How can I help call down my cat on hot days?

Here's a list of ways to keep your cat cool during the summer, including the signs and symptoms of overheating:

1. **Fresh, Cool Water**: Ensure your cat always has access to fresh, cool water. You can even add ice cubes to the water bowl to keep the water cooler for longer. Consider providing two bowls: one with ice cubes and one without, so your cat can choose what they prefer. Remember to frequently change the water and clean the bowls to maintain hygiene.

2. **Shady Spots**: Whether indoors or outdoors, make sure your cat has shady spots to rest. Indoors, you can block out the sun by closing blinds or curtains to cool down the room.

3. **Air Circulation**: Improve airflow with fans or air conditioning to keep the air cool and moving. Ensure your cat can't directly touch fans to avoid accidents.

4. **Cool Surfaces**: Cats may seek out cool surfaces when they're hot. Ceramic tiles or a damp towel can provide a nice, cool place for your cat to lie down.

5. **Grooming**: Regular grooming can remove excess hair, helping to prevent overheating. For long-haired cats, consider professional grooming and fur trimming during the summer.

6. **Wet Cloth**: Gently rub your cat with a cool, damp cloth, particularly around their head and neck. Be aware of your cat's preferences, as not all cats will appreciate this.

7. **Avoid Midday Heat**: Keep your cat indoors during the hottest parts of the day, usually between 11 am and 4 pm. If your cat likes being outdoors, try to encourage them to stay inside during this time.

8. **Hydrating Snacks**: Feed your cat wet food, which has a higher water content than dry kibble. You can also make DIY cat-friendly "popsicles" using low-sodium chicken broth or tuna water.

9. **Monitor for Signs of Overheating**: Know the signs of heatstroke in cats and monitor your cat for these symptoms:

- Excessive panting or difficulty breathing
- Increased heart and respiratory rate
- Drooling or salivating excessively
- Mild weakness or collapsing
- Seizures
- Increased body temperature
- Dark or bright red tongue and gums
- Unconsciousness

If you observe any of these symptoms in your cat, contact your vet immediately as it might be a sign of heatstroke, which can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.

Remember, each cat is different. What works for one may not work for another. Always monitor your cat's comfort level and preferences, and consult a veterinarian if you're worried about them in the heat.