5 tips for a carefree cat all summer
The sun is shining (we hope) and you’re feeling good. Likely, your feline friends are feeling good, too, exploring the world with the warmth of the sun on their back. It sounds lovely, but there are also a few things to consider so that your cat doesn’t suffer from the side effects of hot weather.
It’s something we know all about at Clent Hills Vets in Worcestershire, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like advice for a worry-free summer.
In the meantime, here are 6 tips for a happy cat throughout the warmer months…
1. Create a few shady spots
It’s important for your cat to have shaded areas it can retreat to when the sun is at its brightest, both inside and outside. Find where the shade is – in and around your home – during the hottest parts of the day and prepare these for your feline family member with something comfy and some water.
2. Avoid the hottest hours of the day
If your cat goes outside, it might be worth limiting their outdoor explorations during the hottest parts of the days, between 10am and 3pm. This is when the heat is most likely to harm your cat, such as sunburn, dehydration, or sunstroke.
White cats, in particular, are at risk of sunburn. If your cat is white/pale or has areas that don’t have much hair, you can find a range of pet-specific sun lotions online. It’s a good idea to protect their ears regardless of their colour. Never use human suncream as some may include ingredients that are toxic to pets.
3. Know how to spot dehydration
When the temperature picks up, dehydration can be one of the most dangerous side effects. It’s true for us, and equally true for cats. Here’s what you need to know to spot dehydration:
- Check your cat’s gums and if they feel sticky, this could be a sign of dehydration.
- If your cat’s eyes appear to be sunken, this could be severe dehydration.
- A cat’s paw speaks volumes. Dehydration shows itself in the form of cold paws.
- Skin elasticity is another important sign of hydration. If your cat’s skin doesn’t spring back into place after a gentle tug, they may be dehydrated.
If you spot any of these symptoms, make sure you contact us for advice.
4. Provide plenty of water
This is an obvious one for most pet owners, but there’s no harm in really stepping things up during the summer months. Keep the cool, fresh water coming, and make sure there are plenty of water bowls dotted around for your cat to drink from.
Remember those shady locations from earlier? Make sure there’s a water bowl waiting for them there. If you can switch out plastic bowls for glass or ceramic, too, your cat will thank you. Plastic can change the way the water tastes – no-one likes that.
5. Check garages, sheds & outbuildings
Some cats have a tendency to find shade or a cool place to take a nap in garages, sheds, and other outbuildings. It’s so easy to miss a sleeping cat when closing up for the day so it’s a good idea to check these areas if your cat is missing, or in general for other people’s cats when it’s a hot day.
6. Remember these chilled extras
A few additional touches to keep your cat cool throughout the day:
- Put a few ice cubes in their water to keep the water chilled all day.
- Freeze a bottle of water and wrap it in a towel to give your cat a place to relax and refresh.
- Keep a window open (not enough for your cat to escape if you don’t want them outside) or a fan on to allow air to keep your home and cat cool.
- Groom your cat often to keep their fur trim and tangle-free, allowing breezes to flow through.
If you need any further hot weather advice for cats or other pets, get in touch with our team.