Do cats sweat?
Yes, but unlike humans who have sweat glands all over the body, cats only sweat through their paws. These glands are known as eccrine glands. Due to the small number of sweat glands and the location, sweating does not play a large role in thermoregulation in cats. Although on really hot days you may see wet paw marks on the floor where your cat has been sweating.
How do cats keep cool?
Cats seem to have a much greater tolerance to heat than humans do despite the fact that they sweat very little. You may notice on a hot day your cat is grooming himself a lot. Grooming transfers saliva onto the cat’s coat, which evaporates, cooling him down.
Cats will naturally seek out a cool and shady spot on hot days. You may notice him lying on the tiles in the bathroom or laundry.
They avoid physical activity when it’s hot. Choosing to nap instead.
They drink more water. So make sure your cat always has access to fresh drinking water 24/7. On hot days you can make him more comfortable by putting ice cubes in his water.
Stretching out. You may notice on hot days your cat is stretched out. Whereas on cool days, he will curl up to conserve body heat.
Panting. Generally, cats don’t pant as much as dogs. Some are more prone to panting, but typically cats use other methods to cool down. Panting is almost a last resort and is a sign your cat is extremely hot and possibly suffering from heat stroke, which is a life-threatening condition.
What not to do on a hot day:
- Never, ever leave a cat unattended in a car, but this is especially important on hot days. The internal temperature of the car can rise within a minute or two, resulting in fatal heat stroke in the cat.
- Avoid over-exerting your cat on a hot day.
- Always make sure your cat has access to a shady/cool spot.
- Have fresh drinking water available at all times.
- Regularly groom your cat, especially if he has long hair.