Posted on: 23 April 2015Share
Summer brings warmer temperatures and fun activities. For cats, it also brings a number of health and safety risks. Follow these summer safety tips to ensure your cat stays healthy and happy this summer.
Make sure your cat has an open window or a cool space to lounge.
Contrary to popular belief, cats are not more tolerant of heat than are people. In fact, they have a harder time cooling down because they can only pant or sweat through their foot pads to lower their body temperature. Thus, it's essential that there's a place in your home where your cat can cool down. If you don't have central air conditioning to keep your whole home at a reasonable temperature, let your cat into the rooms you're cooling with window units. If you don't even have window units, set up a box fan so that your cat can lie in front of it and cool down. On breezy days, opening a window will suffice – as long as there's a window sill or nearby chair for the cat to lounge on.
Put socks on your cat's paws if you take him or her for a walk.
Walking cats is becoming more popular. If you've adopted this practice and plan on walking your cat in the summer, be sure to place socks on his or her feet first. This will protect the sensitive foot pads from the hot concrete or asphalt, which would otherwise cause burns. Kitty socks are sold at many pet stores.
Make sure water is always available.
You should make sure your cat has water available year-round, but this is even more important in the summer. If you go away often, or if you tend to forget to refill your cat's water dish, invest in a cat water fountain that continually cycles new, fresh water for your cat to enjoy.
Know the signs of heat stroke in cats.
All cat owners make mistakes, and accidents can happen. Thus, it's wise to know the signs of heat stroke in cats, and what to do if you think your cat has heat stroke. Signs of heat stroke include:
- A rapid pulse and short, rapid breathing
- Increased redness of the mouth area
- Extreme lethargy and a staggering gait
- Rectal temperature of 105 degrees F or greater
If your cat appears to be suffering from heat stroke, soak him or her in cool water, and call your veterinarian immediately. Ignoring heat stroke could lead to seizures and even death.
Now that you have a pet wellness plan for summer, you can relax, knowing that you're taking great care of your furry friend.