Feline Heat Stroke

Resting Cat
Resting cat

Spring has come and it is important to prepare our minds for the hot weather and protect our cats from Feline Heat Stroke or Hyerthermia. Dehydration and heat stroke is a very common and preventable situation, but despite all the warnings cats, dogs and babies are left in hot environments until it is too late. To gain an understanding of the experience go to a parking lot shut off the engine, leave the windows up until you can’t stand it. Now imagine somebody stuck in there with no means of escape.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a dangerous elevation of the cats body temperature. It can be brought on by environment such as being left in a vehicle or hot room. Cats only have sweat glands in their feet and around their noses. We should not forget that our kitties are furry creatures and this adds to overheating. Heat stroke can be fatal as excessive heat will damage the internal organs. At the point when the cats rectal temperature reaches 40.5 C (105 F) the cells of the kitty’s body start to rapidly die off. Then the brain swells causing seizures. A lack of blood flow to the gastro intestinal tract will cause ulcers. Dehydration will cause the kidneys to shut down, with all this happening in minutes. When your kitty starts showing signs of heat stroke it might be too late to save them.

Initial Symptoms Of Heat Stress

Black Cat

Initially symptoms to watch for are, is your cat restless as they try to find a cool spot to rest. Are the kitties feet sweaty or are they drooling. They will also groom themselves excessively trying to cool themselves off.

Signs Of Heat Exhaustion

Should the kitties body temperature rise above 40.5 C (105 F) the signs of heat exhaustion will be observed. There will be rapid pulse and breathing, very red or pale gums, vomiting or bloody diarrhea, redness of the tongue, weakness and muscle tremors, seizures, no urination, coma, dizziness or staggering, collapsing and lying down.

What To Do If Your Kitty Is Over Heated

Vet and KittenIt will be necessary to move your cat to a cool area, preferably air-conditioned. At the very least get the cat out of the direct sunlight. If the cat is awake or able to stand let them drink water. Don’t let them over drink as this might cause them to vomit resulting in dehydration. The next step is immediate veterinarian care.

Should the cat be having seizures, is unresponsive or unable to stand immediately start the cooling down process by using cool water. Start by putting water (cool, not cold) on the head and the back of the neck and on the belly and between the legs. Do not pour water down the cats mouth as it might fill the lungs, but get the tongue moist. An air flow such as a fan will speed up the cooling process. If possible bring the Temperature below 40 C (104 F) and stop applying cool water as this might cause blood clotting. I have read where some people recommend using ice. I would think that this might cause to rapid a cooling process. The best advice is to call your vet as soon as the cool down process is in place.

The Vet

kittenWhen your cats life is on the line your vet will have the best advice. At the vet office the cat will probably be put on a IV to help with temperature stabilization and minimize the organ damage. Organ damage might take several to days to manifest. Close monitoring and prolonged veterinarian care might be required. Follow this link on how to find a veterinarian.

Prevention

To prevent feline heat stroke keep your cat out of the heat and let them have access to lots of water. If you have an outside cat enclosure be sure they have a shaded area to rest in as well as ample water.

My cats are afraid of any unusual noises. This unnecessary stress plus high temperatures can aggravate the effects of heat stroke. Cats with short faces such as Persians and overweight cats are more susceptible to heat stroke.

What would you do if you found a cat, dog or baby suffering in a hot car? The first step is to call 911 and explain the situation. If the event calls for immediate action I would smash the window and deal with the consequences later.

A cats normal body temperature is 37.5- 39.2 C or 99.5-102.5 F.

Temperatures are taken with a rectal thermometer. Elevated temperatures are as follows :

37.7 – 39.4 C (100 to 103F) is normal to slightly elevated.

39.4 – 40.0 C (103 to 104 F) is elevated and requires evaluation by a veterinarian.

Over 40.5 C (105 F) is potentially life threatening and requires immediate veterinarian care.

Feline High Rise Syndrome

Cats on Balcony

With spring here everyone like to have the windows and doors open for the fresh air. Cats love this too as its time to sit by an open window and watch the birds. The problem arises when the open window is more than one story off the ground.

Cats will unintentionally fall out of windows, balconies and patio doors as they instinctively jump at birds and insects. It is the responsibility of their care givers to ensure this does not happen by having screens in place to prevent falls. I have seen upper floor balconies screened in so that kitty can’t fall.

Falls can result in serious injuries and even if the cat does not get hurt they are landing in unfamiliar territory. They are lost and can’t get home. As we all know the urban environment is full of dangers, so let’s give special attention to our cats when we live up high.

Automatic Cat Door

Should it be required to let the cat have outside privileges this automatic cat door that locks and unlocks with a transmitter on the cats collar. This will let the cat come in when it hot or just when they want to. It also prevents unwanted guests.

These items from Amazon will fit the solution and nobody else can get in.

Please click on the picture.

This unit recognizes your cat with its unique identification microchip or RFID collar tag.

 

The unit below has the cat wearing a small magnet that doubles as an identification tag

 

That’s my story for today. Please don’t let any of our furry family get to hot this summer. Now hug a kitty and do something green for the environment. Please click on the following link and have a look at my Cat Care Products page for all your Cat Care needs.

Trevor

 

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2 thoughts on “Feline Heat Stroke”

  1. And, so the season begins. Another year where the “guardians” of these beautiful pets are so negligent that they cause harm to them. Hopefully your article may educate them and take notice.

    1. Thank you for your comment Reggie. I can not imagine one of my family members getting heat stroke. We must all be careful to protect those that can’t help themselves.
      Trevor

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