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{by Allison Vorstenbosch} They may be called the dog days of summer but our feline friends suffer just as much in the heat. Wearing fur coats in 30 degree weather isn’t always the most comfortable but here’s how to help Kitty stay cool.

1.  Provide plenty of water to keep them hydrated. Tossing in an ice cube every once and a while will not only keep it cool, it will intrigue Kitty into drinking. Some cats refuse to drink water when the temperatures get too high so you need to keep them interested.

2.  Cozy retreats in dark, cool places provide a perfect oasis for kitties. Don’t be surprised if you find a kitty curled up in your sink. The porcelain stays cooler and they seek out the tiled areas of the house for some relief. On especially hot days, you can even wrap a freezer pack in a small towel and place it on the ground in their favourite spot. They will appreciate the coolness and the thoughtful gesture. (And even though you should be keeping your cats indoors on the hottest days, make sure that they have shady retreats outside as well.)

3.  Even though your cat sheds naturally in the summer (as I’m sure you’ve noticed from the increase in vacuuming and lint rolling), brush them daily. Not only does it provide nice bonding time but will eliminate all their excess fur. Brushing will also remove any mattes that would trap the heat and helps the air flow more freely through their fur.

4.  For the kitties that feel the heat the most, you might even consider dampening a towel and gently petting them it. Their bellies, pads of the feet and on the outside of their ears are great spots to target. Or you can throw a dampened towel in the freezer for a little bit and then place it on the ground for kitty to lay on.

If you can’t afford an air conditioner, you have to be the one who helps your cats survive the heat. Shaving them might seem like a good idea at the time but try some of these simple tips before the hair cut. Also, consider these tips for keeping dogs cool in summer.