7 Signs of Cat Overheating

Learn how to recognize, treat and prevent heat-related ailments in cats.

Updated: June 27, 2013, 12 p.m. EDT

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Maine Coon Cat with Outstretched Paw
Top signs of cat's overheating include lethargy and an increased temperature of 104 degrees or higher.
Maine Coon Cat with Outstretched Paw
Overheating cats pant and grow restless. Take action to cool them immediately.
Maine Coon Cat with Outstretched Paw
Cool your overheated cat by offering cold water; if you cat doesn't drink readily, give your cat water through a dropper.
Summer officially began June 21, and along with the higher temperatures comes an increased risk for heat-related sickness.

Check your cat for a high temperature >>

Like people, cats can get heatstroke, dehydration and heat exhaustion, among other heat-related illnesses. Check your cat for overheating symptoms like:
  1. Panting
  2. Restlessness
  3. Rapid heartbeat
  4. Hyperventilation
  5. Dark red or grayish gums
  6. Lethargy
  7. Increased body temperature (104 degrees or higher)
Hear other reasons for cat panting >>

If your cat shows any of these signs and you think it's due to a heat-related illness, cool your cat as quickly as possible by immersing her feet (or your cat's entire body) in cool water, wrapping the cat with wet towels and taking the cat to a veterinarian immediately.

Try a plant mister with water to cool down your cat; See more quick tips >>


Protect your cat from coming down with heatstroke or heat exhaustion with these tips from veterinary experts:
  • Keep the cat indoors in a cool interior room.
  • Rub the cat with a damp towel.
  • Immerse the cats feet in a tub of cool water.
  • Make sure the cat has bowls of cool water available. It helps to drop an ice cube in occasionally to cool the water.
  • Wrap a cold compress under the cats neck to help cool it off.
  • Try using an eyedropper or syringe to hydrate the cat if it refuses to drink water. Do not shoot the water down its throat, as it can cause choking. Place a drop or two at a time in the corner of its mouth to help hydrate the cat.
Get summer tips for feral cats >>

White cats, or cats with white ears and faces, are particularly susceptible to sunburn. Over time, exposure to the sun can cause a type of cancer most commonly found on the tips of cats ears and noses.

Veterinary experts recommend that white cats be kept out of direct sun as much as possible. However, if they must be in the sun, you can help prevent sunburn by using a veterinarian-recommended sunscreen on their ears and noses.
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7 Signs of Cat Overheating

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Reader Comments

Eleanor    Saint Pete, FL

7/11/2013 11:13:05 AM

Great Article

The Big Apple Gang®    Staten Island, NY

7/10/2013 6:11:57 PM

Thank you for this valuable information ~

M    Lake City, FL

7/6/2013 11:29:21 PM

Thanks for the very important tips! Our cats deserve a happy and safe summer just like we do!

Don    Syracuse, NY

7/4/2013 6:18:12 AM

Thank you for updating information.

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