How to keep your cat happy and safe in the heat.
As summer is in full swing, no doubt many of you have been making the most of it and basking in the sun. But while you’re enjoying the warm weather, don’t forget about protecting your cat from the sun and heat too. Many cats will limit their activity to suit the warm conditions but to keep your cat as comfortable and cool as possible there are various things you can do as a responsible owner.
Photo by matheuslotero via flickr / Creative Commons
Cats with pale coloured fur (including those with white ears or noses) can be more susceptible to sunburn during the summer months and sun exposure can be a trigger for a type of skin disease including cancer. We all know how much some cats love to lie in the sun so it’s a good idea to try to offer some protection.
Cats Protection would recommend that you make an appointment with your vet to discuss suitable sun creams. It’s important any sun protection products you use are suitable for cats, as they can be sensitive to some ingredients, which may be an irritant. Use a waterproof, non-toxic sunscreen which your cat can’t lick off and reapply as directed on the instructions.
As cats groom themselves regularly, the effectiveness of using sunscreens to protect against sunburn or feline skin cancer is unknown so try to keep your cat indoors during the hottest part of the day (between 10am and 3pm, when the sun is at its hottest).
When your cat is indoors, keep the curtains closed to stop the sun from shining in and consider providing some fans to circulate air around the room. Provide fresh water in a number of places (away from food and litter trays) if possible, and ensure the water is replaced twice a day or more as required.
It’s important to ensure that you keep up with regular vaccination and parasite control for fleas and worms (and other parasites), especially in the warmer summer months. Your cat may be spending more time outside and have increased exposure to certain diseases and parasite life stages during these months. Please speak to your vet about the most suitable product for your cat.
If you’re going away on a summer holiday you may choose to book your cat into a cattery. Read our Going on holiday? blog post for more information.