I’ll start off by saying that I believe all cats are safest indoors unless in a well-constructed enclosure but I know many cat parents do allow their cats outside, whether it’s for a supervised nap on the deck, a walk on a leash or to wander the neighborhood. There are many dangers to allowing your cat outdoors but some cat parents feel strongly that cats need to be outdoors. I do hope if you let your cat outdoors, you create as much safety as is possible in such an environment.
In summer, many of us look forward to spending more time outdoors, swimming in the pool, going to the beach, firing up the grill and enjoying the sun. Of course there’s also the joy of mowing the lawn, fighting off bees and trying to keep the kids entertained during summer break. As you gear up for summer, this is also the time to think about your cat’s safety, whether he is an indoor, indoor/outdoor or strictly outdoor cat. Here’s a quick checklist to get you started:
Flea and Tick Control for Your Cat
If you haven’t already started your cat on a flea preventative, speak to your veterinarian about which product would be best. Even indoor cats are susceptible, especially if you have a dog who could be serving as a flea taxi. Fleas are very hard to spot because cats are such diligent groomers. Check your cat over and look for signs of flea debris. For safety, don’t use any over-the-counter flea control product without talking to your veterinarian first.
Appropriate Vaccinations for Your Cat
Regardless of the season it’s important to keep your cat up-to-date on vaccinations as needed. Follow your state or local government laws regarding rabies vaccination. As for other vaccinations, talk to your veterinarian about the appropriate schedule for your cat so you are vaccinating as needed but not over-vaccinating.
Your Cat Needs Fresh, Clean Water
Always make sure there’s fresh water available for your cat. If your cat stays outdoors, keep water bowls in the shade and change them several times a day. For indoor cats, make water as appealing as possible by changing it frequently and washing the bowl every day. In very hot weather, keep water cool by dropping a couple of ice cubes in the bowl.
Watch that your cat (or any pet) doesn’t drink from puddles because of the risk of giardia (a microscopic parasite). The water in puddles may become contaminated from the feces of infected animals.
Climate Control Comfort for Your Cat
If you’re uncomfortable then chances are your cat is also uncomfortable when it comes to the temperature. Even indoor environments can get very stuffy so pay attention to those inside temps. If you don’t have air conditioning keep a couple of fans going to circulate the air. Make sure the fans are safe and placed where the cat can’t get to them. On hot, sunny days, keep curtains closed to help cool down indoor temperatures.