Hot Weather and Outdoor Kitty

homoki2002

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There is a big white kitty that we think has a home stays around our house a lot. We feed him and give him loves. He's a pretty loving guy but skittish. We think he has a home but aren't sure. We don't let him in our house as we have a 2 yr old little girl and don't know if he has anything our girl might catch or germs from other cats. (Shes an indoor kitty) He has lots of shady bushes to lay under and stays in the shade on our patio. We keep water and dry food out there for him. I've also been wiping his fur down with a wet wash cloth and just stroking water on his fur.

With the heat in the 100s for a few days I was thinking of bringing him in and putting him in the bathroom with a litter box and food and water just for a few hours during hottest part of the day. Am not sure this would make things better or scare him too much. Giving him some time in the house then when weather cools off not letting him in seems cruel.

Any ideas?
 

shadowsrescue

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You could also try to take him to a vet or humane society to see if he is chipped. If he is around your house all day/night I doubt he/she has a home. I would get him to the vet to be sure the cat is spayed/neutered, check for FELV and FIV and get vaccines and then bring him inside. He would need to be quarantined for a bit and slowly introduced to your girl. It sounds like he has picked you and your home for his new home!

Thank you for helping this sweet one.
 

kittychick

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The heat is definitely on a lot of our minds on this forum - - it’s SO hot (and for big stretches at a time, making the heat even more dangerous for people AND animals). It’s wonderful to hear you want to help him be as comfortable as possible!

I do second what shadowsrescue shadowsrescue said (that was echoed by Furballsmom Furballsmom ): if he has a home, the people who might be his family don’t seem to be overly concerned (as opposed to you - - since it seems that you care quite a bit for him, a feeling that it seems he’s happy to reciprocate!). Do you know the people that you think he “belongs to?” If so - are they the kind of people who’d be happy to see him somewhere where he’s safer, loved and less likely to get heat stroke? It sounds like he’d be happy to come in - and you’re 100% right to want to keep your resident indoor kitty safe and not exposed to FeLV, etc. If at all possible, it seems like the absolute best thing you could do for him (and for you - since it would ease your mind knowing he’s safe and comfortable!) is to bring him in permanently. If that’s at all possible - I’d get him looked over by your vet, tested, flea treated and likely dewormed, vaccinated and neutered - and then bring him in (doing a slow intro with your resident fur baby - - lots of us can offer advice on that if you go that direction!).

If you just can’t bring him inside permanently - you could go the bathroom route on hot days (you’d definitely need to be very careful not to expose him to your current inside kitty) - but it sounds like he’s likely really going to want to be with you as he obviously enjoys his time with you (and it’s SO sweet you’re being so kind and concerned about his wellbeing). So he may not technically be upset in a bathroom - I think any frustration for him will be that he’ll really want to be with you. :catlove:

If you just can’t bring him in — or until you can — there are a few things that will help keep him at least a bit cooler (several of which have already been suggested!). I know bc we have several TNR’d ferals that we try desperately to get inside, but in ”non-wintery days” it’s basically impossible to get them to come inside and stay. So for months I researched options for keeping them as cool as possible.

We tried one of those ‘cooling pads’ - - but all were terrified of stepping on it (I actually laid on it to see if it was even cool - nope - just felt like an under-inflated slip and slide!). Obviously a BIG part in getting him through this heat is keeping him as hydrated as possible. We also make sure they have water in multiple areas - set in the shade, with ice cubes in SOME of the water (I learned the hard way that some cats are terrified by the cubes and won’t go near water with cubes). So every place we put cubes in a bowl we also put an “un-cubed” water bowl next to it. We also lightly rake the dirt under several large bushes they love to sleep under - which makes it easier for them to dig down a bit to cooler earth. In the AM we VERY lightly hose off areas on our driveway they like to lounge on, making it a bit cooler then normal for a bit (altho not all kitties will lay on anything that’s damp) If he’ll let you, you can put slightly damp paper towels in the fridge (we keep a baggie full of them in our fridge) and then gently hold them on the pads (toe beans) on his feet.

Please do keep us posted on what you decide to try and how he’s doing!
 
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homoki2002

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shadowsrescue shadowsrescue perfectly verbalized what I was thinking, especially regarding bringing him inside fulltime :) :heartshape: .

What did you decide to do?
Haven't been brave enough to pursue bringing him in but still trying to keep him cool. Keeping stroking water on his fur. He is eating good. Drinking I don't know. But is managing. We only have one more day prediccted of especially high heat and I'm checking on him all the time to see if he's having any physical difficulty. So far so good.
 
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homoki2002

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The heat is definitely on a lot of our minds on this forum - - it’s SO hot (and for big stretches at a time, making the heat even more dangerous for people AND animals). It’s wonderful to hear you want to help him be as comfortable as possible!

I do second what shadowsrescue shadowsrescue said (that was echoed by Furballsmom Furballsmom ): if he has a home, the people who might be his family don’t seem to be overly concerned (as opposed to you - - since it seems that you care quite a bit for him, a feeling that it seems he’s happy to reciprocate!). Do you know the people that you think he “belongs to?” If so - are they the kind of people who’d be happy to see him somewhere where he’s safer, loved and less likely to get heat stroke? It sounds like he’d be happy to come in - and you’re 100% right to want to keep your resident indoor kitty safe and not exposed to FeLV, etc. If at all possible, it seems like the absolute best thing you could do for him (and for you - since it would ease your mind knowing he’s safe and comfortable!) is to bring him in permanently. If that’s at all possible - I’d get him looked over by your vet, tested, flea treated and likely dewormed, vaccinated and neutered - and then bring him in (doing a slow intro with your resident fur baby - - lots of us can offer advice on that if you go that direction!).

