The following are the most important summer safety tips for outdoor cats.
1. Provide water and shade. Pets that experience long exposure to heat and sunlight can quickly become dehydrated or overheated. Keep a full water bowl outdoors at all time, and make sure your cat has access to plenty of shady, cool areas. Driveways, brick, or any other type of pavement can get especially hot in the sun and burn your cat’s paws, so provide pathways to avoid these areas if at all possible.
2. Wear protection. That’s right – cats can get sunburned, too! Cats are especially vulnerable at the tips of their ears and on their nose. There is sunscreen made especially for cats and dogs that can be used to protect against harsh UV rays.
3. Protect against poisonous plants. There are many plants, bushes, and insecticides that can be very harmful to your pet if direct contact occurs. When using any kind of outdoor pesticide, make sure to limit your pet’s access to the area for the specified wait period. Additionally, check to make sure any garden plants or natural shrubbery is pet-safe. The ASPCA provides a list of any and all toxic plants commonly found outdoors.
4. Wear identification. Outdoor cats should always wear a collar with tags. These types of cats have a greater risk of becoming lost or ending up at a shelter, so tags can be a very helpful way to locate your pet in case of an emergency.
5. Easy indoor access. Pet doors allow your cat or dog to easily venture indoors, whenever need be. Outdoor pets may need to escape the heat, avoid potential danger, or come inside to grab a bite to eat. Make sure your cat doors and dog doors are easily accessible and provide a quick exit from the outdoors. Lastly, we encourage all pet owners to carefully monitor their pets when outdoors. This is the best way to practice safety and keep your pet happy and healthy!