Flat faced cats and heatstroke: 4 things to consider

A furry Persian cat looking at a cotton ball

Summer can be a harsh time for your pets. Both dogs and cats can suffer heat-related illness especially, exhaustion or heat stroke.

If normal felines are vulnerable to heat distress, how about the breeds that require special attention? Yes, we are talking about brachycephalic of flat-faced cat species.

Flat faced cats like Persian cats, Himalayan cats; as the name indicates suffer from breathing issues. Taking care of your brachycephalic feline during summer can be an overwhelming task.

This is where foreseeing the different possibilities and acting smart can pay off. As a responsible pet parent, the following tips will assist you in taking care of your flat-faced feline.

Understand the difference

Short-nosed cats are known to have a smashed-in face together with a short or small nasal pipe. As a result, these cats often find it difficult to breathe even with a slight change in body or atmospheric temperature.

This is why you see brachycephalic pets like pugs, bulldogs or Persian cats panting excessively after an active workout session.

How to tell your cat is suffering from heatstroke

Cats are not active water drinkers. Most cat breeds keep the water intake minimal; this can make them easily vulnerable to heatstroke, especially in summer.

A quick diagnosis can be key to efficient recovery, keep an eye out for the following heatstroke symptoms in your feline:

  • Lethargy
  • Excessive drooling and panting
  • Abnormally reddish tongue and gums
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Minimal urine production
  • Vomiting or diarrhea with the possibility of blood stains

Preventive measures

As the anatomical head deformity in flat faced cats gives way to a cramped arrangement of the facial features, it is essential to ensure cleanliness.

Summertime can be dry and dusty, add the concern of a small nasal chamber together with this, things can escalate in no time. Follow these preventive measures to protect your feline from harsh summer conditions.

  • Clean your cat’s nose on a daily basis. You can use unscented wet wipes to do this and to keep the concern of any infections at bay.
  • Make sure that the dwelling area of your pet within the home is cool and well ventilated.
  • Avoid taking your feline out during the daytime, especially noon. If you take her out, do not leave your cat locked in the car.
  • Ensure that your flat faced cat has access to plenty of fresh and cool water.
  • Avoid or minimize exercising your pet during the day.

First Aid

If you suspect that your cat is suffering from heatstroke, follow these emergency first aid tips:

  • If she is outdoors, bring her under the shade or a cool spot immediately.
  • Do not take her under a shower, instead, spray cool water on her fur and expose her to a fan to gradually bring the temperature down.
  • Ensure not to use ice cold water to bring the temperature down as it can cause additional health concerns.
  • Take your flat faced cat to the nearest veterinary clinic, the veterinarian can provide supplemental oxygen and medications after diagnosis to bring the concern under control.

Be proactive this summer and follow all these tips to ensure that your flat-faced feline stays safe and healthy. What are the strategies or tips that you follow to keep your flat-faced feline safe during summer? Let us know.