By Fatema Siamwala*
We all feel the heat in summer due to which we tend to eat less and prefer drinking more liquid during this period. Similarly, our felines feel hot too leading to loss of appetite. And if this gets you worried, then don’t. Just make sure that your cat is getting enough nutrition and is hydrated. The reason behind less food intake is because cats need less energy and calories to keep themselves warm during summer as compared to winter season.
Cats have a tendency to give us signs when they start to feel the summer heat so pay attention to it. You will notice your cat is now taking longer naps, may not be eating as much that results in weight loss, resting in cooler place (for e.g., on the floor or in shade). It is considered to be normal if you do notice these signs in your cat during summer. However, as a cat parent you must make certain changes in your cat’s diet so that their nutritional requirement is met.
A well balanced diet is the most important element for maintaining your cat’s good health. Every cat needs a certain amount of energy to keep up to their daily activities and this energy comes from their diet which consists of high amount of protein, moderate amount of fat, and a minimal amount of carbohydrates.
Since cats lose appetite in summer, you need to ensure whatever amount of food they eat, it still has all the nutrition they require i.e. proteins, vitamins, minerals, fats, amino acids, and carbohydrates. Most of the reputed commercial cat food companies incorporate the required nutrition in their packaged food (read the key ingredients before buying). When feeding dry food, it is important to check if it is still fresh and not stale because your cat is more likely to refuse eating stale food. So store their food in cool and dry place.
All cat parents are aware that it is essential to keep their cat hydrated at all times especially during summer. However, we do face the challenge when cats ignore their water bowls. To overcome this situation, there are certain things you can follow to make your cat’s hydration level a little better. Try these remedies:
- Consider feeding your cat plenty of wet food as it contains higher protein, nutrition, and moisture. Wet food is highly palatable and appetizing for cats and they seem to enjoy eating it too. There is a wide variety of flavours available in the market such as Chicken, Salmon, Tuna, Shrimp, and so on, which infuse a close resemblance to your cat’s natural eating instinct ‘JUICY MEAT’. This way, you’ll not have to worry about their nutrition and hydration.
- Ensure your cat always has access to fresh and clean water. Place their water bowls at different spots throughout your house; avoid keeping it near their food bowl and their litter box.
- Place a separate bowl filled with ice cubes. My cats thoroughly enjoy licking ice cubes during summer: I usually place the ice cube filled bowl after their long naps. This way I know they are keeping themselves hydrated. You could give it a try too!
Remember to keep your cat hydrated during summer
There may be instances when your cat may refuse to eat this season, do not panic and never force them to eat because they will only eat when they want to. Cats know best when it comes to their body requirement, all you can do is place wet food in their bowl, a little bit of dry food, and plenty of fresh water. If you notice any other signs along with this, then go with your instinct and take them to your vet for a check-up.
* The author is Fatema Siamwala, popularly known as ‘Fats & Cats’ amongst her friends
For over 30 years, she has had cats as pets (Pedigree and Non-Pedigree) and so she likes sharing her knowledge and experience about cats with all the cat parents.