Warning Signs of Heat Stroke in Cats

Many of us look forward to summer and all the fun activities it offers, such as swimming, grilling, and camping. Kitties certainly enjoy napping in sunbeams, but summer’s heat can be very dangerous for our feline friends. Cats don’t have many options when it comes to cooling themselves off. They can only sweat through their paw pads, and panting isn’t as effective for them as it is for dogs. Heat exhaustion, and eventually heat stroke, will occur if a cat is exposed to high temperatures and is unable to cool off. As a responsible pet owner, you’ll want to know some of the warning signs to look out for.

Here are some of the signs of heat stroke in cats:


Cats that are trying to cool off may move from spot to spot, trying to find a comfortable area to lay down in. If Fluffy seems unusually restless, she could be overheating.


Kitties don’t often pant, so if you notice your furball doing this, she may be too hot.

Sweaty Paws

Sweaty paws are another symptom of heat stroke. Fluffy doesn’t normally sweat, and when she does, she will only sweat through her paws.

Excessive Grooming

Another thing Fluffy may do if she’s too hot is to lick herself to try and cool off.

Elevated Pulse

If your kitty’s pulse seems rapid or erratic, contact your vet immediately. This is another red flag that your kitty could have heat stroke.

Other Symptoms

These are just a few symptoms of heat stroke in cats. Rapid breathing, lethargy, red gums, vomiting, dizziness, and staggering are also red flags. Some kitties may vocalize their distress. The better you know your cat, the better you’ll be able to spot unusual behavior or signs of trouble!

What To Do

A cat with heat exhaustion or heat stroke needs emergency veterinary attention, but first you’ll need to call your vet for specific instructions on how to bring her temperature down so that it’s safe to travel. One option is to bring Fluffy to a cool area and point a fan at her. Give her plenty of water. You can also soak her in cool water, or wrap her in a wet towel. Be careful not to get water in her nose or mouth!

Please contact us, your local animal clinic in Easley, SC for all your pet care needs. We are here to help!

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