Avoiding Sunstroke in Cats: Cool Tips

Heatstroke isn’t the only danger cats face in the summer. Velvet paws also have to be careful of sunstroke. You can support your furry friends with sun protection with simple measures.

Sunstroke is relatively rare in cats compared to heatstroke. However, if they are exposed to direct sunlight for a long time, the velvet paws still run the risk of catching a sunstroke. The heat accumulates in the brain and leads to symptoms similar to those of heatstroke – but the signs are less pronounced. Sunstroke is still dangerous.

Causes & Warning Signs of Sunstroke

As a rule, cats are well protected from the sun’s rays and from sunstroke by their fur. However, if the sun shines on the head area for too long, there is a risk of death in the worst case. The Sphynx cat and other cat breeds without fur need particularly intensive protection from the sun’s rays, as they have no natural sun protection in the form of hair. As in humans, sunstroke in pets is caused by prolonged or intense exposure to the sun on the unprotected head, causing the brain to expand. As a result, the meninges that lie under the skullcap are irritated.

The skin of those affected feels hot, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and irregular breathing up to shortness of breath can occur. The signs are often delayed until the cat is back indoors or in the shade. Overall, cats with sunstroke also appear apathetic and listless.

Protect Cats From the Sun’s Rays

Sphynx cats should only stay in the shade – make sure the sensitive house tiger stays in a sufficiently cool, sun-protected place. Cats with fur will usually find a shady, cool spot on their own if they get too hot from sunbathing.

Place lots of plants, a parasol, or an awning in your garden and on your balcony so that outdoor cats can seek shelter there if necessary. You should also provide them with enough freshwater. If you take your cat to the vet or on holiday when the sun is shining, never leave it in the car when you take a break or run errands in between. You should avoid long car journeys without air conditioning in the blazing sun as much as possible. If possible, move this to the evening hours.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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