Summers in India are notorious for heatwaves and humidity. Some parts of the country are hot all over the year. Cats are very popular as pets in India. Hence, a basic knowledge of cat summer care is needed. Though cats love to roam outdoors, However, as the summer progresses and temperatures soar, felines can become susceptible to severe conditions like dehydration, sunburn, and heat strokes. As the weather gets warmer our feline friends need a little extra care to stay cool and comfortable.
As cats only sweat from their paws, their methods of cooling are limited. When summertime is around, remember to take extra care.
How to take care of cats in summer?
Here are a few tips on how to keep your cat happy and healthy during the summer months:
- Give them plenty of freshwaters: Cats are notoriously bad at drinking enough water so make sure they always have a clean bowl of fresh water available. Add a little ice to their water on particularly hot days.
- Keep them cool indoors. If your home gets too warm create a cool spot for your cat to relax in by setting up a fan or air conditioner near their favorite spot.
- Limit their time outdoors. Cats can get sunburned so it’s best to keep them indoors during the hottest hours of the day. If they must go outside make sure they have access to shade and plenty of freshwaters.
- Groom them regularly. Regular brushing will help remove excess fur which will help your furry friend. But, remember that frequent bathing can dry out a cat’s skin so cut back on baths during the summer months or switch to using pet-safe wipes instead.
- Keep your cat calm: A very active cat that is running around on a hot day will quickly become exhausted and dehydrated. Encourage your cat to relax when outside temperatures are soaring.
- Provide your cat with a shady spot to relax during the hottest part of the day. If possible keep your cat indoors during the hottest hours of the day. Avoid using harsh chemicals on your cat’s fur – they can be absorbed through the skin and cause health problems. Stick to gentle natural shampoos.
- Keep your house cool: You could also try creating a cool and darkened indoor retreat for them to sleep in and feel safe. A top tip is to place a cardboard box on its side and position it somewhere cool and quiet in the house, such as behind a chair or on a cool surface like a wooden floor. Line it with a breathable natural fabric such as a cotton towel. A cooler room of the house would be one out of the reach of the sun’s direct rays or in the basement. Such an area would be perfect for the kitty to spend most of its day. An area carpeted with Ceramic tiles or Marble floor coverings will remain cooler even during hot humid weather.
- Take care of them while inside a car: It’s less common for cats to travel in cars than dogs, but they are just as susceptible to the risks. If you are taking your cat to the vet, the cattery, or a cat show, for example, never leave them in the car. Always ensure their carriers are secure, shaded, and allow air to circulate. Solid plastic boxes with a secure wire mesh door are preferable.
- Use damp towels to cool down your cat: The warmest part of a cat’s body is their tummies, the pads of their paws, their armpits, under their chin, and on the outside of their ears. Although most cats hate getting wet, try dampening a cloth with cold water and gently stroking your cat with it from their head and down their back.
- Consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your cat’s health in the summer.
- Apply sunscreen to the Cat: Practically no creature can escape the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. The blazing sun can be as nasty to your pet cat & cause distressing sunburns. Apply sunscreen on your furry friend before it gallivants outside the house. Light-haired kitties or cats with light ears and white faces are more susceptible to sunburns. Sun exposure can also lead to a form of cancer that originates at the ends of the ears and nose. Therefore it is important to apply sunscreen on the ears, nose, and skin.
- Seek treatment for fleas and ticks in cats: Fleas and Tick infestation can occur at any time of the year (and are known to cause serious illnesses in the host) but these pests can bother your pet more during hot-humid weather conditions. Tick and flea preventive measures include the use of powders, flea/tick sprays, and shampoos to help in washing off the fleas/ticks down the drain (the product needs to be massaged all over the pet’s body, thereafter leave it on for close to ten minutes before washing it off), and tick-control collars. Also, clear off the yard of dead leaves and prune the grass and hedges, as this will help in decreasing the tick population in your garden.
Signs of heatstroke in a cat
Older and fat cats are the ones that suffer most from heatstroke. Also if the pet is experiencing some illness, the chances of it succumbing to overheating increase.
Watch for signs of heatstrokes in cats such as heavy breathing, (excessive) salivation, experience nausea/vomiting, nervousness, very high body temperature, tongue turning bright red, redness in gums, giddiness, weariness, diarrhea, and blackout.
The veterinarian must be approached at the earliest in case you notice the cat displaying any of these symptoms. Attempts must be made to bring down its body temperature by wrapping around the animal damp towels (dipped in cold water). Try to cool down the animal by putting ice packs on its head and body. Also, the cat parent can make the pet sit in a bath of cold water for about half an hour or so to stabilize its body temperature. Medical intervention is a must as heatstroke can also lead to the death of the animal in the absence of timely treatment.
Cat summer care guide-conclusion
I hope this article perfectly addresses all your concerns for your cat in the summer. For specific information, feel free to contact us.