Medically known as hyperthermia, heat stroke is a life-threatening condition where a cat’s internal organs can shut down due to elevated body temperature. As its temperature increases, the cat will initially suffer from heat exhaustion, which can then lead to heat stroke.
Heat stroke is a medical emergency and you should seek immediate help to bring your pet’s temperature down.
Symptoms to look for
Initially, watch out for restless behaviour as your kitty tries to find a cool place to sit. Comfortable cats in Northampton don’t usually pant, sweat through their foot pads or drool; look out for these symptoms on hot days. Their rectal temperature may also be slightly raised.
As your cat’s body temperature rises, check Cat & Rabbit Clinic's list of heat exhaustion signs:
- Breathing rapidly, racing pulse
- Red tongue and mouth
- Stumbling or staggering
- Rectal temperature over 40.5C/105F
Eventually, the cat’s body temperature will increase to the extent that the cat will collapse, have seizures or slip into a coma.
How to avoid heat stroke
Ensure your cat has access to plenty of shade – both indoors and outside. If you have an indoor cat, make sure it has access to a cool area – keeping blinds and curtains closed can help.
Always ensure your kitty has enough fresh water to drink; provide your cat with ice cubes for it to lick on hot days.
Never leave your cat in a parked car – even in the cooler months. This is particularly essential in the spring and summer. Try to keep your cat away from greenhouses, sheds and garages, too.
If you have concerns about your cat’s exposure to high temperatures or need urgent medical attention, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced head vet, Simon Maddock, and the team.