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!
Thank you for sharing stories of your adorable cat! I had a very sweet dilute calico that passed away recently. Kali ma reminds me a lot of her. My kitty also loved wearing a harness and exploring the backyard, just enjoying her surroundings. She had an amazing temperament and I think she could have been a great therapy cat as well.
I found your site and love seeing your adventures together. Calicos are special creatures.
Hi Molly. I’m so honored that you shared your story with me. I am also deeply saddened for your loss 🙁 . Calico cats 🐈 are special… like no other. You cannot breed them, so if one finds you it is truly a blessing. I cherish every moment with Kali-Ma. So glad you found us. Perhaps you will find space in your heart ❤️ for another kitty 🐱. So many need a home 🏡. That is how Kali-Ma and I came to be… she rescued me when I was in grief. Hugs 🤗 to you from both of us! Gloria and Kali-Ma 😊🐾🙏
UGH! Fleas! Grumble, grumble, growl and discontent. They have been a massive source of frustration, and for Multiple Years!, with my younger cat. And both my guys are indoor only.
Got him as a rescued kitten, it was known he had fleas. I did the flea bath thing 2 times and not one observable little black speck showed up in the water or on the comb. None. Zero. Have tried, used, powders, liquids, pills, collars. Several different brands. For multiple years. He has what is apparently an allergic reaction to the collars and loses his hair where they are. And he still has fleas. And they leave crap on his chin. People keep saying I need to have my apartment sprayed but because of the particulars of my bad health that isn’t doable. I don’t get why nothing seems to make any difference. I just don’t get it. I keep doing the right things and getting no results; maybe I should stop doing the right things and expecting different results, and start doing the wrong things? Gee, do I sound a bit exasperated?
Hi Scott. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Have you taken the little guy to the vet and gotten the “prescription” flea medication versus the over the counter one? I ask as Kali-Ma is allergic to flea larvae and she has to have the prescription flea medicine to fight the little buggers. Once a month and it costs me about $15/mth. I put the medicine on the back of her neck. I never used flea collars or flea baths. This works on a totally different level. It kills the eggs before they even hatch. Once you put it on ALL the fleas are dead within 24hrs and stay gone for 30 days.
It breaks my heart to hear of any kitty in distress. I can completely understand your frustration. Sometimes only the vet can help. As for the deposits left on his chin, I have heard that a small amount of anti-bacterial soap and water will remove it with a soft clean cloth. Again, I would absolutely check with your vet first.
Please keep in touch with us and let us know how kitty is doing. Happy Tails to you 🙂