• Summer is the time to get outside with your cat. Just note that your cat will feel the heat before you do.

    It’s up to you to make sure your cat stays cool as the temperature soars during the long, hot summer. Here are a few tips that will keep him comfortable and healthy.

    • Keep your cat’s bowl full of clean, cold water. There’s nothing more refreshing than a chilled drink of water on a hot day. Your cat feels the same way. On really hot or humid days, toss a couple of ice cubes in the bowl to keep the water cool. Don’t forget to change the water daily to prevent the growth of bacteria and algae.
    • Some cats love a game of ice hockey On a smooth floor, bat an ice cube toward your cat. Swat it back to him if he returns your serve. Continuing the volley until he loses interest is a great way to have fun with your cat and keep cool at the same time.
    • High humidity combined with heat can put your cat at risk of heatstroke.On humid days, keep your home cool with fans or air conditioning. Outside, an inexpensive water mister can give cats a little relief.
    • Give a little more TLC to special needs cats.Senior cats, very young kittens, and sick or debilitated animals are more sensitive to hot weather. Keep these cats cool at all times and watch them closely for signs of heat-related illness. Try to schedule your veterinary appointments and outside activities early in the morning or late in the evenings so he won’t have to travel in a sweltering car during the hottest part of the day.
    • Never leave your cat alone in a car.Quick trips to the store always take longer than you expect. Leaving the windows cracked won’t help keep him cool, either. On a summer's day of only 85 degrees, the inside car temperature will shoot up to 120 degrees (F) in a matter of minutes even with the windows slightly open.
    • Check your screens for tears and secure fit. Cats like to stay cool on the windowsill, especially during warm weather. A cat leaning against a loose or improperly fastened screen, however, may fall. Use safety screens on all open windows and make sure they are installed properly.
    • Monitor your cat for symptoms of heatstroke. Heatstroke is a real medical emergency. If you suspect your pet has heatstroke you must act quickly: Move your cat to a cool place, and immediately contact your veterinarian. Symptoms of heatstroke include:

      • Panting
      • Drooling
      • Red tongue and lips
      • Dullness
      • Weakness and collapsing
      • Convulsions
      • Vomiting

      Remember, summer is a fun season for one and all. With just a few precautions, you can be sure you and your cats will beat the heat.

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    Light colored cats, or cats with white ears and faces, are particularly prone to sunburn.