International Cat Day: How to keep your felines safe in the heatwave

On International Cat Day, take care of your cat so it can cope with the heat.

It’s a day for celebrating everything meow because it’s International Cat Day today (Monday, August 8). Our little feline friends have been close to humans for several centuries and they have even been worshipped by certail civilisations. Since the pandemic, there has been a rise in pet adoption but unfortunately, after the lockdowns ended, many have also given their pets up.

Pet ownership needs patience, money, and time, which is not easily available to everyone. Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA) said earlier pet ownership is at a peak as 7.4m households (62%) own a pet. Of those, 4.7, households got a new pet since the start of the pandemic. There are now 12m pet cats. However, 3.4m households have given up a pet over the last year.

There are multiple reasons like the cost-of-living crisis, new homes and jobs, which have forced people to give their pets up. However, if you still own cats, and they are indoor-outdoor or you want to make an outdoor or stray cat’s life bearable in the heatwave, you can take some measures to care for them.

A stylish cat wearing sunglasses
A stylish cat wearing sunglasses
A stylish cat wearing sunglasses

The Met Office announced last week parts of the UK will be entering heatwave conditions if the above-average temperatures last for three days or more. However, the temperatures will not go as high as the July heatwave.

Here are some steps you can take to care for your cat in a heatwave, as told to BirminghamWorld by Cats Protection.

1. Provide plenty of water and keep it away from the food - Cats are infamous for not drinking water but they need fluids to cope with the soaring temperatures.

2. Serve food in small amounts and keep the rest in the fridge to maintain freshness and moisture - Leaving wet food out in these temperatures can make it go bad faster.

3. Provide shelter for cats if they are outside - Cats need shade to cool down their bodies, especially since they sweat only from specific hairless parts like their paws.

4. Use a wet tea towel to stroke them - A wet tea towel is less traumatic, for you and the cats, than giving them a bath.

A brown tabby making his needs known
A brown tabby making his needs known
A brown tabby making his needs known

5. Add cold water in a hot water bag for them to use - The water will stay cool for a long time and your feline friend will be grateful for a cold plushy to hug.

6. Add ice cubes in drinking water - As much as they need to stay hydrated, cats also need to cool down from the inside out and cold water will help them do that.

7. Provide hiding places inside the house - All cat owners know that cats like quiet corners since they like their own space and a cool hiding place is just the place for them.

8. Using blackout curtains can keep the home cooler - This will help you and them to keep the house bearable in this heat.

Temperatures are expected to go up to mid-30s and pets of all kinds will need your help to stay safe and not overheat.

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