After the long spell of winter and a cool spring, summer comes as a welcome change for everyone, including your cat. Summers are so enjoyable that you will see most cats lazing around in the sun. Most cats love to spend time in the outdoors so that they can enjoy exploring them.
Although you would love to take your kitty out, as a pet parent you should be aware of the harmful effects of the extreme heat on the health of your furry baby. Cats are great at regulating their body temperature, yet as the mercury rises, they become uncomfortable.
Since your pet cat is an important member of your family, you want nothing but the best for him/her. Here are 3 simple and effective tips to keep your cat cool and content this summer.
1. Make Your Home a Comfortable Haven for Your Furry Friend
As the temperature soars, your pet cat will want to escape the heat. Know that he/she is as susceptible to dehydration and hyperthermia as you are. Manage these conditions before they flare up.
Cooling Solutions: Ice cubes, frozen peas, or a frozen water bottle wrapped in a thick towel can be used to turn your cat's bed into a relaxing retreat. Dry towels placed overnight in the freezer also work well. To give your cat a snug environment, invest in a cat play cube and place the cool cushion inside it. Your feline companion will be protected from the sun's heat and will stay cool.
Staying Hydrated: Keep your pet friend hydrated always. Add a few ice cubes to his/her water bowl for a cooling effect. This will encourage him/her to consume more water.
Icy Treats to Beat the Heat: Everybody loves treats. Indulge your kitty-cat by making a few lip-smacking treats. Try making popsicles for your cat by experimenting with the food that you normally offer him/her.
Plan Playtime Wisely: Schedule exercise and play time with your pet cat during the cooler hours of the day. This is particularly important if you have a kitten or a senior cat.
2. Spruce up Your Kitty for Summer
As the temperature starts to rise, your pet becomes susceptible to other health issues apart from getting sun burnt. Appropriate grooming is as crucial in preventing this as improving access to water and shelter.
Hair Grooming: With each heat wave, your cat will shed loads of fur. Your feline's coat plays a crucial role in regulating his/her body temperature; avoid shaving it unless absolutely necessary.
Give your cat a regular brushing to get rid of the loose hair. At the time of grooming, your cat swallows loose hair, which is often coughed out as a hairball. Grooming your cat's hair regularly will address this issue.
Clipping Claws: Start from scratch, literally! Keeping toenails short will avoid unwanted wounds when scratching, which is very common among cats in the warm season. Overgrown toenails cause limping.
Place your cat on your lap and gently trim the nails. Try massaging the paws to calm him/her and trim the extended nail only. Pay close attention to the claws when trimming to avoid any nail bed disorders. Keeping your cat's nails and paw-pad hair short will ensure cleaner feet and a better grip on slippery floors.
Flea Control: The hot and damp summer can increase flea activity, which can spread quickly once they find a host. Check your cat for signs of fleas and incorporate a regular flea control regimen.
Avoiding Allergies: Like any living being, your cat also is at a risk of developing seasonal allergies. If you notice constant paw licking, scratching, rashes, and hair loss, he/she may be showing signs of an allergy.
Spaying Your Queen/Tomcat: Spaying or neutering your female cat will prevent several unwanted behaviors like spraying and hours of yowling. If you have a Tomcat, you will find it tough to curb his mating instincts if he isn't spayed. Unspayed cats go into heat several times a year and this may render them less friendly to the owners and other pets as they tend to mark their territories.
3. Watch Your Cat When He/She Is Outside
While it may seem natural to let your cat out to explore the great outdoors, he/she really isn't as safe out there as you think. A few things you need to consider before doing so are:
Beware of Chemicals: Be wary of the fertilizers and pesticides used in your garden. These chemicals are highly toxic for your four-legged friend. Make sure you read the fine prints stated by the pesticide manufacturer about how long to wait before letting your cat into the lawn.
Manage Harmful Plants: A lot of cats like to chew on plants, more so when they are young. Most grasses are safe, but a few plants like Hydrangea, Aloe Vera, and Lilies can be dangerous for your purring pet. When ingested, the adverse reactions may range from mild irritation to death in extreme cases. Place such questionable plants in an enclosure so that your cat is unable to access them.
Watch Out for Heat Stroke Symptoms: Heatstroke is life-threatening and hence, it is important to know the proper way of managing your cat if he/she has suffered one. Watch out for common symptoms like rapid panting, thick saliva, bright red tongue, vomiting, and weakness. Consult your veterinarian, who can help you manage this condition.
The warm weather and clear skies inspire you to spend more time outdoors with your feline partner. However, you must bear in mind that excessive heat can be unsafe for your cat. Enjoy the heat in moderation and use the aforesaid tips to get the best out of the warm weather while staying safe.
For more information on Cat Wellness, click here: More on Cat Wellness
Erica Montes is a digital content editor for LiveWellTesting based in sunny San Diego, California. She is immersed in the healthcare industry and is the go-to-person for health and wellness tips. In her free time, she enjoys making "healthy" dessert alternatives and trying to get as many Fitbit steps as possible.
(Photo credit: Pixabay)