Summer in the City with Kitty
The fun-filled days of summer have arrived. For people in the city, it’s time to enjoy street festivals, trek to the beach, and plan a weekend getaway to cool mountain retreats. For cats, however, hot days can be the most stressful times of the year.
Looking to help Kitty stay happy and healthy this summer? Today, we offer you our best answers to your questions about keeping your furry companion happy and healthy this summer.
How long can my cat be left alone when I am away?
Planning a weekend getaway out of the city? It’s probably best to leave Kitty at home. Cats like routine, and even a short trip may be upsetting for them. For an overnight absence, leave several bowls of water, enough dry cat food, plenty of fresh litter, and a toy such as a puzzle feeder. You may want to switch on the TV or some music for background sound. If you plan to be gone more than one night, look into hiring a reliable cat sitter. Be sure to leave a list of instructions and a number for the vet in case of emergencies.
Should I run the air conditioner all day to keep my animal cool?
No one wants to imagine their feline companion sweltering at home while they’re chilling at an air-conditioned workplace. On the other hand, we know air conditioning is a major contributor to climate change as well as being expensive. What to do?
Run the air. Cats can only release excess body heat through their paw pads and by panting. And of course, they can’t pull a glass of ice water out of the fridge when they’re feeling the heat. That’s why the Alliance to Save Energy recommends setting the thermostat between 78 and 80. If you have a Persian cat or a long-haired cat of any variety, definitely keep your place cool.
Is my elderly or overweight cat really at an elevated risk of heat stroke?
Yes. Take extra precaution with your elderly or overweight cat. Good ideas include adding ice cubes to his water bowl, cooling a towel in the freezer for your cat’s bedding, and wrapping a frozen water bottle in an old cloth and giving it to your cat. Definitely keep the fans and the air conditioner running for these fragile guys.
Can I leave my cat unattended in the car?
Your cat should never be left unattended in the car. Summer temperatures can soar inside a vehicle even with the windows cracked. Cats are heat-sensitive creatures, can rapidly develop heat stroke, and can suffer permanent brain damage or death as a result. Many states now have laws protecting animals from being left alone in hot cars, and caregivers who choose to do so can be held legally accountable for their pet’s wellbeing.
What is High-Rise Syndrome, and is my cat at risk for it?
High-Rise Syndrome is a phenomenon in which cats fall from heights of two stories or greater. Even though our cats possess a legendary sense of balance, they can twist off a narrow ledge while asleep or be distracted by prey below. Summer is an especially risky time for High-Rise Syndrome since many cats enjoy lying beside windows to feel the breeze or finding a shady spot to nap on a fire escape. Make sure your screens and window guards are tight, and your cat can’t get outdoors.
Summer is great time to shop for new cat toys, hang a bird feeder outside the window, or teach your cat a new trick. There’s plenty of summer fun to go around. We hope our tips help you and your cat companion stay safe and cool this season.