New England seems to be heating up. Its been hot, humid and oppressive for a few days in a row. For those with Air conditioning it makes sense to keep it on and cool the house during the heat of the day. But what if you're not home? What if you work and arent there to monitor the situation during the day? What can you do to ensure your cats are safe during a heat wave? First it may seem obvious but keeping the curtains drawn on the sides of the house the face the sun all day is a must. Its even better if you have thermal curtains that can block the sun from penetrating past the window and it resuces approximately 30% or more of the energy. Funny thing is that most cats I know prefer to sleep or stand in a sunny spot anyway .
Senior cats are really the one's to worry about the most, especially if they have kidney disease or any other illness that would affect their ability to stay hydrated and regulate their body temperature. Early in my career, I took care of an eighteen year old cat with kidney disease and he got so hot in my clients un-air conditioned house that his Temperature went up over 102.5. Thats way too high! Plus he was lethargic, and dehydrated. Ideally the cat should have been rushed to the vet but the owners wouldn't allow it ( now I have a policy in place that avoids this loop hole) but I consulted with my vet and he suggested baby pedialite with no flavor. So I stayed up for hours and syringe fed him doses of that till his temperature came down!
First, keep your cat inside. When its hot they can find places to hide outside but its still hot and cats can get sick. Keep them in a small space that is cooler. Cats don't seem to like a frigid a/c's but they will feel better if their environment is kept cooler and with low humidity. Next, keep a bowl of fresh water available and add water to their wet food if you need to add water in their system.
Also, you could try smooth cotton sheets instead of throw blankets. Cat beds can be covered with them to keep things cooler. A oscillating fan can help a lot of cool the air. Lastly, hiring a cat sitter to check on your cats during the heat of the day will allow for someone to make adjustments and you'll have peace of mind knowing your cats are chilling at home.