As much as we try to provide a feline-friendly inside of our homes, sometimes we can anticipate problems that occur annually because of different holidays or seasons.
Summer brings more problems for us to guard against because we are bringing more outside hazards indoors, sometimes unknowingly.
The most obvious concern for summer is that our felines drink enough water even though they are indoors. Sometimes our finicky felines need a taste adjustment or a visual perk to pique their interest in water. Bottled water, filtered water or water with ice can all aid in the encouragement to drink.
Some of our felines need a more drastic step. A ceramic or stainless steel water fountain may solve the problem. The fountain can especially be the solution if your feline likes the sink or tub faucet because a fountain can mimic the flow or trickle. If this is the case, look for a spout or down-flow tap.
If you have multiple felines, look for a fountain with spouts they can share. You should remember to change the filter as needed to keep your felines enjoying the fountain.
Our felines can also suffer from the damaging effects of the sun. This is especially true for felines with shorter hair and patchy spots on their ears and face. White and light-colored cats burn more quickly; but don’t forget black and dark-colored felines over heat quicker.
Are you thinking about applying sun screen? If you are, do not use anything that is not specifically pet friendly. It should be geared to felines because they are sensitive to additives and drugs that dogs may not be. Lotions not specifically made for our cats may cause drooling, vomiting, dehydration and lethargy. Many products contain zinc oxide, which is toxic for animals. Salicylates, a fancy word for aspirin products, is another additive harmful to felines.
Pulling down shades and limiting our feline’s exposure to the sun during peak hours would be the ideal solution, but how do we keep our pets out of the windows?
Treat summer months like you would any other holiday, only this one goes on and on. There are food and drinks going in and out that are feline hazards. A sweet, fruity alcoholic beverage may be tempting. Our felines do not just become intoxicated, but their systems are at risk for becoming so depressed they can fall into respiratory distress or a coma. Take extra care to empty all glasses before bringing them indoors if you are not soaking dishes immediately or making them inaccessible.
Citronella candles and products with oil, including insect oils need to be stashed in a cabinet immediately if brought indoors. The coils on these products look too much like toys. Chewing on them can cause stomach irritations, as well as a negative impact on the central nervous system.
If inhaled, these products can cause a form of pneumonia. These items are, with out question, toxic for our felines.
If you purchased glow sticks or glow jewelry for your children for the summer months, these too are harmful for your felines. The glowing product looks like a toy and they may chew them or carry them around until they break. The substance that makes the items glow is hidden toxic danger. The plastic pieces can also cause blockage in the intestines if swallowed. These items need to stay outdoors or be secured.
Summer brings more cooking outdoors, thereby bringing some of the toxins related to grilling indoors. Matches can casually travel from the pocket to the counter indoors, which our felines can get to. The chlorates in some matches may cause damage to blood cells.
Problems can range from shortness of breath to something as severe as major organ damage associated with kidney failure. Lighter fluid lingers even after washing your hands, so wash until the odour is removed.
Perhaps confinement to an escape-proof room is safest, considering that your guests are going in and out as frequently as the summer toxins. Your guests will never be as careful as you are around your pets.
Confinement also allows you to do a safety check around the home to search for hazards before your felines have free range of the entire home again. Also, make sure your felines are fed their normal, healthy diet before release into the entire home. This may make them less tempted to eat something they should not.
With a few precautions, you can enjoy your outdoor summer fun without a trip to the emergency veterinarian.