This time of year can sometimes be stressful for our kitties with the heatwaves, fireworks, and bugs but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips to make enjoying summertime with your cat simple and easy. Summertime cat care doesn’t have to be complicated.
1. Protect Your Cat From Fleas and Ticks
First and foremost, protect your cat from the bugs! You can obtain a prescription treatment from your Veterinarian that will protect it from fleas and heartworm or you can purchase an over the counter formula that will protect it from fleas, ticks, and lice.
It is critical to protect your cat, even if it’s an indoor cat. You can bring in these little critters with your groceries, on your pant legs, etc. Personally, I use the protection year-round on my cat.
All it takes is one application on the back of their neck once a month. Kali-Ma got bit once and it turned out she was allergic to the flea larvae. She broke out all over in a rash, in addition to having the fleas. Never again will I put her through that ordeal.
2. Bring Your Cat Indoors When It’s Hot Outside
If your cat isn’t an indoor cat or if you walk your cat outside as I do, then my personal rule is: if it’s over 82 degrees outside, my cat stays inside. This is my own personal rule that I use with my cat. Everyone knows their cat and what it can tolerate. The bottom line is when it’s too hot, bring them in or don’t take them out at all.
If you don’t have air conditioning then open the windows and run fans. Cats instinctively know where to go to keep cool. Kali-Ma likes to lay in her Scratch Lounger, or her toy box and sleep on hot days.
I also purchased some black-out curtains to help keep things cool. They have worked very well and reduced the temperature in our home on hot days immensely.
4. Enjoy The Outdoors With Your Cat On Cool Days
There is nothing like a walk in the park with my cat after a long hard day at the office. She sits on the park bench next to me and I tell her all about my day. Often, in the evening when it’s cool enough she walks a little too.
Sometimes we see a child and we hear the familiar “oh look Mom it’s a kitty”! Often that child cannot have a cat for one reason or another, so Kali-Ma provides all the purrs and comfort for a moment to them.
People will comment to me “oh my cat could never do that….”. My reply is consistently the same “don’t be so quick to discount your cat”. Kali-Ma wasn’t always like this. It took love, time, and patience for us to bond together.
You can read more about how to enjoy the outdoors with your cat here if you are interested: https://www.tailsofkalima.com/enjoying-the-outdoors-with-your-cat/
3. Give Your Cat Plenty of Water
I am a firm believer in pet water fountains. You can read about my research and reasoning here: https://www.tailsofkalima.com/4-reasons-your-cat-needs-a-water-fountain/
If your cat doesn’t have a fountain, then be sure it has clean, freshwater every day. When it’s extremely hot you may even want to put in an ice cube in the water.
Kali-Ma enjoys a liquid treat that also keeps here hydrated. It is full of vitamins and also has probiotics. When we are out walking she will not drink water no matter how I present it to her, but she will take this liquid treat.
5. Playtime Should Be At The Coolest Part Of The Day
Summer can be hot so I try to play with Kali-Ma early in the morning or late evening. She needs to remain active and keep her daily routine when possible. If I don’t play with her daily she lets me know it through her behavior.
Her health comes first though, and cats do get overheated. Cats even sweat – through their paws. A cat’s normal temperature is 99.5 – 102.5 degrees. If you ever notice that your cat has damp paws then it’s time for them to cool down immediately.
6. Fireworks and Thunderstorms
I have written a completely separate blog on the best practices for your cat during fireworks and thunderstorms here: https://www.tailsofkalima.com/five-cat-calming-tips-during-fireworks-and-storms/
When it is possible, it is best to be at home with your cat during these times. They can be extremely overwhelming to your kitty.
Kali-Ma and I enjoy summer as our most active season. We go almost everywhere together including parks, festivals and even sidewalk sales. She is a great comfort to me and to nearly everyone she meets. I cannot even fathom getting in the car without her on the weekend. With proper summertime cat care, she can go to many places with me.
It is my hope that one day we will see more cats in strollers out and about bringing smiles to children’s faces that we meet. Enjoying summertime with your cat can be a healthy, active experience for both of you.
Until next time….Happy Tails to you!