As Australia slowly moves through a scorcher of a summer season, it’s important to understand the health and safety issues that pose a particular threat to your feline friend throughout the warmer months. Here are a few tips from the team at Animal Emergency Service to ensure that you know what to look out for when it comes to potential dangers and conditions affecting your cat.

Ticks

Summer is when ticks, bee stings, fleas, mosquitoes and other potentially harmful parasites are at their peak. For this reason, it’s best to check your cat each time they come inside to ensure that they don’t have any physical signs of being affected by these pests as well as symptoms such as swelling, paralysis and muscle spasms. Click here to read more about the dangers of ticks on our blog.

Heat Stroke

Just like humans during a heat wave, your cat may find themselves feeling extremely unwell if they aren’t able to stay cool. Symptoms such as panting, staggering, deep red gums and vomiting indicates that your pet is suffering from heat stroke and requires immediate emergency attention from your nearest hospital. One of the reasons cats are so susceptible is that they predominately sweat through their paws, and while they have many innate behaviours to cool themselves down, such as licking their fur and purposefully trying to find the coolest place to rest, it’s best to help them out as much as possible. You can do this by ensuring they have access to the indoors at all times, various cool areas to rest and cold water to drink when needed.

Poisonous Substances

Many people enjoy gardening during the warmer months, however pesticides and various poisons can pose a serious danger for your little friend. You can avoid this by ensuring the products you use are safe for animals, as indicated on the packet, and keeping an eye out for the warning signs of poisoning when they come back inside – tremors, vomiting or diarrhoea, seizures, difficulty breathing and/or swelling. Depending on the type of product ingested symptoms can differ, so as always if you think something is wrong make sure you take your pet to the nearest emergency hospital for diagnostic tests and treatment.

Snakes

While it can be hard to monitor your cat when they are outside in the garden or roaming the streets, there are a few important things you can do to minimise the risk of your feline friend coming into contact with snakes. Make sure that your front and backyard is properly maintained so that these creatures cannot find refuge in long grass or weeds, and be sure do a quick survey of the area before you let your cat out. Most importantly, stay alert for the tell-tale signs that your pet may have been bitten – unusual breathing, paralysis, trouble walking, weakness and swelling – and get them to an emergency pet hospital immediately if you are at all worried.

As always, Animal Emergency Service urges pet owners to trust their instincts when it comes to caring for their dogs, cats, reptiles, birds or rodents. To put it simply, if you think something is wrong, it’s best to visit the nearest emergency vet to ensure that they can be looked at and treated by professionals if necessary.