Heat Stroke in Cats: Causes – Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Just like dogs, cats are also able to suffer from heat stroke. Heat stroke is a condition that your cats might experience because of the increase of their body temperature and inability to regulate it. Heat stroke in cats cannot be underestimated as it might be fatal to your cats.

Cats regulate their body temperature by panting or sweating through their foot pads. Cats that are left in an area that has poor ventilation or too much exposure to direct sunlight are prone to get heat stroke.

If you want to have an idea of cooling down your pet during outdoor walking, you can see these ways to keep your dog cool when in hot weather. They should be suitable for cats too.

As a cat owner, it is very important for you to have knowledge about heat stroke in cats. By knowing every single thing about heat stroke in cats, you will be able to save your cats the worst effect of heat stroke. So, let’s see all the important stuffs about heat stroke in cats, including the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention as well.

Causes of Heat Stroke in Cats

It is obvious that heat stroke in cats is caused by high temperature that the cats’ body cannot generate. However, there are some other factors causing heat stroke in cats. Here are the other factors:

  • lack of access of water
  • high temperature
  • unable to access shade and escape from direct sunlight
  • excessive anxiety
  • too much exercise
  • bad-ventilated environment

If you don’t want your cats suffer from heat stroke, then make sure none of these conditions happen. Besides, senior cats, flat-faced cats, and kittens are more prone to have heat stroke. Cats with serious or chronic disease are also more likely to get affected too.

Symptoms of Heat Stroke in Cats

How do you know that your cats get heat stroke? The symptoms of heat stroke are increasing once the condition is getting more severe. There are some behavioral symptoms your cat will show as its attempt to regulate its body temperature. The symptoms also indicate that its organs start shutting down and the nervous system has become impaired.

Early Symptoms of Heatstroke

  • Panting/drooling (with sticky saliva) – also see the other reasons why your cat is drooling
  • High body temperature (around 103-104 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Restlessness/anxiety
  • Excessive grooming as the way to cool down
  • Sweating from feet (cats sweat through glands located in their paws)


  • Higher body temperature (around 104-105 degrees Fahrenheit or higher)
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid pulse
  • Rapid breathing
  • Reddened tongue
  • Dizziness
  • Lethargy/weakness
  • Tremors on muscles
  • Seizures
  • Collapse/coma

What Should You do Once Your Cat Gets Heat Stroke?

There are some things you can do to treat your cats once you notice some of the symptoms. These things will help you to prevent worse condition to happen before bringing your cat to the vet.

If you suspect any signs of heat stroke in your cat and it still conscious, you can move your cat immediately to the cool environment. Give your cat access to water, too.

However, never force your cat to drink water as it might lead to choking. While you are doing this, you can consult with the vet as soon as possible.

If your cat is unconscious, try to place a cool-but-not-too-cold water to your cat’s body and apply ice packs wrapped with towel between your cat’s legs. Then, bring your cat to the vet immediately.

There are some things you shouldn’t do for treating heat stroke in cats. Do not ever force your cat to drink or even pour water into its mouth. It will lead to choking and its condition might be worse.

Besides, if you need to use water to cool your cat’s body, do not use the ice or extremely cold water. If you need to use ice packs, try to wrap the ice packs with towel or cloth before applying them to your cat’s body. And finally, never ever submerge your cat in water. Your cat might find it difficult to breathe and it might lead to more fatal situation.

See the other common diseases of cat you should be aware of other than heat stroke.

How to Prevent My Cats from Getting Heat Stroke (again)?

I am sure you never want to see your cats getting heat stroke again in the future, do you? Well, don’t worry, there are some ways you can do to prevent your cats from getting heat stroke. As an owner, this is a very important notice as heat stroke cannot be underestimated. It might lead to death in a very short time.

Here are the things you can do to prevent heat stroke in cats:

  • Staying hydrated – You have to ensure that your cat gets easy access to fresh water sources both inside and outside the house. So, whenever it needs to drink, your cat is able to get the water easily. Providing wet food is another great way to get your cat stay hydrated as it is rich in water content. Never let your cats get dehydrated. If you experience it, you can see causes and treatment of dehydration in cats.
  • Gentle exercise – It’s fun to have exercise outdoors. However, during hot weather, don’t force your cat to have a lot of exercises outdoors. Just play gentle so that you can prevent it from being overheated. You can play during the cooler periods of the day, such as the early morning or evening. It has lots of benefits of walking your cats outside, but you still need to pay attention to the intensity of your walking. Make sure your cat won’t get too tired.
  • Shade access – If your cat likes to stay outdoors, make sure your garden has lots of place of shade. You can plant some broad leafed plants, put some large pots, trees and parasols too.