Fire, smoke, heat, dehydration – summer weather can pose a real threat to the health and safety of Seattle’s cats. It’s important for cat owners to be prepared for the inevitable wildfire smoke and heat waves we now experience every summer.
Protect Your Cat from Smoke
The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends these precautions for keeping cats safe from wildfire smoke.
- Keep cats and other pets indoors and keep your windows shut. If you regularly let your cat outside, consider moving them inside permanently. Check out this article for tips to make the transition easy! (Let dogs outside only for brief bathroom breaks if air quality alerts are in effect.)
- Have a pet evacuation kit ready, and include your furry family members in your disaster preparedness planning. Wondering what to add to your pet emergency kit or how to prepare for a disaster? Check out SAFe’s blog about Emergency Preparedness!
Warning Signs in Cats:
If your cat experiences these symptoms, please consult your veterinarian immediately:
- Coughing or gagging
- Difficulty breathing, including open mouth breathing and increased noise when breathing
- Eye irritation and excessive watering
- Inflammation of throat or mouth
- Nasal discharge
- Asthma-like symptoms
- Increased breathing rate
- Fatigue or weakness
- Disorientation or stumbling
- Reduced appetite and/or thirst
Protect Your Cat from Heat
Your cat probably likes to be warm, but there is such a thing as too hot for cats. Cats are especially vulnerable in high heat and the Seattle Animal Shelter recommends the following:
- Never leave your cat unattended in direct sunlight. Provide a shady area for retreat and remember shaded areas move with the sun.
- Provide access to cool water at all times.
- Open secured screened windows, keep a fan running, provide plenty of water, and, if possible, leave your cat in a cool room.
- Never leave your cat unattended in a vehicle.
- Avoid overexerting your cat on hot days. Exercise is fine in moderation, but extreme heat conditions, obesity, old age, breed and underlying disease can predispose an animal to the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
A little bit of planning now will help keep you and your furry family safe in the future – and with summer underway, it’s a perfect time to prepare!