Summer is fast approaching–and after the winter we just had it is indeed welcomed– making it the perfect time to discuss summertime tips to keep the furry member of your family happy and healthy.

Safety Tips for Prevention of Heat Stroke and Dehydration

Summers here in New York can be pretty brutal and risk the health of your pet. The most immediate dangers to your cat in the summer months are heat stroke and dehydration. In order to stave off such occurrences try to follow the following safety tips.

  1. Water: Always make sure there is plenty of water available to your cat—even multiple bowls across the house or apartment. If you would like you can place an ice cube or two in the water bowl to keep the water palatably cool and the water supply replenishable in the melting process.
  2. Avoid Confinement to Excessively Warm Places: Never leave you cat in your car or any place without proper ventilation especially in the summer. Open windows and make sure that screens are properly installed to avoid any mishaps.
  3.  Allow Access to Cooler Rooms of your House: If you are comfortably avoiding the heat shouldn’t your pet me entitled to the same treatment. If you have air conditioning and/or fans running in certain rooms of your house try to bring your cat into these rooms. Even access to rooms with tiled floors like the bathroom can make your cat a happier camper.
  4. Sometimes Your Cats Need a Hand: Dampening a cloth and petting your cat with it can make a world of difference. In order to make your cat’s bed more comfortable you can cool down towels by placing them in the freezer and place them in the bed. Another idea is to freeze water bottles and once frozen wrap in towels for your cat to sit next to.
  5. Tips for Outdoor or Indoor/Outdoor Cats: Always provide your cat with adequate shelter from the elements especially from the sun. On especially warm days, if you can, bring your cat indoors.
  6. Be a Diligent Observer: You should be mindful of your cat’s behavior in the summer. Special attention should be given to elderly, sickly and obese cats.

The symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Lethargy
  • Stumbling unsteady gait
  • Vomiting
  • Redness of the tongue and mouth
  • Rapid pulse and breathing.

Often heat stroke leads to dehydration and can result in the following symptoms:

  • Skin tenting of skin over the shoulders
  • Listlessness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry, sticky gums.

If you suspect something is amiss contact your veterinarian immediately

Parasite Prevention Tips

While parasites like, fleas and tIcks can be a nuisance all year round, they are especially present in the summer months. Fleas are well known for causing mild itching, but can, in heavy infestations cause severe anemia and even death, especially in kittens and sickly cats. Fleas can also be carriers of other parasites like tapeworm. Ticks can cause similar symptoms as those caused by fleas since they too are bloodsuckers. Tick-borne diseases can also sicken your cat. It is important to treat your cats with preventive treatments especially if they go outside. Please talk to your veterinarian about treatment/prevention options.