Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Keep your cat cool this summer!

With all of the hot weather we've been having recently, we thought we'd share some advice on how to keep your cats safe this summer....

Most cats love to bask in the sun and being very clever they will limit their activity to suit the environmental conditions. If it’s very hot they will only carry out necessary activities.

To help keep your cat as comfy and cool as possible there are various things you could consider doing to help:

• Try keeping him indoors during the hottest part of the day

• Make sure your cat has plenty of places he can choose to go that are shaded from the sun

• Plant shrubs and trees in your garden so he can sit in the shade and have a cool patch.

Exposure to the sun can be a trigger factor for a type of cancer that is more commonly seen in cats with unpigmented white ears or noses so it is certainly a good idea to try to offer some protection. There are sunblocks available that have been manufactured specifically for use on animals, some of which have been designed to be lick proof. Your vet should be able to recommend one or source one for you. It is very important that it is suitable for cats, as they can be more sensitive than some other animals to the chemicals included. Please check with your vet before using anything intended for human use on your cat.

Keeping the curtains closed to stop the sun from shining in will help to keep kitty cool when inside. This will provide a welcome break from the heat for the humans of the household too! You could also provide some fans to help circulate the air around the room.

Make sure fresh water is available at all times. If you can, provide a few places where he can access the water and make sure it doesn’t get hot as this may prevent him from drinking it. Cats prefer not to put their heads over the top of or in the bowl so keep the water topped up at all times. Try offering a water fountain as cats favour moving water.

Cats need to be able to access their water without having to pass objects that they perceive to be frightening, such as other felines, so ensure the water bowl is sited in a location acceptable to the cat.

Few tips from to keep your cat safe outdoors this summer -

Keep the doors of sheds and greenhouses shut Be careful not to accidentally trap cats inside outbuildings during hot weather.

Read the label on pest control products - Slug pellets which contain metaldehyde can prove fatal to cats, so make sure any pest control products are safe for felines.

Take care with barbecues - If you are planning to enjoy some al fresco dining during the summer, make sure barbecue coals are properly cooled with water as your cat can suffer nasty burns if he or she jumps onto them once you are finished.

Check your plants and flowers are feline friendly - Certain plants and flowers can be toxic to cats, particularly lilies. Avoid buying lilies, both for outdoor and indoor arrangements, and if you think your cat has eaten or come into contact with any part of a lily, then get him to a vet as soon as possible. For a full list of potentially dangerous plants, visit the International Cat Care website on http://www.icatcare.org/advice/poisonous-plants

Keep the doors of sheds and greenhouses shut Be careful not to accidentally trap cats inside outbuildings during hot weather.

Ensure your cat has appropriate flea treatment - Fleas thrive in hot weather, so make sure your cat is protected against them. Your vet will be able to advise on what treatment is most suitable for your pet.

Switch to dry food during the daytime - If your cat eats wet food, don't leave this down during hot weather as it will attract flies. Many owners switch to a dry food in the summer because it won't dry out or attract flies.

Car journeys — try to avoid cat carriers that attract the sun and choose one with plenty of ventilation. Never leave a cat unattended in a hot car, like dogs they can quickly overheat. (Source: The Cat Magazine and Cats Protection Camberley and District Branch)