Keep your Cat Safe During the Summer

Is that…the sun? Has summer finally arrived? After a long, cold winter, warm weather is more than welcome. Us Torontonians cannot wait to get into shorts and T-shirt at the first sign of sun or anything above zero degrees Celsius.

cat in the sun

Many assume that winter’s cold temperatures and anti-freeze are the only threats posed to cats outside. However, ACR strongly supports keeping cats indoors at all times regardless of the season, and summer has its own level of dangers for cats let outdoors.

The hot, hot heat – As the days get hotter, heatstroke is a serious concern, especially for cats that venture outdoors – remember, you can take off your sweater, but kitty cannot. Keeping your cat indoors ensures shade from the sun and access to clean fresh water. Air conditioning should be kept on throughout the day and if you are planning a trip out of town, make sure that someone can check in on kitty and the temperature of the house. Elderly or sick cats are more vulnerable to temperature, so please be extra cautious with them. As well, brushing your cats regularly helps reduce summer hairballs and increases your cat’s comfort.

Indoor dangers – Letting fresh air in is important, however according to the Ottawa Humane Society, thousands of cats fall each year—from balconies and open or poorly-screened windows. Ensure window screens are properly installed and do not allow your cat free access to balconies.

Those pesky critters – Just like humans, animals tend to come out of hibernation once summer arrives. Raccoons, rodents, foxes and other cats can be a real danger to an outdoor cat and animal fights are common. It is important that your cat stay inside to avoid physical confrontation with wildlife. If your cat does gets out accidently, they should be up-to-date on vaccines and are spayed or neutered – this  will help curb the possibility of cat fights and chances of reproduction.

Creepy crawlies – The summer crawlies are everywhere! Parasites such as fleas like to rest in the cool, shaded areas that your cat will lie in if let outside. Keeping cats indoors reduces the chance of bringing fleas and other parasites into your home. Another danger is heartworm, easily transmitted by mosquito bites. If you are going to put your cat on a parasite prevention program, speak with your veterinarian, as some marketed flea and tick medication can be very poisonous to your cat.

Danger! Danger! – Some things are out there in the world and impossible to avoid if a cat is left to roam outside. Chemicals such as rat poison, slug bait, lawn and garden pesticides are inescapable and it is important for you to be extremely vigilant in watching what it is that your cat gets into. The nicer the weather, the more people are outside and with over a thousand cats struck and killed by motor vehicles annually throughout the GTA, cars are also a very real and serious danger to outdoor cats.

And now that you know kitty will be safe this summer, put on those shorts, that 100 SPF sunblock  and have a safe, happy summer as well!

cat drinks from tap

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