Summer is a great time with vacations, barbeques and fun in the sun. It should be a fun time for your cat too. But feline accidents occur in greater numbers during the summer. Cats can experience dehydration, heat stroke and sunburn easily.
We all know not to leave a cat in a hot car, but it bears repeating. On an 85 degree day, your car temperature can reach 120 degrees, even if you have the windows down. Couple that with a cat in a hot carrier and you have double trouble. Resist the urge to run a quick errand on the way back from the vet and leave your cat in the car. And if you need to take your cat to the vet on a hot day, start your car and run the air conditioner before it’s time to go, to give your car a chance to cool down. Include a travel bowl filled with water and ice cubes in your cat’s carrier for the ride to keep your cat cool and hydrated.
Heatstroke can also occur in an unventilated room in your house, so make sure that if the room(s) your cat spends time in is not air conditioned, you circulate the air with fans and keep the windows open. Cats, like children, love to play with fans, so make sure they are out of reach. Ceiling fans are ideal.
If you suspect your cat has heatstroke – panting, vomiting, drooling and weakness are the signs – immerse your cat’s body in cool (not cold) water and rush your cat to the nearest vet.
Did you know that white and light-colored cats can become sunburned from lying in direct sunlight? Especially on their nose or the tips of their ears. Make sure that your cat has a shady and cool place to rest out of direct sunlight. Applying sunscreen to cats is not recommended, as it can be toxic if licked, and we all know that cats lick.
Pests and Pesticides –
Although it’s not recommended, some cats do spend time out of doors. If yours is one of those and you garden, make sure that your cat is inside when using any plant sprays, and that your cat stays inside for at least 2 hours afterward to be safe. If your cat eats one of your plants which has been sprayed with pesticide, immediate veterinary attention is warranted.
Any cat who goes out of doors, particularly in the summer, should be routinely brushed and examined for pests. You may want to have your cat groomed during the summer months with a shorter cut if you have a long-haired cat.
Keep your cat away from the barbeque, out of the hot sun, provide plenty of well-ventilated areas for your cat to rest, always have plenty of cold water available (water fountains are fun for your cat and encourage your cat to drink), and your cat can have as great a summer as you!