How to keep cats cool in hot weather

How can you make sure your cat is healthy and happy in the UK heatwave?

We all know how dangerous hot weather can be for dogs – that’s why we rage if we spot a dog in a car with the window closed.

But it’s easy to forget that cats need some extra care to handle the hot weather, too, especially when they seem to be so relaxed lounging in the sun all day. We spoke to some experts to find out what we need to be doing to keep cats cool, happy, and healthy in the hot weather.

Keep your cat indoors Alison Richards, central veterinary officer for Cats Protection, advises keeping your cats indoors during the hottest part of the day, so you can guarantee they won’t be exposed too harsh sun for too long. ‘Like many of us, cats love the warm weather and enjoy spending time in the sun,’ she tells ‘However, too much sun exposure can be dangerous to cats, especially to those with white or pale-coloured eyes or noses.

‘The best way to protect your cat during the summer is to keep them indoors during the hottest part of the day, traditionally between 10am and 3pm.’

Provide shade If you can’t keep your cat indoors, make sure to provide plenty of sources of shade for your cat to take cover. Open up your shed if you have one, add some cat-friendly plants, and pop a box in your garden so your cat can retreat when they’re feeling a touch too warm. Provide plenty of water Cats aren’t always great at drinking lots of water, so they need reminders.

Make sure that throughout the heatwave you place multiple water bowls around your home, keeping them topped up so your cat doesn’t have to dive their head into the bowl. A glass, ceramic, or metal bowl will be better than plastic, which can taint the taste of the water. If your cat will be outside during the day, pop a bowl of water in a shady spot outdoors, too.