he best part of summer is the hot sunny heat, right? Not necessarily if you're a cat. If the mercury rises too high, felines are prone to experience heat stress (too much exposure to high temperatures) or heatstroke (too much sun with high humidity). Look out for the following signs that indicate your cat may be suffering from heat conditions.

Symptoms of Cat Heat Exhaustion:

  • Panting
  • Anxiety (possibly demonstrated by pacing)
  • Increased heartbeat
  • Respiratory distress or hyperventilation
  • Dark red gums
  • Lethargy
  • Increased internal body temperature (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. Rub him down with a damp towel or immerse his feet in a tub of cool water. Try wrapping a plastic bag of frozen peas in a towel, and placing it in his bed for a cool spot to lie. Make sure he has several bowls of cool water available. It doesn't hurt to drop an ice cube in once in awhile, not only to cool the water, but to pique kitty's interest in drinking.

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, then get him to the veterinarian immediately.