Posted 7th Jul 2017
Now that summer has officially arrived, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home is reminding owners of the importance of ensuring your feline friends are protected from the heat
Cats will actually be affected by the sun in a similar way to humans - they can suffer from heat stroke and develop skin cancer from sun burns, even on cloudy days.
The signs of heatstroke are:
- Stretching out and rapid breathing
- Extreme distress
- Skin that is hot to the touch
- Glazed eyes
- Vomiting and drooling
If you spot any of these symptoms, you should contact your local vet immediately.
Battersea has come up with some helpful tips to help you keep your cat cool and refreshed this summer:
Use sun cream
Cats with lighter-coloured fur will be more likely to get sunburnt. Fur will offer some protection to some extent, but if your cat will let you, you should apply animal friendly sun cream on the areas which are most exposed, especially the end of the nose and tips of the ears. The sun cream should be Titanium Dioxide-based, while you should avoid any containing Zinc Oxide. If you are unsure which sun cream to use, you should consult your vet.
Provide plenty of shade
You should ensure there are a number of shaded areas in the garden, so your cat has a number of options to keep sheltered while still having the freedom to roam around.
Make sure your cat has access to plenty of water throughout the day and evening. You should also regularly refill the bowl to keep it fresh and cool.
Keep cool indoors
Indoor cats can still feel the heat - investing in a fan will do wonders, for both the cat and owner. Netting frames that fit over windows and doors are a good way to keep the place well-ventilated without worrying about the cat-escaping.
On a really hot day, avoid overexciting your cat. An active cat will quickly become exhausted and dehydrated. Instead, encourage a more relaxed approach to the day, or for an inquisitive cat, put down a couple of ice cubes for your cat to play with.
Check behind you
If you have a shed or conservatory open, make sure there is no cat secretly hiding there before you lock up for the day.