Outdoor cat safety tips

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Powered by Slider Revolution 5. I’ll start off by saying that I believe all cats are safest indoors unless in a well-constructed enclosure but I know many cat parents do allow their cats outside, whether it’s for a supervised nap on the deck, a walk on a leash or to wander the neighborhood. There are many dangers to allowing your cat outdoors but some cat parents feel strongly that cats need to be outdoors. I do hope if you let your cat outdoors, you create as much safety as is possible in such an environment. In summer, many of us look forward to spending more time outdoors, swimming in the pool, going to the beach, firing up the grill and enjoying the sun. Of course there’s also the joy of mowing the lawn, fighting off bees and trying to keep the kids entertained during summer break. Even indoor cats are susceptible, especially if you have a dog who could be serving as a flea taxi.

Check your cat over and look for signs of flea debris. For safety, don’t use any over-the-counter flea control product without talking to your veterinarian first. Regardless of the season it’s important to keep your cat up-to-date on vaccinations as needed. Follow your state or local government laws regarding rabies vaccination. As for other vaccinations, talk to your veterinarian about the appropriate schedule for your cat so you are vaccinating as needed but not over-vaccinating. If your cat stays outdoors, keep water bowls in the shade and change them several times a day.

For indoor cats, make water as appealing as possible by changing it frequently and washing the bowl every day. In very hot weather, keep water cool by dropping a couple of ice cubes in the bowl. The water in puddles may become contaminated from the feces of infected animals. If you’re uncomfortable then chances are your cat is also uncomfortable when it comes to the temperature. Even indoor environments can get very stuffy so pay attention to those inside temps. If you don’t have air conditioning keep a couple of fans going to circulate the air.

Make sure the fans are safe and placed where the cat can’t get to them. On hot, sunny days, keep curtains closed to help cool down indoor temperatures. Keep in mind that cats can get sunburned as well and their ear tips are particularly vulnerable. On very sunny days, consider keeping your cat indoors for his own safety and comfort. The safest sun protection you can use is to bring your cat indoors and avoid extended exposure to sun. Cats allowed outdoors in the heat of the day must have options for shade. Make sure there are shady areas your cat can access.

This is also important for people who create outdoor enclosures for cats. There must be shade options within those enclosures and that the cat has the ability to re-enter the house on his own. Do not leave your cat outdoors in an enclosure in the summer where he can’t escape the heat and return to the house. Never leave your cat in an outdoor enclosure when you aren’t home. The best place for an older cat is safely indoors where he can stay cool. He needs options for cool surface napping as well as soft beds so he can make the choice to maintain temperature comfort. If you have a fan going in the room, make sure your senior cat is mobile enough to be able to move away from it if he doesn’t like the air blowing directly on him. Check window screens for any rips or signs of wear that could provide an escape route for a cat. Many cats enjoy sitting in the open window to look outside and you want to ensure that they won’t easily slip out through ripped screens. Check the sturdiness of screens as well. A large and determined cat who spots a bird outside may push through the screen. Make sure screens are secure or only open windows enough to let the breeze in. Pet screens and window gates are also available commercially if you want to have your windows fully opened.

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