If you just can’t bring him inside permanently - you could go the bathroom route on hot days (you’d definitely need to be very careful not to expose him to your current inside kitty) - but it sounds like he’s likely really going to want to be with you as he obviously enjoys his time with you (and it’s SO sweet you’re being so kind and concerned about his wellbeing). So he may not technically be upset in a bathroom - I think any frustration for him will be that he’ll really want to be with you. :catlove:

If you just can’t bring him in — or until you can — there are a few things that will help keep him at least a bit cooler (several of which have already been suggested!). I know bc we have several TNR’d ferals that we try desperately to get inside, but in ”non-wintery days” it’s basically impossible to get them to come inside and stay. So for months I researched options for keeping them as cool as possible.

We tried one of those ‘cooling pads’ - - but all were terrified of stepping on it (I actually laid on it to see if it was even cool - nope - just felt like an under-inflated slip and slide!). Obviously a BIG part in getting him through this heat is keeping him as hydrated as possible. We also make sure they have water in multiple areas - set in the shade, with ice cubes in SOME of the water (I learned the hard way that some cats are terrified by the cubes and won’t go near water with cubes). So every place we put cubes in a bowl we also put an “un-cubed” water bowl next to it. We also lightly rake the dirt under several large bushes they love to sleep under - which makes it easier for them to dig down a bit to cooler earth. In the AM we VERY lightly hose off areas on our driveway they like to lounge on, making it a bit cooler then normal for a bit (altho not all kitties will lay on anything that’s damp) If he’ll let you, you can put slightly damp paper towels in the fridge (we keep a baggie full of them in our fridge) and then gently hold them on the pads (toe beans) on his feet.

Please do keep us posted on what you decide to try and how he’s doing!
Thank you for the wonderful suggestions. Am not comfortable with trying to get him to vet or letting him in the house yet. Tried a cooling pad we had. He wouldn't touch it. Have been putting ice in water but will put out one iced and one non iced. Tried the cold paper towel on his feet. He wouldn't have any of that :( Am going to rake up the dirt under the one shrub that he tends to go under the most. Am wiping him down with cool water every hour or so and keeping a constant watch on him. If I see any physical distress I'm taking him to local animal shelter or if it's closed to an emergency vet. I go out and sit with him for an hour or so in early evening. It's too hot to lap cuddle but i think he likes having someone out there with him. Will keep posted. Thanks so much for your info.
 

kittychick

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So glad our thoughts are helping you feel more ok with what you're doing. That's a big part of it - doing as much as you can - but still trying to stay sane. Which it sounds like you're doing.

Yeah - the paw/paper towel thing works with 2 of our 3 TNR'd guys - the 3rd guy looks at me like "step back with that d*mn damp towel or I'm outta here!" And the ice cube suggestion - I've cared for kitties for years, and I didn't figure out the ice cubes turned some of them completely off the water (which is obviously the LAST thing we want to happen!). But giving them the option of "cube or cube-free" made a big difference - hope that works for you! You might consider VERY lightly dampening the dirt where you rake (leave some un-dampened in case it freaks him though). We have so many places set up that are comfy & shaded - and they still go to the raked dirt spots under the bushes!

You're being a great kitty parent - - and doing so much, so promise not to beat yourself up if something doesn't work. And I think Furballsmom Furballsmom is right - - he's loving the company more than anything! (a good sign if you ever do try to bring him in!

Still keep us posted - - definitely lots of hot days to go across the country!
 
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homoki2002

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So glad our thoughts are helping you feel more ok with what you're doing. That's a big part of it - doing as much as you can - but still trying to stay sane. Which it sounds like you're doing.

Yeah - the paw/paper towel thing works with 2 of our 3 TNR'd guys - the 3rd guy looks at me like "step back with that d*mn damp towel or I'm outta here!" And the ice cube suggestion - I've cared for kitties for years, and I didn't figure out the ice cubes turned some of them completely off the water (which is obviously the LAST thing we want to happen!). But giving them the option of "cube or cube-free" made a big difference - hope that works for you! You might consider VERY lightly dampening the dirt where you rake (leave some un-dampened in case it freaks him though). We have so many places set up that are comfy & shaded - and they still go to the raked dirt spots under the bushes!

You're being a great kitty parent - - and doing so much, so promise not to beat yourself up if something doesn't work. And I think Furballsmom Furballsmom is right - - he's loving the company more than anything! (a good sign if you ever do try to bring him in!

Still keep us posted - - definitely lots of hot days to go across the country!
Update of warm white kitty. Thanks to all the suggestions and support the white kitty made it ok through the worst of our 100 degree plus weather. Whew. I worry about the outdoor guys in extreme weather. Thankfully they're not predicting any more 100 plus (though you never know) but he's doing great. I did rake under the shrub he likes and he seemed to like that. The support from you folks means so much. I'll keep doing like im doing then we'll get into cool/cold weather and I'll get out the blankets :)
 

kittychick

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I’m glad we’re helping you feel better! And glad the raking help And if you run into any other idea that works for your guy — definitely post it!!! I had to watch our 3 outside TNR guys look SO hot yesterday —- but still refuse to utilize any of the stuff we usually do (that I wrote about in the thread).

Altho did get one of ours (all 3 were huddled on our top back step - a usual sign in bad/winter weather they want to come inside) to scamper inside into the AC, thinking he’d get how much cooler & better he’d feel inside. Cut to 6 minutes later — he was literally clawing his way up our door yowling to go back into the 96 degree heat!!!

So know it happens to the best & most experienced cat/TNR/etc of us! (Not that I’m saying I’m the best! 😂)And definitely post any tips YOU come up with!!!!!
 
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