Our veterinary clinic in Tampa gets many questions about how to protect dogs during the heat of summer, but taking care of our outdoor cat patients is just as important. Many of the same dangers that can affect dogs can also be problems for cats. By taking these simple things into consideration, you and your cat housemates can enjoy a great summer in the wonderful Tampa heat.
First, and probably the most obvious, is the heat we get down here in Tampa. Indoor cats can have problems with this if owners trying to save some money on their energy bills turn the A/C down during the day when they are at work. This can sometimes raise the temperatures in homes to uncomfortable levels for our feline veterinary patients. Since cats pant to help cool themselves, these warmer conditions could possibly lead to mild heat stroke cases. Make sure your indoor cats are left with plenty of water and keep the house at a comfortable temperature for them. Having access to plenty of clean drinking water is also essential for our outdoor cats. Make sure your outdoor cats also have plenty of shaded areas so they can get out of the heat.
Summer time at our veterinary clinic in Tampa also means increased parasites. Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes are all around and having your cats on proper preventatives is essential to keeping them healthy. Something that many people don’t think about with cats are intestinal parasites. Our outdoor feline patients are at increased risk for these pests and our Tampa veterinarians recommend yearly intestinal parasite screening to help identify any parasitic problems. A few of the monthly topical flea medications can also protect your cats from intestinal parasites making it easy to keep them protected.
We all seem to be more active during the summer and so is the wildlife that is coming in contact with our outdoor cats. This means other cats as well as creatures like raccoons, possums, foxes, etc. Right near our veterinary clinic in Tampa, we see many of these animals spending time in our very own backyards. Once again, this is a potential for spreading parasites so monthly flea, tick, heart worm and intestinal parasite preventatives are essential. Having your cats properly vaccinated is extremely important. Our Tampa veterinarians recommend vaccinations for Rabies, feline distemper and feline leukemia for all outdoor cats and Rabies and feline distemper for indoor only cats.
Since summer is the time when we all are getting our yards back in order, there are many different chemicals and plants that our cats can be exposed to. Make sure you are using pet friendly chemicals and plants to prevent any toxic exposure for your feline friends.
These are a few things that will help keep your cat housemates safe over the summer months. Our veterinarians in Tampa are always here to answer any questions about this or any other topic.