6 Signs of Heat Exhaustion in Cats

Summer is winding down, but for those of us here in Florida, that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll get much of a break from hot weather. While there are definitely benefits to living in warmer climates, the heat can be very difficult for pets, especially cats. Our feline friends have a reputation for being cool and aloof, but they really don’t do well with heat. After all, Fluffy is wearing a fur coat! Cats can only sweat through their paw pads, and panting doesn’t cool them down the way it does dogs. Therefore, if cats get too hot, they can quickly develop heat exhaustion and, eventually, heat stroke. Read on as a Jacksonville Beach, FL vet lists some signs of heat exhaustion in kitties.


While kitties can sometimes be frisky and playful, if Fluffy is pacing or walking around restlessly, it can be a warning sign.

Sweaty Paws

As noted above, cats can only sweat through their furry feet. If Fluffy’s paws are sweaty, she is too hot.

Rapid Pulse/Breathing

If your furball is taking quick, shallow breaths, she may be trying to cool herself off. A rapid pulse is another red flag.


While the occasional hairball isn’t unusual in our feline pals, violent or frequent vomiting is a sign that something is wrong.


If Fluffy is too hot, she may stagger or lurch, or stumble as she is walking.


We know, kitties are, in a way, masters of being lethargic. After all, Fluffy does spend the majority of her time sleeping. If your furball doesn’t respond to stimuli, such as you talking to her or petting her, or the sound of her food dishes being handled, she may be overheating.


If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your vet immediately for instructions. If symptoms have just started and Fluffy is still conscious, your vet may advise you to put her in front of a fan and spray her with mist, wrap her in a wet towel, or soak her in cool water. You’ll also need to offer her plenty of cool water. If your pet is unconscious or showing severe symptoms, put a bag of frozen veggies between her thighs as well. Ask your vet for more information.

Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Call us, your Jacksonville Beach, FL pet hospital, today!

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