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Heatstroke in Cats

While our Blountville emergency vets see fewer cases of heatstroke in cats than in dogs, it does happen. In today's post, we share some of the symptoms of heatstroke in cats, and what you should do if you think your cat is suffering from heatstroke. 

Heatstroke in Cats

Heatstroke, also known as prostration or hyperthermia, is a condition defined as an increase in core body temperature caused by environmental factors. Your cat's normal body temperature should be between 101 and 102.5 degrees. If your cat's body temperature exceeds 105 degrees, he or she must receive immediate veterinary care!

Can cats get heatstroke?

Yes they can, Heatstroke in cats is typically caused by exposure to excessive ambient heat. Some of the most common causes of heatstroke in cats include:

  • Extremely hot outdoor temperature
  • Lack of access to shade
  • Trapped in a hot unventilated space (such as a car)
  • Lack of access to water 

Signs of Heatstroke in Cats

Symptoms of heatstroke in cats includes:

  • Excessive panting
  • Restless behavior
  • Sweaty feet
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle tremors
  • Drooling
  • Excessive grooming
  • Uncoordinated movement
  • Loss of balance
  • Seizure
  • Unconsciousness

How to Treat Heatstroke in Cats

Heatstroke is a serious condition and symptoms should always be treated as an emergency! If your cat is displaying signs of heatstroke head to your vet straight away, or go to the nearest animal emergency hospital.

If your cat is conscious and you suspect that they may be suffering from heatstroke, move your cat into a cool room and wet your cat's fur with cool, not cold, water, then place ice packs gently on your cat's feet. 

While transporting your cat to the vet, keep the vehicle's air conditioning on full or open windows to allow airflow to help cool your cat down.

How Your Vet Will Treat Your Cat's Heatstroke

Your veterinarian will work to lower your cat's body temperature back to normal. This can be done with cool water and/or ice packs.

Your veterinarian may also administer intravenous fluids to help lower your cat's temperature, alleviate the effects of shock, and reduce the risk of organ damage. In certain cases, oxygen therapy may also be required.

The team at your veterinarian's office will monitor your cat's body temperature every few minutes until it returns to normal. Cats can recover quickly from heatstroke if it is detected early and treated immediately.

However, heatstroke is a serious health risk for cats. Before returning your cat home, your veterinarian will check for signs of organ damage and other serious complications. In some cases, organ damage may not be apparent for several days; therefore, if your cat has recently recovered from heatstroke, keep a close eye out for signs of illness.

Preventing Heatstroke in Cats

To keep your cat from suffering from heatstroke, always provide him with a cool, shady place to relax on hot days, make sure he has plenty of fresh, clean water to drink, and never leave your pet trapped in a vehicle or hot room.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet. 

Is your cat showing signs of heatstroke? Visit our Blountville vets to receive urgent veterinary care for your pet. Late nights, weekends, and holidays, our emergency veterinarians are here to help any time that your primary care veterinarian is unavailable.

New Patients Welcome

Airport Pet Emergency Clinic is open weekday evenings, overnight, weekends and holidays to provide your pet with urgent care when needed. Our experienced Blountville vets are passionate about caring for companion animals.

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Contact (423) 279-0574