Summer is quickly approaching, and that can mean a host of health problems for your cat. But not to worry, this guide has everything you need to know to be a proactive pet owner, when it comes to addressing and preventing cat health concerns this summer season.
One of the biggest health concerns for cats, and even dogs too, are fleas. These pesky insects thrive in summer and can make your feline companion very uncomfortable. While over the counter products may provide some relief and peace of mind, topical prescription medicines offer the best protection. These types of medication like Frontline or other vet prescribed meds can be easily applied to your cat’s skin to kill existing fleas and prevent future infestations. One important thing to keep in mind is that cats groom themselves often, so the medicine should be applied between the shoulder blades where they have a harder time reaching and will be less likely to lick it off and get it in their mouth. Also, even if your cat doesn’t go outdoors and is an indoor cat only, they should still be on some sort of monthly flea preventative as fleas can enter your home on other household pets and on your shoes or clothing.
If you notice your cat excessively scratching or biting itself (especially at the base of the tail) and/or if your cat has red, inflamed skin, then he or she is most likely suffering from allergies. This is actually quite common during the summer and is usually caused by pollen or fleas. For allergies related to pollen, regularly changing your air conditioning filters and keeping your home clean can help reduce symptoms and make your cat feel more comfortable. Regularly washing pet bedding, dusting, vacuuming, and keeping your cat indoors are all great ways to help alleviate allergies. If these natural solutions don’t help, your veterinarian may be able to prescribe medication or give your kitty an allergy shot to treat allergies.
Heat Related Illnesses
Summertime can be dangerous for cats. Dehydration and heat stroke can be quite common during the summer season. Although cats are less likely than dogs, to be in situations where heat is an issue, it is important to keep in mind that they can still get sick from heat. Keeping your cat indoors is key to preventing this problem. Making sure that your cat also has plenty of water and a cool place to rest are also important steps to take in preventing heat related illnesses. Indoor fans and air conditioners can also help, and should especially be used during heat waves. Knowing the signs of heat stroke or dehydration can be the difference between life and death for your pet. Look for the following symptoms:
- Excessive panting or difficulty breathing
- Mild weakness
- Bloody diarrhea
- Elevated body temperature
If your cat experiences any of the above symptoms, take them to a vet immediately.
According to ASPCA During warmer months, many animal hospitals and veterinarians see an increase in injured animals as a result of “High-Rise Syndrome”, which occurs when pets (especially felines), fall out of open windows and are seriously or fatally injured. To prevent this from happening to your pet, make sure that all window screens are secured, and keep all unscreened windows closed.