Why your cat isn’t eating much in the hot weather
If you’re worrying that your cat isn’t eating as much in the heat – don’t.
Unless they’re showing signs that they’re unwell, there really isn’t anything to panic about. It turns out that most cats just tend to eat less in the summer, especially if it’s really hot. This is because cats do not need as much energy during the summer months as they do during the winter – when they need it to expend in the colder months trying to keep warm. Clare Hamilton, a practice owner and head vet at Cherry Tree Veterinary Practice, in Lane End, Buckinghamshire’, says during a heatwave like the one we’re having, you can expect to not see your cat as much. She tells Metro.co.uk: ‘It is obviously very warm outside so a cat will not need to burn off as many calories as they do in winter – when it is colder, they need calories to keep warm.
‘During summer it is normal for cats to spend long lengths of time outside as they are trying to find cool places to lay in the shade and are often out hunting – hence why you are probably finding that your cat isn’t coming in for food as often as normal. ‘Cats are very independent – you won’t be able to force your cat to eat something, they will eat if they want to. ‘You can try by putting something very delicious in front of them, but if that’s still not enough to tempt them, and you are concerned with their appetite, I suggest taking them to be weighed by their vet.’ Clare says there’s no need to worry as long as they’re not showing other indications that something isn’t right. If they’re unusually quiet and wanting to be alone, vomiting, or having diarrhoea after eating, then you should head to your vet immediately. Something else to look out for in this heat is your cat’s temperature.
Clare says: ‘One way to tell is by feeling the top of their ears, if they feel hot to you compared to normal, then your cat may have some form of temperature or fever. ‘Something that a lot of cat owners don’t know is that it is quite common for cats with white ears to develop skin cancer due to exposure to the sun. ‘You can buy pet-friendly suncreams to avoid the chances of this happening and to keep your cat’s ears and skin protected. ‘My advice is that if you are at any point concerned about your cat’s health, that you trust your instinct and take them to your local vet for a check up. You know your pet better than anyone.’ While your cat may not be eating as much, there are certain things you can do to make their eating experience a little better for them.
If you feed them dry food, it’s very important that it’s stored in a cool and dry place. The bag should be used as quickly as possible to remain fresh – if it’s stale, your cat is more likely to refuse it. Feeding wet food can be great for a cat’s hydration due to the water used in it – which is great for cats in the heat. Ultimately, just carry on feeding your cat how you would. If they eat it, they eat it, if they don’t, they don’t. It’s only a worry if they’re displaying any other signs of illness or if they’re lethargic. Be happy your cat is getting the chance to play outside and chase the birds and bees – it’ll be winter before you know it, and they’ll be devouring everything in sight.