How can I help my cats keep cool during the summer?

CatChannel?s professional cat sitter gives tips for beating the summer heat.

Q: How can I help my cats keep cool during the summer?

A: I get asked that question often. Yes, there are ways you can help your cats beat the heat. First, have plenty of fresh water available, and change it every day. Don’t forget to give the bowl a quick wash — you would be surprised at what can accumulate in there.

For fun, try putting some ice cubes in the bowl. Not only does it keep the water cool, but the cubes can double as toys before they melt. Also, I always recommend that water bowls be bigger than food bowls. During my house calls, I am often surprised to see giant food bowls and tiny water bowls. As I always tell my clients, the reverse is best for your cats, particularly in the summer.

If you want to leave on the air conditioning for your cat when you are not there, I suggest a low setting because cats do not like a chilly room. They don’t like hazy, hot and humid either, so remember to keep window shades low in the blazing sun — just enough for your cat to see out the window. If you don’t use air conditioning, open the windows, but only if they have secure screens. As I always say, cats do not come equipped with parachutes.

Brushing your cat is wonderful anytime of year and a bonding experience you both can enjoy. Since cats shed more in the summer, make sure you brush your cat more often. Once in a while, try a gentle misting with a plant mister. Your cat will like the sensation and look forward to a cool treat.

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