the veterinarian immediately. This is a serious, potentially fatal condition.
post #3 of 10
In hot weather I leave two water bowls out for Max and I put 3-4 cubes of ice in them to keep them cool. One of his water bowls are the kind that is made to keep water cool anyway. I just feel better if I leave him two.
post #4 of 10
I also make sure that our Ragdoll, Sasha, and our longhaired cats, Romeo and Tillie, are in whichever room has the a/c going. Any other cats who want into the room are, of course, welcome as well.
We don't have central air here, just a room a/c in the bedroom and one in the computer room. If we run them at the same time, we trip a circuit and the power goes out! Found that out the hard way last year!
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Bailey drinks from the water dish, and I keep that fresh for her. The indoor temp. is still under 80, even when its in the 90's outside, and they seem to find the coolest darkest spot to lie, in the hallway. So I think they are fine. There is an air conditioned apartment they can go to, but the dummies would rather spend time with me in the heat.

I will try the wet towel trick during the day and see if that helps. I think that last summer (the first summer I had Sam), he would sleep sprawled out in the bathtub. So I left the cold water dripping, thinking that would keep the tub cooled off as well.
post #6 of 10
I talked to my vet about that. She said cats use very very little water and normally get enough in wet food. They basically like to "bake" and that is why they sometimes have urinary tract problems. There urin is VERY concentrated.

They do need more water but rarly do they go out of there way to get it. Just keep it available.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
This morning Sam tipped over our little indoor fountain trying to get to the water in the bottom of the dish. So I guess he will look for water if he is thirsty. He waited for me to set it up again, and fill it, then had a little drink. There's lots around, he just prefers to drink from the fountain or the bathtub.
post #8 of 10
One trick I used in Alaska in the summertime, was to take a small wading pool, pull it into the shade and fill it with cold water and ice cubes, but only enough to get their paws wet. Then I put their food in bowls in the middle of the pool. So they had to go into the water to eat. It worked out quite well.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
I assume that is a trick to use for outdoor cats.... My apartment is full of cat toys and furniture as it is, I don't think I have room for a wading pool. I guess I could fill the bathtub with ice cubes.
post #10 of 10
that would work, or leave water and cubes in your sink if you don't mind cats on your counters.
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