iStock_000017254703XSmallWe hear all about keeping dogs out of the heat, out of parked cars, and in the shade during the hot summer weather. But what about our feline friends? Summertime can be hazardous for cats as well.

Keep in mind the following considerations during the summer months:

• Cats can get heat stroke also. Outdoor cats are at highest risk (consider keeping cats indoors on the hottest days), but indoor cats are only safe when the house is kept cool. Don’t turn off your air conditioning during the day, and if you are going to be out of town make sure someone is checking in on your cat and ensuring the house is at a safe temperature. If your cat does go outdoors, be sure that they have access to fresh, clean water at all times. Elderly, or sick cats are at the highest risk of succumbing to the heat.

• Summer means lots of critters are out and about besides your cat. Increases in the number of cat fights and animal encounters are seen during these months. Be sure that your pets are up to date on their vaccines. Spaying or neutering your cat can decrease the number of these incidents. Declawed cats should never be intentionally left outdoors.

• There is an increase in the number of parasites that are lurking about in the summer. Fleas love to hang out in cool, shady areas where your cat will likely be. Heartworms, which are transmitted by mosquitoes, are also a summer risk for cats. Make sure your cat is on a quality parasite prevention program.

• Some summertime hazards are impossible to avoid for an outdoor cat. You cannot eliminate the risk of exposure to chemicals such as rat poison, slug bait, or lawn and garden chemicals. Vehicles are also a very real danger for cats.

We hope that this summer is a safe, healthy season for you and your cat!