Summer is for the dogs, right? Wrong! Just because they get to go on beach trips to play in the ocean or hike a trail to the lake doesn’t mean cats don’t want to have some summer fun too.
While you and your feline friend enjoy your summer whichever way you like, keep these safety tips in mind.
Biting Creatures: Big and Small
One of the more common ailments that we see at Happy Tails during the warmer months are snake and bug bites. Poisonous snake bites can cause swelling around the bite, agitation, tremors, twitching, severe lethargy, seizures, coma, and even death if left untreated. Bug bites, depending on the type, are less threatening but can still cause serious problems if the bite results in an allergic reaction that causes hives, swelling, vomiting, or difficulty breathing.
Because of the many dangers that a cat can face if left outside unattended, we recommend letting your cat get some fresh air and sunshine in a screened porch or a “catio”. There are also add-ons for fences that keep cats from jumping over and escaping.
If your cat goes outdoors we recommend keeping a close eye on them and not to let them wander off. Having a snake or adverse bug bite treated quickly is essential in helping your pet recover – the sooner we see them, the easier their recovery can be!
Mats and Seasonal Shedding
Just like dogs, cats can undergo seasonal shedding as well. Keeping up a regular grooming routine will help your cat stay comfortable during their transition from a winter coat to their sleek summer fur.
Because cats are very good groomers, they may ingest more hair than usual which can lead to them accidentally swallowing it and causing hairballs. Not only are hairballs gross to find when your cat has thrown them up, but they can cause dangerous blockages in your cat’s stomach or GI tract that could require surgery! Regular brushing will help your cat shed those extra hairs and keep them from accidentally ingesting so much of their fur.
Routine brushing can also reduce the potential for painful mats at the base of their fur. Mats can form many ways, but they are mostly seen on long-haired breeds and older cats that are unable to groom themselves as well any longer. Not only are mats painful because they pull at the skin, but they can cause sores and other problems. Give them a helping hand and reduce the likelihood of your cat forming a mat of hair by brushing them a few times a week.
Beating the Summer Heat
Cats can be susceptible to heatstroke just like dogs. If your cat goes outdoors, even in a screened porch or catio, they should be monitored and given plenty of fresh water. Signs of overheating in cats may look a bit different than you would think, here are the symptoms you should look out for:
- Open-mouth breathing/panting – Lethargy
- Difficulty walking
Your cat needs to be brought in to see us or your regular veterinarian immediately if you see these signs.
During the hottest days of the summer, it’s best to keep them indoors to ensure their safety, no matter how badly they would like to go outside. Play some games with them indoors to satisfy any need for exerting pent up energy; there are tons of interactive toys and puzzles for cats these days that will keep them occupied and mentally stimulated.