Saturday, May 24, 2014


Summer Danger:  Heat Stroke in Cats
By Jill Anne Sparapany

Recently, there have been many stories of dogs or cats left in the car while the owner went shopping. The windows were closed or just cracked open – but that is still not enough to prevent hot temperature build-up inside the car! The temperature inside a car can reach 110˚F in less than 10 minutes on a sunny 80˚F day!

But heat stroke can happen anytime outside an enclosed car, in the right conditions. Dogs are more likely to suffer heat stroke, but cats can be affected and for both dogs and cats, immediate veterinary intervention is imperative to save the pet!

Signs of Heat Stroke:
Restlessness, excessive grooming
Sweaty paws
Bright red gums and tongue
Panting or rapid breathing
Stumbling, collapse
High fever
Extreme lethargy

What to Do if your Cat has Heat Stroke:

Get your cat (or dog) to the vet immediately!!
Do not delay getting emergency vet care!

While transporting your pet to the emergency vet, you can do some things to help reduce their temperature from the heat stroke –
Cover your pet with towels soaked in cold water!

·         Use only cold water soaked towels!
·         Do NOT use ice cold water or ice packs – this could cause shock!
·         Do NOT immerse your cat in ice water – this could cause shock!

Prevent Heat Stroke:
Best way to prevent heat stroke is to keep your cat inside.
If your cat does go outside, ensure your cat has free access to fresh, cold water at all times and access to shady areas.
Watch for signs of heat exhaustion in indoor pets on very hot days in homes without air conditioning.
If you have a programmable thermostat that you adjust to higher temps while you are at work all day, remember your cat may be uncomfortable if the temp is too high.
If you don’t have air conditioning, you can use fans to cool the air. Keep ceiling fans running.
Free standing fans can keep air at your living level space cooler. Make sure the fans can’t tip over! Do not leave fans running when you are not at home.
Access to cooler spots at home. Basements are cooler so allow your pet to access them, if they are safe (no sharp tools,etc.) Hardwood and tile floors are cooler than carpets. Some cats may like to lay in the bathtub or sink in hot weather.
Be sure window screens are secure if you leave windows open for breezes.
Fresh cold water should be available at all times. Fountains are excellent. You can add ice cubes to the water bowl.
Grooming your cat will help keep them cooler – long hair cats that are especially prone to tangles and mats in their coats will not be able to stay cooler. Removing excess fur will keep your pet cooler.
Know the signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke! If your pet exhibits any signs of heat stroke, get your cat to the vet NOW! Heat stroke is a life threatening emergency and your pet could die.
Never, repeat Never, leave your pet is a parked car – not even for a minute!

If you travel with your pet by air – there have been numerous pet deaths related to air travel, even when the pet parent has been assured their pet will be observed at all times and kept in temperature controlled conditions. When cargo – where your pet will travel with the rest of the baggage – is unloaded, they will sit on the hot tarmac in their pet carriers until all baggage is unloaded. Open baggage transfer buildings are not air conditioned and this is where your pet will wait to be transferred to another plane or delivered to you. Food, water and bathroom breaks are not always provided.
Some pets have been lost when their stacked pet carriers have fallen and broken open.
Some airlines state they are “pet-friendly” and have also experienced pet deaths related to heat stroke.

If you must travel by air with your pet, many airlines will allow you to take your cat (or small dog) in a secure carrier with you in the passenger area. You may have to pay a fee for this, but you will be assured your pet is safe because it will be in your constant care.


One very tragic pet death resulted when a stacked carrier was toppled and broke. The cat, named Jack, was frightened and ran. He was nowhere to be found and due to air security rules, his owner was not allowed in the baggage buildings to call for him or put out cans of tuna, Jack’s favorite food.
Jack was finally found after being missing for 61 days when he came crashing down through the ceiling tiles in the same building where he escaped! He was extremely malnourished and very sick. Jack spent 12 days in ICU care. He had several surgeries for skin grafts over his skin that was falling off. He was on tube feedings and despite all ICU care and medicines, Jack had to be euthanized. His owner started an organization to promote safety in air travel for all pets – she vowed this should never happen again! Unfortunately, pets have perished since Jack’s passing.

You can learn about safety in air travel at the “Where Is Jack?” organization’s website:


Thank you for the gifts from our Amazon wish list!

Thank you unnamed for the paper towels and food!
Thank you Julie Blair for the paper towels!
Thank you Kristy Blackburn for the trashbags, freshstep, food & rainbow!
Thank you Sheryl Harrison for the food, gain and q-tips!

Thank you Beth Byrd for the toys, sponges, and litter!
Thank you Sheryl Harrison for the trashbags!
Thank you Julie Blair for the turbo scratcher!
Thank you Ann Davis for the big shoe and playhouse!

Thank you Eri Okada-Berkeley for the trashbags and playcube!
Thank you Kyla Town for the batteries and rainbow toy!