With the summer months soon upon us, it is important to know how to keep your cat safe during hot weather. Cats can suffer from dehydration and heatstroke just as humans and other mammals can in scorching temperatures.
The following list of essential hot weather pet safety tips will help you keep your cat safe during the summer months:
Hot Weather Cat Safety Tip Number One: Make sure that your indoor cat has proper cool fresh air ventilation. Use a sturdy fan, ceiling fan, open screened window(s), or an air conditioner - especially in severely hot temperatures. While cats are not particularly fond of cold air, an air conditioned room is essential during scorching weather to keep your pet cool and safe.
Hot Weather Cat Safety Tip Number Two: Make sure that all window screens in your home are secure and tear-free. Cats love to lounge in the window sills of open windows so it is crucial to have sturdy window screens that are free of holes and tears.
Hot Weather Cat Safety Tip Number Three: Make sure that you provide your cat with fresh clean cool water throughout the day. Cats can become dehydrated and need twenty four hour access to water. Whether at home or traveling, make certain that your cat has access to clean cool water!
Hot Weather Cat Safety Tip Number Four: Slip ice cubes into your cat's drinking water throughout the day. This will help keep the water cool and drinkable.
Hot Weather Cat Safety Tip Number Five: Provide multiple bowls of drinking water for your cat throughout the house. This will ensure that kitty gets enough fluid during hot weather.
Hot Weather Cat Safety Tip Number Six: Use only stationery water bowls. This will keep your cat or other pet/child/person in your home from knocking over your cat's water supply. You can find stationery water bowls (also sometimes called "spill-free" bowls) at most pet stores and super department stores that have a pet needs section.
Hot Weather Cat Safety Tip Number Seven: Do not let your cat's wet food linger too long during the hot summer season as it will quickly degrade and spoil. You can leave the dry food out; but, do pick up the wet food after feeding time and replace it with fresh food during the next meal.
Hot Weather Cat Safety Tip Number Eight: Never leave your cat alone while you go away for a few days! One would think that I would not even have to list such a thing; yet, pets die needlessly every year because of such selfishness and neglect. If you are going away, make sure that you have a responsible person in charge of your pet's care. If a trusted friend or relative is unavailable, hire a local professional pet sitter. Always meet the person first before hiring and ask to see at least three recent references. Once the person is selected, stock up on all of your pet's needs, (foods, treats, toys, etc.) leave your pet's needs in writing, and go over your instructions with the sitter before leaving. Also include the number where you will be staying, your cell phone number, (if applicable) and your vet's number in the event of an emergency.
Hot Weather Cat Safety Tip Number Nine: Do not let your cat outdoors during a heat wave! Even though cats enjoy warm weather, letting your cat outside during a heat wave could be a fatal mistake. Keep kitty indoors until the heat wave passes. If your cat is used to pooping outside, you will have to set up a litter box in a familiar place for kitty. Make sure that he or she knows where it is (place kitty by it) and clean it at least twice a day.
Hot Weather Cat Safety Tip Number Ten: Never leave your cat in a hot car! Again, this is common sense; but...pets die every year from heatstroke because of this neglectful act. If you are traveling alone with your cat, bring a cat taxi and take kitty inside with you when you stop. If you are traveling with more than one person, take turns using the restroom and always make sure that the person who stays behind provides proper air ventilation and cooling in the automobile for your cat.
Hot Weather Cat Safety Tip Number Eleven: Make sure that your cat has a shady spot in your home to relax in. Cats seem to love sunny rooms; but, in a heat wave, they will need a place to comfortably retreat to when the heat becomes dangerous.
Hot Weather Cat Safety Tip Number Twelve: Do not over-exercise your cat during hot weather! Cats can become dehydrated and could suffer heatstroke. Over-exercising a cat in hot weather could make it vomit - which can cause dehydration. Save the exertion for cooler times.
Hot Weather Cat Safety Tip Number Thirteen: Keep your cat out of hot rooms that do not have proper air ventilation and cooling. For example, if your cat normally has run of your house and you have a room that is uncomfortably/dangerously hot, close the door to keep your cat out of that room so he or she does not become overheated.
I must add that if at any time you think that your cat has heatstroke, rush him or her to the nearest veterinary hospital as soon as possible. Signs of heatstroke are usually anxious behavior, panting, rapid heartbeat, warm and dry feeling skin, and sometimes vomiting.
Having a cat in your life is a precious gift. Be grateful and show your appreciation by behaving as a humane and responsible pet owner year-round. Keep your pets safe and have a great summer!