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Just like us, our cats can be affected by warmer weather. While they may enjoy lying in sunny spots, there is such a thing as too warm – even for a cat!

When temperatures start to creep up it’s important to keep an eye on your cat and make sure they stay hydrated and safe in the sun. Our free guide has plenty of tips to help you keep your cat safe and happy.



Keeping your cat cool

For the most part, your cat should know if they’re getting too hot, but there are lots of things you can do to help make sure they stay cool and don’t overheat. Take a look at our video for advice on keeping cats cool:

You can help your cat stay cool in warmer weather by:

  • encouraging them to stay indoors when the sun is at its warmest (usually between 10am and 3pm)
  • providing lots of shady spots for them if they like going outside
  • keeping their water bowl topped up with fresh water and making sure they have access to water outside, too
  • encouraging them to drink regularly
  • putting a fan on indoors to keep the air circulating
  • wrapping a frozen bottle of water in a towel and putting it near where your cat sleeps (don’t put it directly on your cat or force them to be near it)

Cats and sunburn

All cats can get sunburn, but cats who are white or have thinner fur are more at risk. Being out in the sun a lot can lead to skin cancer, so it’s important to make sure your cat doesn’t spend too long lazing in the sun.

Ears and noses are where your cat is most likely to get burnt. Keep an eye on them and make sure they have plenty of access to shady areas.

Signs of sunburn in cats

If your cat does get sunburn, there are a couple of symptoms to look out for, including:

  • red, sore skin in the affected area
  • blistering and peeling

If you notice this, make an appointment with your vet straight away.

How to prevent sunburn in cats

The easiest way to make sure your cat doesn’t get sunburnt is to keep them inside when the sun is at its strongest (10am – 3pm) and make sure they have access to lots of shade both indoors and out.

Can I put sun cream on my cat?

You can put sunscreen on your cat, but you need to make sure it’s pet-safe first so speak to your vet about the best product to use. Make sure you use SPF30 or higher and that it’s waterproof.

You should apply sun cream to your cat’s nose, tips of the ears, belly and groin areas as well as anywhere that has thin to no fur to help protect them from the sun.

Avoid sun cream with zinc oxide and a group of chemicals that are referred to as salicylates in the ingredients. Both are toxic to cats and can cause them to be very unwell, particularly salicylates.

Download our sunburn information sheet

Signs your cat is dehydrated

It’s important for your cat to get enough water. This can be through drinking and through eating wet food. Staying hydrated will help to keep your cat healthy and they may need to have even more water when the weather is warm.

If your cat doesn’t get enough water, they may become dehydrated. Signs your cat is dehydrated include:

  • their gums – if your cat’s gums are sticky or tacky, this may be the first sign of dehydration
  • their skin – very gently pinch their skin. In a well-hydrated cat, the skin should snap back into place immediately. If it doesn’t, they could well be dehydrated
  • their eyes – severely sunken eyes that appear dry can indicate significant dehydration
  • their paws – if their paws feel cool or cold, this could be a sign of dehydration

If you are worried your cat is dehydrated, ring your vet straight away.

How to keep your cat hydrated

There are a few ways you can help your cat to stay hydrated:

  • keep their water clean and topped up
  • move their water bowl away from their food area and toilet area
  • use a glass, ceramic or metal bowl for their water
  • give them a wide water bowl so their whiskers don’t touch the sides when they drink
  • put extra water around your house and garden

Find out more about cats and drinking

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