The arrival of spring and summer means warm days and sunshine, and the chance to spend more time enjoying outdoor activities. If you share your life with a cat, the warmer months can result in a number of health hazards for your feline family member. It’s important that you’re aware of these so you can take steps to keep your furry friend safe.
Here are some of the most common summer dangers for your cat.
Fleas are more common in summer and may cause skin irritation and itching, but the products use to keep these little biting parasites in check can be dangerous. Cats are very sensitive to the ingredients used in them and if a dog product is used, or even if you use a product that’s designed for cats and use it incorrectly, the results can be devastating. Always use insecticides exactly as directed and never ever use a dog product on a cat.
If you enjoy gardening, that flower bed you’re so proud of can make your cat very ill. Some flowers such as tulips cause gastrointestinal upset and lethargy if eaten, but others are potentially fatal. If your cat nibbles on a member of the daffodil family they may vomit and have diarrhea, but they can also develop heart rhythm abnormalities. Lilies are even more dangerous, and can lead to kidney failure and death. Keep your puss away from dangerous plants; even better, choose flowers that won’t make them sick should they swallow them. Snail bait or insecticides that are used around your garden could also poison your cat so use them cautiously or fence off the part of your garden you are treating.
We all enjoy lying in the sun, so it’s not surprising that our cats do too. However, we use sunscreen to protect ourselves from sun damage. Cats are also at risk of sunburn if they are exposed to the sun for too long. White or light colored cats are particularly at risk, and sun cancers are common on their nose and ear tips. To keep your much loved feline family member safe, keep him indoors during the hottest part of the day.
There’s nothing more pleasant in summer than sitting back dangling a fishing line in the water and hoping for a bite. Even if you don’t catch a fish, the smell of bait on your hook is very appealing to your cat. If he licks or bites the hook, it may traumatize his mouth or even worse, pierce his cheek. This can result in a trip to the vet to have the hook removed under anesthetic. Before you sit back and relax after your fishing trip, put your rods and tackle away so there is no risk to your cat.
Spring and summer usually see an increase in hay fever symptoms in people, and the most common treatments for itchy eyes and a runny nose are antihistamines. Cats don’t often sample human medications but if your pet does decide to chew on your tablets, he may become quite unwell. Symptoms of antihistamine overdose include tremors, convulsions, vomiting and confusion.
Fortunately, most cats recover with veterinary care but why take a chance with your cat’s health? Keep your allergy medication well out of his reach.
The summer months are a fun time of year, but be alert to potential hazards. If you’re aware of what could harm your cat, you can take steps to protect him. By doing so, you can both enjoy the warm weather without needing to rush your cat to your vet for treatment.