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.
Heatstroke 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 life-threatening heatstroke.
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 to 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 10 am – 2 pm: 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 them in your cat’s bed to lie on.
- Fill up bottles of water and place them 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 it 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, provide several bowls around the house.
Keep cats confined inside on hot days. 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 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. Use a tick preventative and always check your cat for ticks after being outside.
Elderly, obese cats and young kittens
Senior, brachycephalic (short-nosed), 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. Make sure the cat’s microchip is up to date, have enough cat carriers in case of evacuation and make sure your house is ready for the summer season.