On long summer days, take extra care to keep your cat cool. Not only are cats vulnerable to sunburn, but they can also become dehydrated in the heat. Here’s what you need to do to keep your cat happy and healthy when temperatures are at their highest…
To reduce the likelihood of your cat being sunburned, try to keep him indoors when the sun is at its strongest. This is usually between the hours of 11am and 3pm. If this isn’t possible, apply sunblock to areas of your cat which are particularly vulnerable to sun damage, including their nose, ears and parts of their body which are sparsely haired.
If your cat’s skin has started to appear sore or scaly, it’s time to pay the vet a visit. Sunburn can lead to skin cancer which may need surgery. It’s important to know that animals can suffer fatal heatstroke within just a few minutes. Therefore, it really is vital that you take steps to prevent them overheating.
If your cat likes to go outdoors and there are no shady areas in your garden, it’s a good idea to create one. You can do this by putting some cloth or cardboard over a spot in order to keep the sun out. It’s also important to check buildings like greenhouses and sheds before shutting them, as cats sometimes get locked in overnight. Greenhouses can get dangerously hot, even when it doesn’t feel particularly warm to you. Such structures exclude cooling breezes, magnifying the heat.
To avoid your cat becoming dehydrated, your cat requires access to fresh water at all times. Check your cat’s water bowl on regular occasions and fill it up whenever it’s low. You may want to invest in a cat water fountain. Water fountains provide a constant supply of fresh, flowing water that encourages your cat’s intake of vital fluids. Cats actually prefer to drink running water (ever caught your pet drinking from a running tap even though he has a bowl full of water nearby?), and so a water fountain should help to ensure that he gets an adequate supply.
It’s a good idea to make sure that your cat is well-groomed at all times, but especially during the summer months. Ensuring that your cat’s coat is tangle-free will protect their skin and help them to remain cool. Invest in a bristled brush or grooming glove. Aside from helping them stay cool in the summer heat, grooming your cat can avoid dirty fur, painful matting and a lot of stress for your feline friend. Long-haired cats may require their coats trimming.
Cat owners sometimes forget that although they can easily change into cooler, lighter clothes in hot weather, cats have to wear a fur coat all year long. This can easily lead to serious health issues. However, with a little thought and preparation, you can ensure that your cat stays cool, comfortable and happy during the hot summer months.