by Sam Mazzotta
Dear Paw’s Corner: I live in hot, humid Florida and have the opportunity to adopt two kittens. My home has no air conditioning—only ceiling and floor fans. When I return home during the summer, the indoor temperature can reach 95 degrees with high humidity. Can a kitten handle such high indoor temperatures and high humidity for nine hours a day? If there is any possibility of harm, I will not obtain the kittens.
—Ann T., via e-mail
Dear Ann: If there’s doubt in your mind, you already know the answer. I commend you for thinking of the welfare of the kittens first.
Now, I’ll tell you a similar story. During my first years out of college, I rented a small apartment in sunny, humid Orlando that had no air conditioning either. However, the first thing I purchased was a window unit air conditioner. Not for me, but for my cat. It was a significant expense, and it boosted my electric bill dramatically, but I didn’t think twice about it.
Pets rely on us to keep them safe, fed, and comfortable. An indoor cat does not have control over the temperature and humidity in the home. As the temperature rises, they have few options to cool off—no breezy, shady spots to lounge in, not much fresh air. At 95 degrees, even with a full bowl of water nearby, pets can suffer a heat injury. Kittens are even more vulnerable.
If you’d like to adopt the kittens, first work out a way to keep your home’s temperature below 80 degrees. Pets are an investment in happiness. Their comfort and safety are part of that in-vestment. Thank you again for thinking of the kittens’ safety.
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