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It is most unlikely to see a cat sweat, however when you see such an incident occurring it might be an issue of concern as such perspiration in cats might be indicative of hypothermia or a heat stroke. It is understood that cats have sweat glands which although are covered by their fur help their skin in cooling the body by its sweat. In fact, a cat's paw pad has the largest number of sweat glands. Many a time during the summers you might have witnessed paw stamps on the floor left by your cats, cats lick themselves to regulate their body temperature, they are known to "beat the heat" by resting and avoiding exerting themselves.
Panting is another way that cats can cool themselves down. The
functioning takes place by allowing heat from the hottest part of the body or
the inner thorax, to escape through moisture created by mucous membranes of the
tongue, mouth, and throat.
Although it is the most efficient way of cooling, panting is not a
common occurrence in cats like it is in dogs. A cat exhales the moist air
resulting in the process of evaporation cooling down the cat. Only extremely
heat-stressed cats will pant, so if your cat is panting, you need to be concerned
that she is too hot. Help your cat to cool herself by wetting her fur
with cool water, providing cool water to drink, and moving her to a cooler
area. You can learn more here: "Heat Stroke and Hypothermia."
When there is an increase in outside temperature, a cat gets
excited or stressed or has been recently active, the body gets a signal from
the brain to send out the excess body heat. This is achieved by the cat
sweating as well as stretching out the body or even drinking cool water, which
are primary ways for cats to cool down. As a matter of fact, the body
temperature of a cat is controlled by the brain.
Symptoms of fever or just heat
consistently over 102.8° F is cause for concern in cats. Signs of fever include
reluctance to move, increased frequency of breathing, depression, anorexia, and
lethargy or listlessness. Hyperthermia is an increase in body temperature. This
may occur because of increased outside temperatures or excitement or exercise,
or other causes. It is sort of a false fever. If one is unsure whether the cat
actually has a fever, have it take rest for 20 minutes, then check its
temperature again. If the cat is normal other than panting and having an
increased temperature, chances are it is hyperthermia and not a real fever.
Reasons behind Increase in a Heat Stroke Risk in Cats
- Being overweight
- Being young
- Being elderly
- Heart or lung disease
- Any sickness, even a cold
If your cat seems to be
overheated or is not acting normal, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Continued panting after cooling measures have been performed is abnormal. Heat
stroke is possible in cats and can be lethal. It might lead to multiple organ
failure. Applying cool water to the groin of a heated cat and its armpits and
front of the neck will cool it. The vet needs to be informed at that moment and
without wasting much time the cat should be rushed to the pet care infirmary.