Cats can develop hypothermia or a severe drop in temperature for a variety of reasons, and it is important to know what to do if this happens.
Before we learn how hypothermia affects cats and what you should do if you find yourself in this situation, as well as how animals react and other aspects related to this complication for their health, let’s look at what this medical emergency consists of . And hypothermia in cats This is a rather serious and important problem., but this is easy to foresee. Below is all the information about hypothermia in cats:
What is hypothermia?
This is a medical emergency that occurs when the body uses heat faster than required to produce it. This causes a dangerous drop in body temperature, which is usually around 98.6°F (37°C). However, hypothermia is when your body temperature drops below 95°F (35°C).
As a result of this decrease in body temperature, the nervous system, heart and other organs cannot function normally. And if this health complication is left untreated, it can cause the heart and respiratory system to stop functioning over time and ultimately cause death.
One possible cause of hypothermia is immersion in cold water or exposure to cold temperatures. However, there are special treatments for this, such as methods of warming the body so that it can return to normal temperature.
Hypothermia in cats
The normal body temperature of healthy adult cats should be between 38 and 39°C. If we see that the temperature is below 36 degrees, then we should worry., because our cat will have tremors and other symptoms of hypothermia. Exposure to wind, cold, snow and rain is a factor that can seriously threaten the health of our pet.
However, hypothermia in these animals can not only be a consequence of prolonged exposure to too low temperatures or severe weather conditions, and even worse when the cat is wet, but can also arise for other reasons. And if your cat is suffering from other illnesses, such as infections, shock, or malnutrition, these changes in the immune system may also cause her to develop hypothermia.
In fact, your cat may experience hypothermia as a reaction to anesthesia or sedation if she has undergone surgery, as this is one of the main concerns. Additionally, hypothyroidism can make it difficult for these animals to naturally regulate body temperature and make them more vulnerable.
You need to be very careful with kittens as their immune systems are still developing and they cannot regulate their body temperature on their own. For this reason, Try not to expose the animal to unfavorable conditions if it is still a baby. nor low temperatures.
Symptoms of hypothermia
If you think your cat is suffering from hypothermia, you should pay close attention to its behavior and possible accompanying symptoms. It is normal that if your pet has been exposed to cold temperatures for a long time, he will appear lethargic, weak, have chills and tremors, and have difficulty breathing normally.
Additionally, your mood will be similar to that of depression, you will become isolated, have no appetite, and feel disoriented all the time. You may also experience muscle stiffness, collapse, and lack of energy.
Other symptoms that will alert you that your cat is hypothermic are staring and dilated pupils or a decreased heart rate. If you see any of the above happening to your cat, do not hesitate to act as we will now explain, because otherwise it may even fall into a coma, die from the cold or cause irreversible damage to its health.
How to deal with hypothermia in cats
First of all, you should know that if you are faced with a case of hypothermia in your animal, the first thing you should do is call your veterinarian or specialist and ask what and what steps to take, that is: You should always act according to the instructions of an expert..
If it is true that your cat has hypothermia, the first thing you should do is warm her up immediately. Our goal will be gradually increase the animal’s temperaturesince it is not at all advisable to directly set a very high temperature, since such a sudden change can damage its tissue.
Take a blanket, wrap your cat and hold her in your arms to transfer your warmth, which will also give her security and confidence. If the animal gets wet, it is best to bathe it and place it in water, which is always slightly warmer than its body. Important, that don’t put your head in the water because he will not be able to move normally and may drown.
Remember not to rub the animal’s body, bathe it in very hot water, pour warm water directly on it, or cover it with thermal blankets. All of these can burn your cat’s skin. Therefore, after bathing for half an hour to twenty minutes in water slightly warmer than his body temperature, you can carefully and carefully remove him from the water and dry him. The next step would be cover it with a hot dry towel.
If your cat isn’t wet but is already showing some symptoms, such as lack of appetite, tremors, or lethargy, don’t hesitate to provide her with an external source of heat. One option is to place the animal in a carrier or cardboard box filled with bottles filled with warm, but not very hot, water.
Once your cat’s condition has stabilized, contact your veterinarian to have her checked out as she will require medical attention. If your pet is in serious condition, you may even need to use enemas, electrolytes, and even oxygen therapy.
It is most normal that in a serious case, the veterinarian will use internal or intravenous fluid therapy, which is the administration of parenteral (any route other than oral) fluids to maintain and/or restore the balance of internal fluids. .
Other options for helping your cat with hypothermia
In addition to what was said above, there are other options for helping your cat. One of them is to balance your glucose levels. And in the body of any mammal there are certain mechanisms that allow one to temporarily compensate for a decrease in body temperature, thus avoiding radical effects on one’s body. Thus, the body burns its energy reserves to try to maintain a stable core temperature.
As a result, the cat quickly develops hypoglycemia, or in other words, a drop in blood sugar levels, which can lead to a severe state of lethargy and ultimately coma. Therefore, to prevent this degenerative process from occurring, you can give your cat a teaspoon of honey in case of hypothermia to quickly stabilize glucose levels.
On the other hand, you can also pay attention to whether your animal has suffered from frostbite due to hypothermia. Well, it is not at all strange that burns or wounds typical of frostbite were sustained. Examine his entire body, especially the parts where he has less fur, such as his tail, anus, paws and ears. If you see red areas or lesions, don’t hesitate to let your veterinarian know.
How to prevent hypothermia in cats
The most important thing is keep body temperature stable your cat as the coldest time of the year approaches. In this way, we will protect your health from unnecessary damage. Therefore, it is possible to prevent hypothermia, and this is necessary and recommended.
- Prepare your home : Make your home a warm place in winter and cold temperatures. You must ensure that your pets have complete well-being, and for this there is nothing better than heating. Always try to keep the temperature between 24-26°C to achieve the ideal room temperature.
- Measures your body temperature : This should be done every day in winter as a preventative measure if your cat goes outside. And thanks to this, you can effectively see if your pet’s body temperature is actually dropping and he is at risk of hypothermia.
- Key Accessories : Not only do you need to get your house properly organized, but you also need to buy your cat everything she needs for her complete well-being during the coldest months. By this we mean that every pet should have a bed or nest, as well as a warm and cozy blanket. If you want to take it a step further, you can also dress him in a special cat coat to keep him warm. All this is even more important if your cat does not yet have fur.