Saturday, July 8, 2017

It's Hot Outside But Keep the Cats Cool

So of course, it's summer and it's been hot. Not too humid thank goodness but our cats are living in the literal shadows of the house and in the basement where it is cooler (we lack central AC.) We are running fans, closing blinds, and running our portable AC units (they exhaust outside through a window without having to remove the window screen and they remove some humidity.) Remember, keep your HCM cat cool but not too cold, and run dehumidifiers to decrease heat and humidity (our house gets humid and sticky in areas not cooled or cooled enough by the portable AC units.) Any humidity makes breathing difficult for HCM cats and can lead to congestion (either through the dampness of humidity or the stress of breathing.) Keep cats out of windows-either because of sun or humidity-even at night when it's humid. Get portable temperature and humidity readers that run on batteries and can be found for under $15.00 (similar to the one linked here-but I'm not recommending this one or this site specifically.) You can place them in windows or rooms to tell you what is the temperature or humidity level and keep your cats out of that area as needed. I recommend running AC at 70-72. Any colder, and HCM cats can still be stressed and congestion may occur.
Remember to count the breathing of your cat to determine if they are having congestion (CHF) and need extra lasix or need a trip to the ER vet: one up and down chest movement at rest is one count. How many of those in 15 seconds? (Times by four to get a minute count.) 6/15 is normal. 8-10/15 may be signs of congestion. Count, wait 2-3 min. and count again. If the cat appears stressed, and after five minutes, has not improved (unless the cat is running or watching birds) then give an extra 5mg of lasix. If the cat has not improved in 15-20 min. or appears to get worse, take the cat to the vet. This applies to all times and all situations, not just summer.

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