Heat Stroke In Cats: Common Causes And How To Help Your Cat To Cool Off

Basking in a sunny spot is typical feline behavior, no matter if you have an indoor or outdoor cat. But when your cat experiences too much heat and has no way to cool off, it can lead to heat exhaustion and deadly heat stroke. We’re here to help you avoid dangerous conditions like heat stroke in cats, so learn how to keep your kitty healthy, safe and cool, right here.

Table of contents

  • What is heat stroke in cats?
  • What is the difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion in cats?
  • How do cats sweat and manage their body temperature?
  • Reasons that cats become overheated
  • Signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke in cats
    • Symptoms of heat exhaustion
    • Symptoms of heat stroke
  • Causes of heat stroke in cats
    • Trapped in a hot environment
    • Lack of access to water
    • Heat stroke when staying outside
    • Leaving cats inside cars and other vehicles
    • Heat stroke during travel
    • Excessive exercise
    • Previous heat stroke
  • How to take a cat’s temperature?
    • What is a normal cat temperature?
    • How to check a cat’s temperature with a thermometer
    • How to check a cat’s temperature without a thermometer
  • How to cool down a cat
  • How to prevent heat stroke in cats
  • Ideal indoor temperature for cats
  • Hydrating your cat to beat the heat
  • Recovery of heat stroke in cats

What is heat stroke in cats?

We often hear about heat stroke in dogs, but rarely in cats. That doesn’t mean your kitty is not at risk for this life-threatening condition.

Heat stroke occurs when your cat’s body temperature becomes dangerously elevated. This condition most often occurs when your pet is in a very hot environment and has no way escape or cool off.

Heat stroke is life-threatening for any animal (or human). Without quick action and veterinary care, your cat could collapse or even die.

What is the difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion in cats?

Heat stroke always begins with heat exhaustion. If heat exhaustion is not treated, it could progress to deadly heat stroke.

The difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke lies in the cat’s internal body temperature.

A cat’s normal internal body temperature is 100o F to 102.5o F. If a cat shows early signs of overheating and is not treated, its internal body temperature will rise above 102.5o F.  Above 103o F, the cat experiences heat exhaustion and will attempt to cool itself off. If the body temperature continues to rise above 104o F and the cat is unable to cool itself or is not removed from a hot area, heat stroke will develop.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your cat is experiencing heat stroke.



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