My Ragdoll cat has long hair that I brush every day. I would just like to know if I should keep his hair the way it is or have him shaved for the summer, which keeps him cooler. I don’t want him to be hot. – Sandy Sternberg
Find the sunniest spot in any cat owner’s home and chances are good that you’ll find a pet in it. Cats love the sun and the warmth that goes with it. That is until temperatures rise and they start feeling the heat a little too much. You’re wise to be concerned about your Ragdoll in summer. Cats, especially extra-fluffy ones, can overheat. Here are some strategies to keep him cool:
• Maintain your cats brushing routines to help cats shed their coats (and decrease hairballs).
• Keep cats’ water bowls full.
• Clear a cool spot for cats at home. If carpet covers most of your home, watch your step while prepping meals in the kitchen or climbing out of the shower. Tile and linoleum become more popular than sunbeams for napping spots when it’s hot. Consider purchasing a pressure-activated cooling pad. They’re often advertised for dogs, but cats like them, too.
• Minimize the indoor temperature with air-conditioning or fans. Keeping windows and blinds/curtains closed on particularly hot days can also help cats stay cool.
• Know the signs of heat distress in cats: panting, vomiting, sweaty paw pads and fatigue that goes beyond usual cat laziness. See the vet immediately if you suspect your cat has heat distress.
• Make an appointment for your cat’s haircut. For example, a Ragdoll cat sporting a pompom on the end of his tail, a svelte body and a ruff around his neck is darn cute, not to mention Instagram and YouTube ready. (Get the #CatWars app for your phone and his adorable photo can win you prizes.) For a less dramatic look, you can just go for an all-over trim or a belly shave.