Here in southeast Michigan we’ve had some days that felt like spring skipped us by! If it weren’t for all the rain, it really would feel that way sometime. Here at Wags to Wiskers Pet Supplies, our team and staff are in mixed feelings regarding pulling the trigger on turning the AC on versus keeping the windows open these days. That being said, we’ve seen our dogs and cats lounging in sun spots, napping in the garden or the lawn, and making the most of these days while they’re here.
But, the first day of summer is in 11 days! June 21st! So we’ve got some summer tips for cat owners for our southeast Michigan pet owners in Ann Arbor and Chelsea. Stay tuned next week for a similar post but for our canine pals!
One of our overarching themes for this post is, to the best of your abilities, exercise common sense. If you’re thinking about how hot it is, think about how much hotter it’d be if you were wearing a fur blanket - that’s what your pets are feeling.
Keep the Water Close, Clean, and Cool
This is the #1 priority. It might even be a good idea to institute a second water bowl around the living space to encourage your cat to drink some more. Ice cubes are a good way to add new life to water that’s been sitting out. Warm water that’s been sitting out has a higher chance of containing particles, bugs, or bacteria that you don’t want inside you or your cat.
Here at Wags to Wiskers Pet Supplies, we’re always working to be the best place for you to buy pet supplies in the Ann Arbor and Chelsea areas. Check out our automated cat/dog water fountains - the running water keeps it clean, cool, and takes the responsibility off your hands!
Helping your cat regulate their body temperature during the summer is a good idea. If, like most cats, they’ve staked a claim to a specific area or spot in your home, it’s a good idea to make sure that area is shaded - if not entirely, then intermittently. Another summer tip for cat owners is to add a fan to their favorite room to increase air flow and lower the temperatures. This is especially significant if you haven’t started using the AC and is a sensible compromise that will make your cat happy.
Cats Can’t Do Cars
Take your cat in the car, just don’t leave your cat in the car. Remember that if you feel warm in the car, your cat will feel much warmer. Simply put, the risks to leaving your pet, any pet, in the car far outweigh any potential benefits. Here are a few quick tips to help you transport your cat by car:
Make sure your cat is in a carrier or cage. Can’t have them jumping out of the window
If they are unused to the car, take it slow. CBD can have anti-anxiety effects that may be worth exploring if they’re anxious
Turn the car on before getting the cat in there and let the AC run for a little. This will make everybody more comfortable during the trip.
If you’re going on a long ride, make sure your cat has some ice water available to them.
If your cat is like us humans and therefore more likely to spend more time outdoors, make sure they’re properly vaccinated and up to date with all of their medications. Summer comes with an increase in risk for flea and tick infestations, and once they start they are a painful and bothersome process for you and your cat. Stop by your your local Wags to Wiskers Pet Supplies stores in Ann Arbor (2270 W. Stadium Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI, 48103) or Chelsea (1192 S. Main St, Chelsea) for products, resources, and referrals to prevent this. We also recommend speaking with your veterinarian about parasite prevention before going outdoors.
Stay Watchful over the Wildlife
Beyond parasites, keep an eye out for harmful bugs, plants, and animals.. Wasps nests seem like a fun distraction for cats until the nest is targeting your cat. Mosquitoes can carry heartworm, which if inadvertently given to your cat, can be a huge problem.
Check up on poisonous plants that may be growing in gardens or in the wild near your cat’s play area. Rhododendrons, azaleas, lilies, and tulips may be some that you didn’t know about and could be found commonly here in southeast Michigan.
While your cat might love a fight with some of the rodents and small mammals found around your home, it’s not worth the risk fighting wild animals that may carry diseases and are certainly not as pampered as your feline prince or princess. Stay on the lookout for families, particularly protective mothers, of geese, raccoons, opossums, and deer.
Your cat has delicate paw pads that can blister easily on hot pavement or other hot surfaces. Your local Wags to Wiskers Pet Supplies will have some good paw balms to protect your cat’s paws, as well as prevent injury during these summer months. Any severe injury to your cat’s paws should be evaluated professionally by your veterinarian.
Screens Stay Shut
Last but not least, make sure that any temptation to open your windows is tempered by a necessity for screens. The cool breeze from an open window will be quite the temptation for a warm cat in the summer, but their curiosity will surely get the best of them and they’ll find a way out. If your cat in particular is a ninja escape artist and is willing to scratch through protective screens, then you’ll have to find another solution like fans, AC units, or other.
Like we said, most of this should be common sense for our southeast Michigan cat owners, but we hope you can use these summer tips for cat owners as a checklist to get prepared for these hot summer months coming your way. More from us next week on getting your dogs and your home prepared for summer!