With summer fast approaching, now is a good time to look at some summertime tips which will help make life just that little bit more comfortable and safer for our feline family members.
Heat stroke and dehydration are real dangers, especially in summer.
Never lock pets in cars: Do not leave your cat inside the car at any time, but especially in the summer months. Cats can quickly overheat and develop heat stroke which is life-threatening.
Even with the window open it only takes a matter of minutes for the inside temperature to soar, which can easily result in the death of your cat. On especially hot days bring your cat inside.
Screen windows: If you live in a high-rise apartment, make sure that you have appropriate screens on windows if you leave them open to bring in some air.
Don’t confine cats to hot rooms: Hot rooms, such as a sunroom can potentially cause a cat overheat. Some cats love to bask in the sun, but should have the opportunity to move to a cooler room them access to cooler rooms. Areas with tiled floors are a good idea, as they are generally cooler.
Avoid taking your cat out between 10am – 2pm: If you take your cat for regular walks, make sure you do so during the cooler hours in the summer months.
Be careful of hot pavements and roads: Be aware that the ground can be very hot for a cat’s sensitive paws which have very little protection. If you cannot hold the back of your hand on the ground for five seconds due to the heat, it is too hot for your cat (or dog) to walk on.
Keeping your cat cool in summer:
- Fill a hot water bottle with cold tap water for your cat to lie on.
- Put some ice cubes in their water bowl.
- Cool down towels in the freezer and then place in your cat’s bed to lie on.
- Fill up bottles of water and place in the freezer. Once frozen, wrap in towels for your cat to lie next to.
- Rinse out a balloon, and then fill it with water (don’t overfill it), tie a knot in the top and freeze overnight. In the morning, remove the balloon from the ice ball and place in a baking dish for your cat to enjoy.
- On especially hot days, use ceiling fans or air conditioning to keep the house cool.
Make sure that your cat has a constant supply of fresh drinking water. You should try to have several bowls scattered around the house.
As stated above, on hot days keep your cat indoors. If your cat does go outside and is fair skinned, apply a cat-safe sunscreen to his nose and ears to avoid sunburn.
Always provide your cat with adequate shelter from the sun outdoors.
Fleas are a problem throughout the year but they are especially bad during the summer months. Ensure you use a good quality flea control product on your cat and don’t forget to treat the environment too! Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on the best products to use.
Ticks are also a problem, especially in the summer months, and can result in death. It is important to ensure that you thoroughly check your cat for ticks.
Elderly, obese cats and young kittens:
Senior and overweight cats are far less tolerant of the heat, therefore it is even more important to ensure they are kept cool.
Summertime brings along the increased danger of bushfires. Have an emergency plan if you live in a high-risk area.