This is Part Two of our post from last Thursday. In Can Somebody Please Turn Off the Heat, we listed the symptoms of heatstroke (hyperthermia) and provided information on how to prevent it. At that time, we promised to give you instructions today on treating this condition.
As a recap, normal body temperature for a cat is 100.5 to 102.5 º F (38.2 to 39.2 º C).
Mild heatstroke can occur when a cat’s body temperature reaches 104° F or 40° C. With mild hyperthermia, it may be possible for you to lower your cat’s temperature at home. If you want to attempt this yourself, the following steps should be taken:
- Immediately take your cat to a cool place.
- Wrap your cat in cool, wet towels or immerse him in cool (not cold) water. Be careful to keep the water away from his mouth and nose.
- Apply ice packs or frozen vegetables to the cat’s head and between legs.
- Put rubbing alcohol on the cat’s paws and legs to assist in bringing the temperature down.
- Turn on a fan or air conditioning. Evaporation helps cool your cat.
- Offer plenty of cool, fresh water.
Do not continue the cooling procedures once your cat’s temperature has returned to normal. Continuing the cooling treatments could result in hypothermia (a dangerously low body temperature).
If you attempt these procedures at home, take your cat’s rectal temperature every five to ten minutes. Once your cat’s temperature returns to normal, take her to the vet. Though your cat may appear to have recovered, it is possible that she has suffered organ damage. Only your veterinarian can make this determination.
Moderate to severe hyperthermia occurs when your cat’s body temperature reaches 105º F or 40.5º C. If this happens, you need to take your cat to the vet immediately. Someone should drive and another person should work to lower the cat’s temperature (using the above methods) while in route.
To return your cat’s temperature to normal your veterinarian will treat her as follows:
- Cool fluids will be introduced to the body intravenously or by giving your cat a cool water enema.
- Oxygen will be given if he is having difficulty breathing.
- Additional fluids will be given to treat dehydration.
- Your cat will be monitored for signs of organ damage or failure (especially to the brain) which can be caused by a prolonged high body temperature.
Hyperthermia can cause swelling in the throat. If this has occurred, the vet may give your cat a cortisone injection to treat this.
Once the temperature is stabilized, usually no further treatment is needed. However, it may take several days for evidence of organ damage to develop. If your cat does not seem completely back to normal within two to three days, speak to your veterinarian.
Carefully monitor your cat’s health for any signs of long-term damage caused by the heatstroke, including watching for blood in the urine which may signal kidney damage. Should kidney damage be diagnosed, a special diet to put less strain on your cat’s damaged kidneys may be prescribed.
Summer is only about half over and some of the hottest temperatures are still in front of us. Please keep your furry friends safe and cool to avoid the possibility of hyperthermia. Cats who have suffered hyperthermia are at greater risk of getting it again.
Sources: www.aspca.org, www.PetMD.com and www.cat-world.com.au.
Hi! No doubt it is very informative blog! It’s a great help for all the cat owners. Heat strokes can turn out to be dangerous for the delicate cats; we should protect our cats from heat stroke. Well, I am really thankful for these useful instructions.
I didn’t know that cats had such a high body temp. That would explain why they are such warm snuggle buddies! Man, am I glad I love the colder temperatures, or my cat would be uncomfortably hot right now I would imagine.
Excellent info! 🙂
I also thank you for this info. Fortunately I have air central conditioning and it is comfortable inside even when we reach the 100 F. outside. Cat owners without air conditioning who work and leave the house can put a running fan in a secure place and also freeze large water containers overnight then leave them out wrapped in a towel in the morning when they go to work. Cats will seek cool air and cold spots when they become hot. The frozen water jugs was a suggestion to my daughter from her vet when she had a cat and no air conditioning in her house. Soon she bought a portable unit for that apartment ….
Great post and important for us in Australia – we often have heatwaves in the summer.
Very important post- well done.
Great information. We purr that we never have to use this info though…but you never know.
Gweat posty and pawsum infurmation. Fank you fur sharin’.
Dezi and Lexi
Gang, these tips are super. We liked both the hypothermia and over heated tips. A smarter mom is a big help.
(((Shoko and Kali)))
Thank you for this wonderful advice! It has been so hot here – close to 100 degrees every day! We worry about the kitties that live outside and hope that they are staying cool. We have water outside on our deck for the neighborhood kitties, of which we have several. And Sophie hasn’t been out on any adventures lately either, as it’s too hot for her. Thanks again for spreading the word about how to treat overheating. It’s important info to know!
Sampy sends lots of love to Astrid and 19308745092387509384 kisses. We all send hugs and love!
Thank you for getting this information out there! There are a lot of kitties that have to deal with less than optimal house temperatures during these hot summer months. It’s nice to know what to look for just in case!
Great info on hyperthermia. Stay cool. 🙂
Great post ! Those are important informations ! Purrs
Very useful info! Our climate hardly ever gets that hot though!
Very good important information.
That is important info. I hope nobody has need of it though.
Greta info and info that we should never need ..yikes summer and winter can really be nasty! loves Fozziemum xxx
That sure is great information, but a wee bit scary too.
That is very useful information. Mom has copied it and put it in her CAT INFO folder. We are grateful you shared it. Thankfully this week the weather had gone down to the mid to high 70’s with lower humidity.
Stay cool my furrends…Kisses to my love Ms Lisbeth
It’s good to know what warning signs to look for, especially if you have senior kitties around, who are more susceptible to the heat.
Great ideas! those same methods would probably work with me, don’t you think?
We sure hope this nevfur happens to any kitty.
Thanks for the info! My human worries about me overheating while she is driving with me in hot weather – she blasts the air conditioner, but I do get a little stressed.
Important, timely post. Well done. Thanks for educating or reminding about this serious situation. ❤