Keeping your cat safe in the hot summer weather
Cats are clever and fairly good at looking after themselves. However, as summer fast approaches and the weather gets warmer, it’s important to take additional steps to keep your cat well and protected. Overheating can cause dehydration, heatstroke or, in very severe cases, even death. Young, elderly or obese cats may not be so capable of looking after themselves, so make sure that you take extra care to keep them cool and healthy.
Do cats sweat?
Cats do have some sweat glands but, as they’re covered in fur, they’re unable to cool down that much. Cat’s paws have the most sweat glands, but their small surface areas mean that they’re not that effective. Because of this, your cat will look for other ways to cool down in hot weather. Help your cat by taking the following steps during summer:
Ensure that there is a shaded spot for your cat to lie in. It’s a good idea to purchase a cooling mat for house cats, as this can provide a pleasant space for them to cool down. They will often choose a hard floor, like the kitchen, as tiles are much cooler than carpets.
If your cat is an outdoor cat, make sure there are shaded spots in the garden. It’s vital to ensure that any greenhouses or outdoor sheds and garages are locked at all times so that your cat doesn’t get accidentally locked inside. It can get really hot in greenhouses and sheds, so be careful of broken boards and windows, as your cat may be able to sneak in unknowingly.
Ensure that your cat has access to plenty of water throughout the day – especially if you’re out of the house for an extended period of time. Put ice cubes into your cat’s water bowl to ensure that the water stays cool. You can also leave an additional, frozen bowl of water in a different location so that your cat will have access to cool water as it melts throughout the day.
If your cat seems really warm or unsettled, you can take a cool damp cloth and wipe down your cat regularly to help it cool down. Alternatively, purchase a spray bottle and fill it with cool water to spray onto your cat if it seems particularly hot and bothered.
Brush your cat on a regular basis to ensure that any matted hair is removed. Well-groomed fur will help keep your cat stay cool during summer.
Make sure that you apply a pet sun cream on your cat, particularly on their ears and nose. These areas can be very sensitive to UV light, which can sometimes cause skin burn or skin cancer. Cats with white or light fur are particularly susceptible, so take extra care with these types.
Ensure you don’t use human sun cream as it may contain chemicals that are harmful to pets.
Like humans, cats can also overheat and suffer from heat strokes. If your cat is vomiting, staggering, lethargic, breathing through its mouth for more than a few minutes or has a rapid pulse or bright red tongue, seek urgent vet attention.
Don’t forget to insure your cat with pet insurance. They are there for them throughout their learning and development, helping to make sure they get any treatment they need to keep them happy and healthy. You can find lots of handy advice at www.argospetinsurance.co.uk
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