With communities around the world facing record-breaking temperature highs and extreme summer weather warnings, Alley Cat Allies wants to make sure you have the information you need to keep your cats cool and safe. Find our information on keeping community cats cool outdoors here.
Using too much power during a heat wave taxes the power grid and risks brownouts. However, we need to balance this reality with the wellbeing of cats who live indoors with us.
Cats can tolerate higher temperatures than most people, but their safety is paramount. The ideal indoor temperature for a cat, especially senior cats, is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. So please, if a cat lives inside your home with you, don’t turn thermostats much higher than 75.
Instead, we have some ideas to help you save money on power and keep your home cool for your cats:
1. Close blinds and drapes during sunlight hours
Though cats love a good sunbeam, closing the curtains (especially if they have reflective backings), blinds, or shutters on your windows during the day is one of the best ways to reduce the temperature inside your home. It’s simple, yet can decrease heat gain by over 70%! There are also window treatments that partially or completely block the sun’s UV rays to keep your home cool and save on energy.
2. Try not to open the door
Though it’s tempting to throw open doors and windows to let heat out, doing so at peak daylight will only let even more heat in—and tax your air conditioning system to reach a comfortable temperature again. As much as possible, keep your doors shut while the sun is out.
3. Turn off lights and electric devices when not in use
Challenge yourself to flip the light off every time you leave a room. Old-fashioned incandescent lights lose about 90% of their energy to heat, only converting 10% of it to light. Also turn off any electronic devices you’re not using. In fact, if you can do so, turn off the lights in the rooms you’re using, too! You don’t have to have cats’ excellent vision in low light to do everyday activities in the daytime.
4. Seal and insulate properly
Adding the right seals on doors and windows and insulating your house properly means saving a lot of energy and money from now on. Research rates for insulating your attic or other appropriate areas of your home. Placing weather seals on your doors and windows is a job you can probably do at home, though it may go slowly if your cat tries to “help”!
5. Don’t run dryers or ovens during peak temperature hours
If you’ve got a load of laundry to do or want to bake a loaf of bread, wait until the evening if you can—even if it means your cat has to postpone the pleasures of freshly dried blankets. There’s nothing that heats up a house like a dryer cycle or an hour of oven time.
6. Give cats the right water and food
Providing your animals with plenty of water during a heatwave is critical. To add a cooling edge, consider adding ice cubes or freezing a second bowl of water to thaw over time. To help cats stay hydrated, consider feeding them wet food over dry food.
7. Get cat cooling pads
You can find cooling pads on any online or brick and mortar pet shop! Place them in the areas your cats like to nap or even in their favorite cat beds. If they’re skeptical, cover the pad with a sheet or blanket or slide it into the liner of the cat bed.