As temperatures climb during summer months, veterinarians at the University of Pennsylvania’s Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital remind cat and dog owners of ways they can keep their pets healthy and cool.
- Do not leave your cat or dog in the car. Temperatures in parked cars rise very quickly in the sun, and pets can succumb to heat stroke in a very short time. Signs of heat stroke include heavy, loud breathing; staggering gait; and bright red tongue or gum tissue. If you suspect your cat has heat stroke, move it to a cool area, put cold compresses on its belly, or wet it down to cool it off. Seek medical attention for an afflicted cat as soon as possible.
- Provide your cat with a cool place to sleep during hot weather, and be sure your cat has access to plenty of clean, fresh water at all times.
- Make sure your cat’s vaccinations are up to date.
- Groom your cat regularly to look for fleas and ticks. These pests flourish during warm weather, and can be carried into your house by humans, then transferred to your pet. Regular grooming can help you spot the pesky bugs before they multiply.
- Keep your cat away from tempting summer foods, and make the garbage inaccessible to feline opportunists. Discarded chicken bones, if ingested by your cat, can lodge in its throat or stomach and cause life-threatening conditions.
- Make sure all your windows have screens to prevent your cat from becoming a victim of high-rise syndrome.