Today, Paws for Reflection, wants to take a look at how we can keep our cats safe when the temperatures soar into the 90’s and above.
First of all – NEVER, NEVER, NEVER LEAVE A CAT IN A HOT CAR, EVEN WITH THE WINDOWS CRACKED! Are we screaming how important this is for your cat? Yes, we are! Some states have even adopted legislation where you can report Fido or Fluffy left in an unattended hot car to the police. It’s animal cruelty to say the least.
Even on a seemingly pleasant summer day, temperatures inside a vehicle can soar to over 100 degrees in less than 10 minutes, leading to heat stroke and death.
If your cat is panting, restless or has very sweaty paw pads he may be succumbing to the heat. This can cause heat exhaustion that can lead to heat stroke. Always make sure your cat has access to shade, water and cool temperatures.
If you must run an errand:
If you must quickly run an errand, restrain the animal in a kennel, park in the shade, and leave the windows completely open. It would be better, to have one person stay with the pet outside the vehicle, while the other runs into a store to grab a quick stop.
However, there’s a lot more to keeping kitty safe during the torrid hot weather than making sure they are never left alone in a hot car.
Always make sure there’s fresh water available.
If your cat goes outdoors, keep water bowls in the shade and change them several times a day. For indoor cats, make water as appealing as possible by changing it frequently and washing the bowl every day. In very hot weather, keep water cool by dropping a couple of ice cubes in the bowl.
Keep Kitties Cool:
If you don’t have air conditioning keep a couple of fans going to circulate the air (make sure they’re safe and placed where the cat can’t get to them). Outdoor cats must have access to shade.
Protect cats from sunburn:
Cats can get sunburn. Their ear tips are particularly vulnerable. On very hot days, consider keeping your cat indoors.
Make sure window screens are secure:
Screens should be secure and only open enough to let the breeze in. Pet screens and window gates are also available commercially if you want to have your windows fully opened. Some windows have the option of being opened from the top, not allowing kitty to slip through to the outside.
Keep food safe so it does not spoil:
Feeding outdoor cats in hot weather can pose a health because the food may spoil. Ants, other insects and even unwanted furry creatures can further contaminate the food.
Groom your kitty:
Frequent grooming allows you to check for parasites, signs of sunburn or any other things that might need attention. For long-haired cats, having mats can add to the discomfort of the heat so regular grooming is recommended.
Check your kitty’s paws:
Look at your cat’s paw pads for signs of burns from walking on hot asphalt or signs of insect stings.
Make sure Kitty can be found, if lost:
Have your cat micro-chipped even if you don’t plan on ever letting him outdoors. A collar with identification is also a good idea for added insurance. Put your name and phone number on the id tag so that if he gets lost, they’ll know who to call. Also take a photo of your cat to have on hand if kitty gets lost. It’s much easier to describe your cat through a photo than by a verbal description.
Paws for Reflection learned a few tips in writing this post. For one, we have not tuned into sunburn. Our cats only go out for supervised visits, but even that can lead to sunburn. Usually, they will resort to finding a nice cool place, but it’s best to err on the side of caution. What do you do to keep your cats safe during the torrid summer heat? Please share your ideas and suggestions. We’d love to hear them!