Beat the Heat: A Guide to Summer Foods to Avoid for Cats

Written by: Karuna Subbiah



Time to read 8 min

Welcome, pet parents, to our guide on keeping your beloved cats safe and healthy during the scorching summer. As temperatures soar, our feline friends face unique challenges, and their dietary needs change.

While it's tempting to indulge them with treats, it's crucial to be mindful of the foods that can pose severe risks to their health during this hot season. Join us as we explore the summer foods to avoid for your feline companion, ensuring they stay happy, hydrated, and purring all summer long.

What are Some Food Issues for Cats in Summer?

A Cat standing on a railing outdoors

Unique risks from certain foods in summer. The summer months bring a host of potential hazards when it comes to our cats' diets including:

  1. Dehydration, digestive issues, toxicity : From dehydration and digestive issues to toxicity, consuming harmful foods can have severe consequences for your feline friend's wellbeing.

  2. Gastrointestinal upset, organ damage, life-threatening conditions : Gastrointestinal upset, organ damage, and even life-threatening conditions like heat stroke and kidney failure are potential outcomes if we're not vigilant about what they consume during this sweltering season.

What are Foods to Avoid for Cats in Summer?

 A Cat eating food from a bowl Outdoors

Onions and garlic

They can damage red blood cells, cause anaemia in cats. Onions and garlic, two common kitchen ingredients found in many dishes, can cause oxidative damage to a cat's red blood cells, leading to a potentially fatal condition called hemolytic anaemia.

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins have a risk of kidney failure in cats. Grapes and raisins may seem like harmless snacks, but they pose a grave threat of kidney failure in cats, even in small quantities.


Chocolates are very toxic, and can cause vomiting, seizures, and death in cats. Chocolate, this beloved treat for humans, can be highly toxic for our feline companions, causing symptoms ranging from vomiting, diarrhoea, and restlessness to seizures, coma, and even death.

What are Some Summer Staples to Avoid for Cats?

 A Cat licks its mouth after finishing meal
  1. Spicy foods - irritate sensitive digestive system, vomiting. Spicy foods, a staple in many households during the summer, can wreak havoc on your cat's sensitive digestive system, leading to discomfort, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

  1. Bones and fish bones - can cause choking, internal injuries. Bones and fish bones should also be avoided at all costs, as they can splinter and cause choking, internal injuries, or blockages in your cat's digestive tract.

  1. High-fat foods - risk of pancreatitis. High-fat foods like fried snacks, oily curries, or fatty meats can put your cat at risk of pancreatitis, a potentially life-threatening condition characterized by inflammation of the pancreas.

While these summer staples may be tempting treats for us, they can pose serious risks to our feline friends. It's essential to be mindful of these hidden dangers and steer clear of feeding them to our cats during the hot summer months.

What are Some Safe Alternatives for Cats in Summer?

 A Cat and a Kitten taking turns eating food Outdoors

Cooked Chicken/Fish (No Bones/Seasonings)

Cooked chicken or fish (without bones or seasonings) are excellent protein sources for your cat. These lean meats provide essential nutrients and can be a tasty treat when cooked plainly without any added seasonings or sauces.

Freeze-Dried Meat Treats

Freeze-dried meat treats are a safe and enjoyable option to satisfy your cat's cravings. Made from real meat, these crunchy snacks are a great way to reward your feline friend without exposing them to harmful ingredients.

Commercial Cat Treats

Look for commercial cat treats specifically formulated for their dietary needs. Reputable pet food brands offer a variety of healthy treats designed to meet a cat's nutritional requirements while satisfying their cravings.

Fresh Water for Hydration

Ensure fresh, cool water is always available to maintain proper hydration levels. During the hot summer months, cats are at a higher risk of dehydration, so provide plenty of clean, fresh water at all times.

Wet food: Cucumber, Watermelon

You can also offer wet cat food or water-rich snacks like cucumber or watermelon to help them beat the heat. These hydrating options can supplement your cat's water intake and provide a refreshing treat on a sweltering day.

What are Summer Recipes for Cats?

A Cat sleeping outdoors on the grass

1. Fish Popsicles for Cats


  • 1 cup cooked and flaked fish (like rohu, katla, or bhetki)

  • 1/2 cup plain dahi (yoghurt)

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander leaves

  • 1 tsp grated ginger

  • 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder

  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder


  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the flaked fish, dahi, water, coriander leaves, grated ginger, roasted cumin powder, and turmeric powder.

