June 2009 Issue

Keep Your Cat Safe During the Hazardous Months of Summer

Beware heatstroke, parasites and environmental risks.

Your cat’s safety and good health should be a year-round priority. And unless you keep your cat indoors all of the time, the challenge is likely to be most demanding during the summer months, when temperatures soar, and cats are more likely to wander from the secure confines of their homes. During extremely hot, humid weather, cats are increasingly vulnerable to heat exhaustion and dehydration. They are more prone to assault by fleas, ticks, and other parasites. They can be dangerously exposed to cancer-causing sun rays. And they are more likely to come in contact with such noxious substances as lawn chemicals and rotting garbage. Among the most severe of summertime risks facing the outdoor cat is the threat of being hit by a motor vehicle, says Christine Bellezza, DVM, a consultant at the Feline Health Center of Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. "As the weather warms up," she points out, "cats tend to be outside more often. So they’re more likely to roam around, cross streets, and wander into the path of a car."

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