Keeping Outdoor Cats Healthy in the Heat
If you have an “outdoor cat,” you know they love exploring the wonders of the natural world. As the weather warms up, however, there are a few important things to watch out for and to provide for your outdoor cats to keep them safe all summer long. In this blog post, we provide helpful tips to keep your cat in great health!
Hydration is essential in warm weather. Make sure that your feline always has access to fresh water—you can’t give him too much! Also, ensure that you provide a bowl that is both narrow and deep to slow evaporation. Place bowls in shaded areas, and add a few ice cubes into the water if temperatures are rising significantly.
You can also consider a DIY feeding station to keep food and water out of the sun’s rays. Alternatively, pet water fountains provide a consistent cycle of water that can encourage your cat to drink more often.
Try not to leave food out for too long. After about 30 minutes, insects will appear, so try to remove food no more than 45 minutes after putting it out for your cat. A good tip for the summer is to switch to dry food, which will be less likely to attract bugs. You can also invest in an ant-proof bowl.
Signs of Heat Exhaustion
If your cat is light-colored, he or she may be more prone to sunburn. Alternatively, darker-fur cats can get hotter as they absorb the sun’s rays more intensely. Heat exhaustion can set in quickly. Signs of distress include restless behavior, panting, sweaty feet, or excessive grooming in an attempt to cool off.
Throughout the summer, it’s important to provide your cat with access to plenty of shaded areas. Cats love to cool off under bushes, decks or porches. You can also consider a cat shelter that you make yourself, or that you purchase for your specific needs. These shelters help keep cats protected from the elements as well as potential predators.
Extra Cooling Tips
If you see that your cat seems hot, take a damp cloth and rub your cat’s fur with it. Alternatively, you can use a cold washcloth to cool the back of your cat’s neck. Don’t use a spray bottle or a cold compress, as gel packs can be toxic to pets once opened.
Also, try to keep your cat’s fur brushed regularly. Long-haired cats can become uncomfortable in the summertime.
Finally, if you find your cat sitting on your doorstep and looking longingly inside, consider letting your cat indoors, especially on the hottest days. A cool cardboard box with a cotton pad or towel can be a delightful summer feline retreat.
As warmer weather approaches, we hope you can enjoy lots of quality time in the great outdoors with your pets.
All throughout the year, help your pet stay healthy by staying up to date with regular visits and vaccines. To get an update on your pet’s check-ups, or to become a new patient, give us a call at Animal Clinic of Woodruff at 864.576.9800.Posted in Pet Behavior | Pet Health Issues