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Summer tips for cat owners

In order to have a really nice summer together with your cat, you need to be prepared and be aware of the most common summer dangers for cats. Here, Rosemarie Engvall, licensed animal nurse at Agria, lists some common summer dangers for which many cat owners seek advice.
Summer tips for cat owners

"Cats are curious and want to go on adventures, sometimes long distances, and unfortunately there are many dangers they can encounter along the way. Bites and stings from ticks, wasps and snakes are classic advice calls that come in during the summer. Calls about traffic injuries, as well as bite wounds and injuries caused by territory-guarding (or trespassing) cats, also increase during this period with the increase in free, unsupervised outings," says Rosemarie Engvall, licensed animal nurse.

Cats out in nature

During the summer period, many indoor cats get a chance to get out into nature. Keep in mind that an indoor cat does not have quite the same tuned instincts as an outdoor cat. A leash with a harness is a good investment, but don't tie your cat up.

Remember that cats that stay outside can be exposed to snakes, insect bites and not least ticks.

"Remove your cat from the situation or the thing that injured it, and do not let your cat walk freely outside without supervision until you have been able to evaluate the extent of the damage. When an accident has occurred, it is always good to contact a veterinarian or animal nurse/animal keeper for assessment - better once too many than once too few. In the case of milder problems where the cat is stable, a call to Agria is a quick and easy way to get help with assessment and advice on how you as a pet owner should act," says Rosemarie. 

Ticks

Just like for dogs, it is important to protect the cat against ticks. Feel the cat daily and immediately remove any ticks. The most common risk is that your cat brings ticks into the home and spreads them on to people and other pets. It is very rare for cats to suffer from diseases as a result of tick bites. If a cat becomes infected, it is from Anaplasma bacteria, formerly called ehrlichia. Choose an over-the-counter tick repellent at the pharmacy. Be extra careful that you choose a tick repellent that is specifically intended for cats - tick repellents for dogs can be directly fatal for cats.

"Using tick prophylaxis, and following the recommendations for dosage and interval, significantly reduces the risk of contracting tick-borne diseases that can make the cat very ill, says Rosemarie. 

Deworming

If necessary, take a stool sample from an adult cat and then deworm if necessary. Cats that only live indoors rarely need to be dewormed. Signs that your cat may have worms are diarrhoea, emaciation, dull fur, vomiting and coughing. In some cases, worms can be seen when vomiting or around the anal opening. Kittens are dewormed before leaving the breeder.

Vaccinations

Update your cat's vaccinations! Cats must be vaccinated against parvo every three years. In normal cases, the same time interval applies to cat flu, but consult your vet for your cat's needs.

Heatstroke

Make sure your cat always has access to shade and a cool area Never leave your cat in the car on hot days. The first signs of heatstroke are that the cat becomes anxious and stressed. If the cat is also panting and drooling, it must be cooled down. Cover your cat with wet towels. As they begins to recover, make sure they rest in a dry, cool place.

Cat sunscreen

Cats can get sunburned if they can't seek shade on really hot days, although most seek shade or stay indoors. In general, the risk is greater for white animals and animals with thin fur. Exposed areas are the ears, nose and stomach. Help your cat by using a perfume-free sunscreen on particularly exposed areas if necessary.

On the balcony

More and more indoor cat owners put nets around their balconies and patios to give their cats a bit of a summer feel. This is something to recommend, but before you get a net, remember not to buy too sparse and low net so that the cat gets stuck with its head in the grid or escapes. Make sure that there is always a shady place for your cat when it is outside and that there is fresh water to drink.

"Unfortunately, injuries caused by falls from balconies and windows open for ventilation are also more common during the spring and summer when the heat sets in," says Rosemarie. "Regarding fall injuries from balconies and windows, it is of course necessary to net windows and balconies carefully and with a net of good quality in accordance with current legal requirements," she continues. 

How do you get a cat to walk in a harness?

If you don't have a balcony, you could buy a harness for your cat and take it out for walks. Train them by putting that harness on a little from time to time. It is not uncommon for a cat to crawl along the floor, back up and act very strange the first few times. Also, don't be surprised if your cat finds the grass scary to walk on, it will pass. Get used to it for shorter walks. After a while you have a faithful walking companion!

Before going on holiday

Traveling away for a period often presents the cat owner with the choice of taking or leaving the cat(s) at home.

Some cat owners take their cat with them when they travel, while others leave them behind. Cats react differently to a change of environment - some adapt quickly while others do not thrive at all. Feel what your cat likes best when you make your choice.

Do you have any good tips to give the cat a really good and safe summer?

"My sharpest tip for the summer has always been: Make sure to put the phone number of the nearest emergency animal hospital and Agria in the phone! In this way, as a pet owner, you can be confident in quickly getting help if your cat needs it.

Have a nice summer and don't hesitate to contact us at Agria using the Agria Vet Guide app if you have any questions about your cat. We are here, around the clock!

About the Author

Rosemarie Engvall is a licensed animal nurse.

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