Summer Safety

Author: Emily Burt, Nursing Team

June 27, 2012

Cat with caterpillar

While summer never really starts around here until at least the 5th of July, it is time to start considering ways to keep your cat safe and happy in the heat. Whether your cat is indoor or outdoor, summer is an exciting time full of bugs, birds, sunny windows, and fresh air. Here is a roundup of some of our best summer tips:

  • Always keep cool, freshwater available. If it is circulating, even better! Consider getting a fountain, such as the Pioneer Pet ones we sell (filters available from our webstore). Also, if you're going out for a period of time, think about putting extra water bowls down.
  • Air conditioning or a fan can be essential. Consider that your little one is walking around with a full fur coat on. If you have a basement or other room that stays cool, allow your cat to have access to that room on hot days.
  • Some cats might need a summer haircut. If you have a cat with longer hair, a lion-cut can provide them much-needed relief in the summer. Watch for mats, which retain heat and can prevent proper air flow resulting in painful "hot spots". If you have questions about grooming, please give us a call.
  • Look into safe flea control. Since we're in a temperate zone we don't really have a "flea season" like other places. They can stay active year-round but are certainly more so in the summer. It is important if you have a pet that goes outdoors to make sure that all animals in your household have safe, effective flea control (even the ones who are indoors). See our flea health alert article below for tips on picking safe products.
  • Sun protection might be necessary for some cats. Cats that go outdoors are vulnerable to sunburn, particularly on the ears, nose, and other less hairy areas. White cats and those with short haircuts are especially sensitive. See our blog from last summer for tips on effective sun protection.
  • Never leave your cat in a car. It's surprising how quickly the temperature of a car can rise in the sun. This can rapidly endanger the health of your cats.
  • Make sure your cat has proper ID. Microchips can go a long way toward reuniting lost pets with owners.
  • With the holiday coming up, be aware of 4th of July safety.

It's not all risk, though. There are a lot of ways to enhance your cat's life in the summer:

  • Provide an enclosed play structure to give your cat an extra-special summer treat.
  • Provide a window seat or piece of cat furniture near a window for bird and bug watching. Place bird-feeders in strategic places to allow better viewing.
  • Let your kitties have access to screened doors and windows with fresh air. They may even find some insects to bat at. Or consider building a cat run or enclosure on your deck or porch.