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5 Summer Safety Tips for Cat Owners
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5 Summer Safety Tips for Cat Owners

Cats
Health & Safety

Cats are glorious creatures – often aloof when it pleases them, rather independent at times but only when it suits them and yet always extremely affectionate when they are hungry for food or affection. Although most people think that our feline friends take care of themselves, cats still need a lot of looking after which means sharing your home with one is a long term commitment but one which is thoroughly enjoyable.

With this said, cats often get themselves into a little bit of a pickle and this is especially true when the weather turns nice and they spend more of their time in the great outdoors. This is the time of the year when your pet runs the risk of picking up a few pesky fleas as well as other nasty parasites – depending on where you live.

Below are 5 things to watch out for and if need be, take action so your cat stays safe during the summer.

Fleas, Ticks and Mites

There are certain areas of the country where ticks can be a real problem and this is especially true if there are deer, badgers and lots of other wildlife around which carry ticks and fleas. Cats when they spend a lot of time in the great outdoors are at greater risk of picking up ticks which are often found in the grass in parkland and other areas of the countryside.

The same can be said of fleas and mites and if left untreated, these nasty parasites can cause not only a lot of discomfort to your cat and infest your home, but they can make our feline friends very sick too. However, treating a cat with the right type of product is essential because if you use product that is not specifically formulated for use on felines, it can prove fatal to them.

You need to talk to your vet and use a product they prescribe or recommend, following the instructions on how to use it to the letter. You should also be very careful and wary of any products that hare either "natural" or "herbal" because some herbs and natural ingredients are deadly to cats so it is far better to avoid using them altogether.

Heartworm Disease

For most people when talking about cats and parasites, they automatically think of ear mites, fleas, ticks and other pesky blood sucking bugs. However, another very dangerous and harmful parasite that affects cats is heartworm. Cats with heartworm will typically cough excessively and may even experience trouble breathing both of which are symptoms typically associated with a hairball or maybe asthma.

Luckily heartworm in cats is pretty rare in the UK, although it is something that vets over here think owners should never forget could well become a problem. If you are unsure or have any questions, you should discuss your concerns with your vet who would examine your cat, carry out specific tests that would confirm or rule out whether they have heartworm or not. If they find your pet does indeed have heartworm, they will prescribe the right medication to get on top of the problem.

Injuries that Turn into an Abscess

Cats do tend to spend more time outside when the weather is nice and warm which means many more cats are out there too. The spring and summer months are usually the time of the year when more cat fights take place and it's when owners may well find their beloved moggies returning home with a few injuries. It's really important to treat a bite or a scratch early because bites and other injuries inflicted by cats on each other can turn septic very, very quickly because of all the bacteria found in a cat's mouth.

If left untreated, a bite which could be a really tiny puncture hole, could turn into a nasty and extremely painful abscess. This would need to be treated by a vet as soon as possible or the infection could get into your cat's blood stream which may prove fatal. If you suspect your moggy has been in a territorial cat fight you need to check them over and treat their injuries with a specifically formulated antiseptic ointment for cats. If in doubt, you should ask your vet to recommend a treatment for you.

Falls From Heights

All cats love to get up high and then look down on the world from a lofty and strategic position. Our feline friends are built to climb trees but they do get themselves into trouble on the odd occasion. Although a cat can cope with a fall typically landing on their feet, this does not mean they don't occasionally injure themselves when they do. Cats have an amazing ability to rotate themselves as they fall through the air – this is why they tend to land on their paws when they hit the ground but if you see this happen, you should always check your pet over for any injuries as soon as you can.

Some people think that a lower fall than a fall from a higher place is often more dangerous to a cat simply because they just don't have enough time to position themselves ready for their landing. If you see your cat fall from any height and even if they do fall on their paws, it's really important to check them over and if you have any concerns, you need to get your pet down to the veterinary surgery as soon as you can. Remember, your moggy might have some internal bleeding going on which a vet would pick up on quickly making sure enough oxygenated blood is getting to the brains.

If you live in an apartment and have an indoor cat, make sure you fit screens on your windows before leaving them open when the weather is warm. This will help prevent your cat from suffering a nasty fall if they sit on the window ledge.

Some Summer Garden Plants are Poisonous to Cats

Cat owners normally take great care to avoid placing any poisoning plants in their homes which their cats might accidentally have a nibble on and which could prove lethal to them. However, there are numerous plants that grow in a garden which are toxic to cats too. Although our feline friends are pretty finicky when it comes to what they nibble on (unlike dogs), they do run the risk of ingesting a plant that's poisonous to them which is why it's a good idea to have a little walk around a garden to see if any are growing in it so you can remove them. If you are unsure if a plant is poisonous to cats or not, you can check it out online or ask your vet for their advice. However, it is far better to err on the side of caution and remove the plant anyway.

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