Summer Safety Tips for Cats: 12 Signs Your Cat May be Overheated | Lola The Rescued Cat
Monday, July 16, 2018

Summer Safety Tips for Cats: 12 Signs Your Cat May be Overheated

Hello, everyone. This is Lexy checking in. Today I’m back with the third post in our series about Summer Safety Tips for Cats, and I’m going to be discussing 12 signs your cat may be overheated (and some other info on  heat stroke as well.) 

Disclaimer: we here at Lola The Rescued Cat are not veterinarians. Any time you think your cat needs medical attention you should contact your vet immediately and follow their instructions. This post is for informational purposes only.  Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s dive right in. 

12 Signs Your Cat May be Overheated

  • Panting (open-mouthed breathing)
  • Excessive thirst
  • Glazed eyes
  • Bright red tongue
  • Dark red gums, 
  • Weakness, collapse
  • Rapid pulse and/or heart rate 
  • Seizures
  • Excessive drooling
  • Wobbly gait (staggering, stumbling)
  • Vomiting, 
  • Diarrhea

What is Heat Stroke? 

Heat stroke, also known as hyperthermia, is caused by a dangerous elevation of your cat’s body temperature. It is a life-threatening medical condition in which the body’s internal organs start to shut down. If the body temperature is not brought down quickly, serious organ damage or death could occur. 

A cat’s normal body temperature is around 101 degrees Fahrenheit. According to Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook, when the body temperature reaches 104 degrees, mild heat stroke has set in. Moderate to severe heat stroke occurs when the body temperature is 105 degrees. 

Treatment for Heat Stroke

If you think your cat is overheated, the first thing you should do is contact your vet or seek other medical care immediately!  According to doctors Carson and Giffin, the following can be done before severe heatstroke occurs: 

  • Move your cat to a cool/shady spot, turn on air conditioning or fans if possible to cool her down and help with evaporative cooling.
  • Slowly bring your cat’s temperature down at home by wrapping her in cool, damp towels. Keep water away from the mouth and nose.
  • Spray your cat with cool water.
  • Apply ice packs or frozen vegetables to the head and between the legs.
  • Put rubbing alcohol on the paws and legs to assist in bringing the temperature down.
  • Offer plenty of cool, fresh water to drink.

Again, we’d like to emphasize that getting medical care is the most important you can do! 

Preventing Heat Stroke

The best way to prevent heat stroke is to make sure your cat is kept cool and has plenty of water! Check out my first post in this series where I talk about Six Tips to Keep Your Cat Happy and Cool in Summer for lots of ideas. 

So this brings us to the end of our Sumer Safety for Cats series. If you have any other tips to keep cats safe during the dog days of summer, please share them below. Thanks for joining us! 


Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook by Delbert G. Carlson and James M. Giffin

Photo Credits: 
Andry_Kuzmin via Shutterstock
barbourians via flickr
Ronnie_Shumate via flickr

Would you like to comment?

  1. Thanks for sharing this information. Fortunately, we're inside cats and we don't worry about heat stroke too much. But we do worry about the outside cats. Especially since it's been so hot lately.

  2. Paddy O'Malley was panting, open-mouthed, during our first really hot weather. I poured room-temperature water on him, and rubbed cool water into the pads of his feet and his ears. He didn't put up a fuss, but it really didn't seem to make much difference. But, I'm keeping my eye on him nevertheless! He seems to be more of a cold-weather cat, but he lives outside 365!

  3. Excellent post. I feel so bad for ferals in this heat.

  4. So many folks having it bad heat wise right now, these facts will help those with feline companions (no doubt dogs too) and to take action or preventative action were needed. Great stuff, and thanks for posting.

  5. Great informations ! Summer can be rough for ferals. Purrs

  6. Thanks, fur that Lexy! Yesterday was another toasty day here in ORE-gon. Mom cleared off an end table by the settee for me to lounge on that is near the AC. It felt so-o nice blowing by my furrs, so I decided to take a bath. Winks.

  7. Very important information to share during this horribly hot summer!

  8. These are good to know! My human always keeps an eye on me when we travel in the summer, or I spend time outside.

  9. Thank you for posting this information. This time of year is so awful for our Mom who often gets into shouting matches with people who insist on leaving their pets in their car while they go shopping "for just a minute."

    Thank you, also, for your kinds words today over our loss of sweet Sunny. We very much appreciate them, take comfort with them, and know that Sunny's spirit does as well.

  10. Great info! I've only seen one of our cats panting when we had to take her to the vet. Meowed herself too hot!

  11. L & L....thanx for takin time ta share theeze tipz over de few....we iz onlee a loud ta go inta de garage... but we still get checked on while we iz out ther... N if itz like an ovenz..... itza noe go ~~~~~~~~♥♥☺☺

  12. I had no idea some of these were signs of danger. I've had dehydrated cats before ... but never because of heat. These are one of those things every cat owner should know!

  13. Thank goodness we're indoor cats. But we do worry a lot about ferals and other kitties we see outside in this heat.


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