5 Tips To Keep Your Cat Healthy This Summer
Guest Post from Avery Morrison. Pawtini.com
Summers can be the most enjoyable season of the year with lots of fun activities to do outdoors, but as a pet parent it becomes very important to take strong precautions to make sure your cat spends a comfortable and a healthy summer time as well. Conditions such as heat stroke, dehydration and breathing issues are not as rare as you think when the temperature shoots up high, even if you have an indoor cat.
Here are a few tips and do/don’t(s) that could help you have a healthy summer with your cat.
1) Obviously this should be Pet Parenting 101, but never leave your cat inside a parked car. It does not matter if you are stopping for a short amount of time, the car is in the shade or you crack open a window. A car outside in summer heat becomes pretty much an oven and it does not take a lot of time for it to cause serious health issues and even death to your cat. If you are traveling, make sure the cat gets enough air ventilation and keep your AC on. It helps to put a damp towel or sock in their carrier to help cats stay cool during car rides.
2) Hydration is as important for cats just like as it is for us, humans. Leave plenty of water at places where your cat likes to hang out. Placing some ice cubes in water bowls might help the water stay cool during the day, but i suggest you to supervise your cat and see if he/she likes the ice. We do not want them to avoid the water in case they don’t like the ice, which defeats the purpose of protection against dehydration.
3) It might be beneficial to limit outdoors time at noon when the sun is high up top and heat is at its max. If this is not an option, make sure your yard has enough spots with shade all through out the day. Cats like to lay down and relax a lot and laying down directly under sun is not fun for anyone. Tanning industry is built on this simple fact.
4) Although regular brushing is good for them since their fur traps heat, i do not suggest shaving too much of their fur. Especially if you have a pale colored or a white cat. These cats are more prone to sunburns. Even indoor cats spend a considerable amount of time in front of doors and windows. Especially their ears and noses need protection from sunlight and risk of skin cancer. There are safe products specially designed for cats, so don’t share your own lotions. They like to groom themselves so it might be a challenge to put sunscreen on them at first. And as always check with your vet about any product you intend to use to make sure it is safe for your cat.
5) Just like your yard, create comfortable spots for your cat to retreat indoors as well. If you see them changing their favorite spots, do not reprimand them. They are probably trying to comfort themselves. My cat loves to chill in my bathtub, and i grant her the extra luxury although i am not too fond of bathing with cat fur sometimes. I also create a nest for her inside my closet. A cotton pillow, inside a cardboard box and an ice pack placed nearby can create a fun/cozy spot for them.
Obviously things happen and no matter how much you try to provide a comfortable environment for your cat, they might have problems rising with the hot weather conditions. For this reason, it is also very important to monitor your cat for any unexpected behavior so you can react fast. Signs of possible heatstroke are excessive panting/drooling, vomiting, distress, agitation and unable to walk properly. If you see any of these signs, you should contact your vet immediately. In the cases of severe reactions, it is important to keep them calm, carry them to a cool environment, wrap them with a wet towel except their nose and mouth area and take them to a vet right away. Hope this information helps you have a fun and healthy summer season with your cats.