Lazing around outside in the garden with a cool drink and a pair of sunglasses, enjoying the summer, you’re content and basking in the warmth. Your four-legged friend might even be joining you - cats love the sun as much as we do. But just as you’re aware of putting on suncream and preparing for the summer sun, make sure that your cat has all he or she needs to stay happy and healthy in the warmer weather.
If your cat is allowed to roam outside, make sure that your garden is cat-friendly and also has plenty of shade; try planting with flowers and bushes which are non-toxic to cats. Avoid slug pellets and other chemicals in your gardening, and check your cat over each time she comes in for stings or insect bites. These do not normally pose a problem, but better to be safe than sorry: make sure your cat’s pet insurance is up to date and you are registered with a vet. One good preventative measure is to treat pale noses and ear-tips with a little sunscreen, but choose one which is cat-friendly or suitable for babies to avoid irritation.
Cool and shady spaces
Most people are aware of the dangers of leaving a dog in a parked car with no open windows, but make sure not to make the same mistake with your cat when travelling to and from boarding kennels or on holiday, but equally places in your own home such as conservatories or greenhouses, which can get very hot and cause heatstroke. Try to give your cat flexibility over where they spend their day, with various shady spots, even adding a pet ice-block so there is a nice cool place for snoozing if required. Leave a window open if possible, installing an escape-proof screen to prevent any mishaps.
You know how in winter you crave cosy, warming soup, but in summer you just want a light salad? Cats can have the same reaction to changing seasons with their appetites, and may not want to eat as much in hot weather. Avoid feeding any leftovers though, as hot weather can make wet cat food a breeding ground for flies and bacteria, and try different types of food to make sure she’s still eating enough. Always make sure that there is plenty of fresh, cool water available for your cat, both indoors and out; and if she seems persistently off her food, then do speak to your vet.
Making sure that your cat has plenty of shade and water in a safe and comfortable place is the key to keeping them comfortable through hot weather; and regular checks on their mood and appetite can be a good indicator of how they’re feeling. This is where knowing your feline friend and their habits well comes in handy, but always speak to a vet if you are unsure.