  2. Blend the ingredients until they form a smooth puree.

  3. Pour the mixture into popsicle moulds or an ice cube tray.

  4. Freeze for at least 4 hours or until completely frozen.

  5. To serve, remove the popsicles from the moulds and offer them to your cat as a refreshing and flavorful treat on a hot day.

2. Cooling Chicken and Mint Treats


  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast

  • 1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves

  • 1/4 cup of water


  1. Cook the chicken breast by boiling or baking it until fully cooked.

  2. Allow the chicken to cool completely, then shred or chop it into small pieces.

  3. In a blender or food processor, combine the shredded chicken, fresh mint leaves, and water.

  4. Pulse the mixture until the mint is finely chopped and everything is well combined.

  1. Scoop the mixture into small portions and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

  2. Freeze the portions for at least 2 hours, or until completely frozen.

  3. Once frozen, transfer the treats to an airtight container and store them in the freezer.

  4. To serve, offer one or two of these cooling treats to your cat on a hot summer day.

Remember, these recipes should be used as occasional treats and not as a replacement for your cat's regular, balanced diet. Always consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about introducing new foods to your feline friend.

What are Some Signs of Tummy Issues in Cats?

 A Cat puts his hand on the bowl of food
  1. Watch for vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy. It's essential to be vigilant and watch for any signs that your cat may have consumed something harmful, such as vomiting, diarrhoea, or lethargy.

  1. Loss of appetite, excessive thirst. Other symptoms like loss of appetite or excessive thirst could also indicate a potential poisoning or digestive issue.

  1. Consult with a vet care immediately if signs are present. If you notice any of these signs, seek immediate veterinary attention, as prompt treatment can often make a difference in your cat's recovery.


Two Cats eating food from their own bowls

As the sweltering summer heat bears down, it becomes increasingly crucial for us, as responsible pet parents, to prioritize the well-being of our feline companions. By educating ourselves about the potential dangers lurking in certain foods and making informed choices about what we offer our cats, we can ensure their safety and happiness throughout this challenging season.

As we've explored, there are plenty of safe and satisfying alternatives that can keep our cats happy, healthy, and refreshed during the summer months. From cooked chicken and fish to freeze-dried meat treats and water-rich snacks like cucumber and watermelon, we can provide our feline companions with a diverse array of options that cater to their nutritional needs while satisfying their cravings.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure, and by being proactive and vigilant, we can ensure our cats thrive during the summer season. Seek veterinary advice if you have any concerns or doubts about your cat's diet, and don't hesitate to share your experiences and tips with fellow pet parents. Together, we can create a supportive community dedicated to keeping our feline friends safe, hydrated, and purring with contentment, even on the hottest of summer days.


What food to give cats during summer?

During summer, it's best to feed cats a high-moisture diet to keep them hydrated. Some good options include wet canned food, homemade broths or soups, and chilled treats like frozen meat purees or tuna popsicles. You can also offer water-rich fruits and veggies like watermelon, cucumber, or puréed pumpkin.

What do cats eat less in summer?

In hot weather, cats tend to eat less dry food as it can be dehydrating. They may also consume less high-fat or high-protein foods, as these can increase their body heat and metabolic rate. Avoid giving them rich treats or table scraps during the summer.

What is good for cats in hot weather?

Wet, moisture-rich foods are ideal for cats in hot weather as they help keep them hydrated. Chilled or frozen treats, like puréed meat popsicles, can also help cool them down. Providing plenty of fresh, cool water is essential. You can also try adding ice cubes or a cat-safe ice lick to their water bowl.

How to reduce body heat for cats?

To help reduce body heat for cats in summer, provide them with access to cool, shaded areas or air-conditioned spaces. Brushing them regularly can help remove excess fur and improve air circulation. You can also try cold packs or a damp towel on their bedding. Avoid overexercising them during the hottest parts of the day.

Do cats not eat in hot weather?

No, cats don't necessarily stop eating completely in hot weather, but their appetite and eating habits can change due to the heat. Here are some points about how hot weather affects a cat's eating behaviour:

  1. Reduced appetite: Cats tend to eat less when it's hot outside because their metabolism slows down to conserve energy and produce less body heat.

  1. Less interest in food: The heat can make cats feel sluggish and less interested in eating, especially if their food is dry kibble at room temperature.

  1. Preference for smaller meals: Instead of eating one or two larger meals, cats may graze on smaller amounts of food throughout the day when it's hot.

  1. Increased water intake: While their food intake may decrease, cats will drink more water to stay hydrated in the summer heat.

  1. Cravings for cooling foods: Cats may show more interest in wet, cool foods like chilled canned food or treats with high moisture content to help lower their body temperature.

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