With the arrival of the warm summer weather, people spend more time outdoors, in pools, at the beach, cooking out and in general, having a good time. If you allow your cat outdoors, summer doesn’t necessarily mean good times. Heat and sun can pose a serious risk to outdoor cats. Here are some basic cat summer safety tips:
Provide Access to Water
A cat outdoors can quickly become dehydrated so make sure there is access to fresh, cool water at all times. Place water bowls in shady areas to reduce rapid evaporation and to keep the water temperature more comfortable. Frequently check water level because other outdoor animals may also be using that water source. Wash the bowl daily.
Provide Access to Shade
Don’t tether your cat on a deck or other area because she won’t be able to move to a shady spot as the sunlight shifts. Your cat needs to be able to reach shady areas. Do not limit a cat’s access to driveways or other areas that will quickly become hot. A cat’s sensitive paw pads are very vulnerable to being burned when walking across hot pavement.
Cats are at risk of getting sunburn. The most vulnerable areas are the tips of the ears. If you must allow your cat outdoors during summer, limit the amount of time she spends out there and as mentioned above, be sure she has access to adequate shade.
Don’t Leave Your Cat in the Car
In just a few short moments the temperature inside a locked car can skyrocket. During warm weather, the number of heat-related deaths of animals (and tragically, children) left in hot cars is staggering. Never leave your cat in the car no matter how briefly you think you’ll be gone. Even a car parked in the shade can turn into an oven in a very short amount of time. Heatstroke is also a risk for cats who are confined to carriers in a hot environment.
Provide Parasite Prevention
Cats who go outdoors are at risk of flea and tick infestation. Visit your veterinarian for advice on which flea/tick preventive is appropriate for your cat and get her started on it BEFORE letting her outdoors. Feline heartworm is also a risk so talk to your veterinarian about prescription preventive.
Beware of Stinging Insects
Kitty may think it’s a game to pounce on a yellow jacket or wasp but it won’t have a good outcome. Watch for stinging insects and be aware of nearby nests. Additionally, don’t leave food or drinks around that contain sugar because they attract bees.