Certain temperatures are too dangerous for pets. Experts share precautions and tips for how to take care of your feline friends in a heat wave.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
As heat waves and record-setting temperatures make headlines around the world, people are doing what they can to stay cool. The situation is even more challenging for those with pets.
Although we often associate dogs with outdoor play, many cats also enjoy spending time outside, and some even go for regular walks with their humans. But is it safe to take your feline friends out of the house in these conditions? And how can you ensure they remain healthy and happy when you do?
Below, pet experts break down what you need to know about letting your cats out in the heat.
Pay attention to rising temperatures
“On hot days, heat stroke is a very serious concern in cats, not just dogs,” said cat behaviorist Mieshelle Nagelschneider, owner of the Cat Behavior Clinic.
Once temperatures move into the 80s, it can be a problem for cats. Heat in the 90s and above poses even more serious risk. Not only should they not go outside in high heat, but inside the home, the air conditioner should be used. “Many owners leave for work and leave their cats in sweltering conditions, which can be dangerous,” Nagelschneider said.
To determine if it’s too hot for your cat to go outside, take note of heat advisories and severe weather forecasts. Don’t just look at the temperature but the heat index, or real feel, as well.
“From a welfare perspective, studies indicate that cats’ ‘thermoneutral zone’ ― the temperatures at which cats can regulate their body temperature with the least effort ― is 86 to 97 degrees,” said Annie Valuska, a senior pet behavior scientist at Purina. “Even if the temperature outside is lower than 97, owners should also keep in mind that other factors, such as the intensity of the sun and the humidity level, can contribute to it feeling warmer outside than the actual temperature.”
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