Cats Protection, the UK’s oldest and largest feline welfare charity, urges owners to be aware of their cat’s needs over the summer months in order to keep puss safe and happy.
Some simple guidelines for cat owners during the hot weather:
Sun protection: Cats love sun-bathing but many are at risk of sun damage, particularly white and pale-coloured cats and those with sparse hair on their ears. Ideally, all cats should be kept in between 12 noon and 3.00 pm
on hot, sunny days but this isn’t always possible. It is best to protect your cat’s vulnerable bits with a sunscreen containing titanium dioxide, which is insoluble in water and safe for cats. Sun E-45 is non-toxic to cats and offers UVA/UVB protection.
Shade and water: Most cats will find themselves a nice shady spot when the going gets hot but it is a good idea to keep an eye on elderly cats, as they can suffer from heat-stroke. Make sure puss has access to plenty of water and, if a cat starts to pant, seek veterinary assistance, as this is not normal behaviour.
Car travel: Cats should not be left alone in a car, even during short journeys. Water should be carried as a precaution and, again, seek veterinary advice if puss starts panting.
Food: Cats do not always want to eat a lot during hot weather. However, if puss seems persistently off his food, it is best to seek veterinary advice.
Holidays: Cats Protection does not recommend that owners take their felines with them when they go on holiday. Cats are territorial animals and, if they get lost in a strange environment, it can create a logistical nightmare – not to mention a terrified pet.
Leaving puss at home: During holiday times, cats are best left at home in the hands of a pet sitter or reliable friend/family member. It is recommended that the carer visits the home twice a day to feed and water puss, as well as provide some fuss and play.
Cattery: If it is impossible for puss to be cared for at home, the second-best option is to book him into a reliable cattery. A good establishment won’t mind a pre-stay visit to check out cleanliness, security, and pen facilities. Catteries can cater for special veterinary
needs and require an up-to-date vaccination certificate for feline guests.
Prior to leaving: Check outbuildings and shut rooms in the house to double-check for trapped felines!