and the humidity!




I have melted into a puddle of fur. It’s Thursday but I am NOT thankful and haven’t been for quite sometime. And it doesn’t appear as if the source of my discontent is going to improve anytime soon.

There’s nothing for me to do but sprawl in the shade on the porch and pray for a cool breeze to ruffle my tummy furs. I could retreat to air conditioning but that would require me to go back into the house, and I am not a quitter.

I have water nearby, but I must be careful to avoid heatstroke (hyperthermia). All pets can easily become dehydrated. In addition to fresh, cool (think about asking your humans to add some ice cubes) water, stay in a shady place, do not over exercise and stay inside when it is extremely hot.

Normal body temperature for cats is 100.5  to 102.5 º F ( 38.2 to 39.2 º C). High temperatures and humidity could cause my body temperature to rise above the normal range. If that happens, I could suffer from serious medical issues. Heat stroke is a medical emergency which can lead to organ dysfunction, coma and death. Urgent care is required even for mild heat stroke.

You need to make certain that your humans are aware of the symptoms of mild heat stroke: restless behavior, panting, sweaty feet, drooling and excessive grooming as you attempt to keep cool.

Symptoms of hyperthermia include: rapid panting, bright red tongue, dark red or pale gums, drooling, weakness, dizziness, muscle tremors, lethargy, anxiety, vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding from the nose and coma. (Blood may be seen in the vomit or feces.)

Any cat can develop heat stroke; however, some are at greater risk, like me. I am considered an old cat, and I have a heart murmur. If you are a cat that falls into any of the following categories, make certain your humans are extra careful about your becoming overheated. You are: a short-faced breed, old, young or a kitten, sick, obese, have a heart condition, have a medical condition affecting your breathing or are pregnant or nursing.

Stay cool, furiends!

This is Part One of a two-part series. Next Thursday The Cat on My Head will cover the treatment for mild heatstroke as well as hyperthermia.

Purrs and paw-pats, Lily Olivia

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