Cats and Kittens Archives

Announcement: Summer Temperatures l Heat Stroke Prevention

 

Summer means vacation! Whether you’re really planning a trip, or it’s just a vacation of the mind, you’ll want to consider a couple things before all of the fun begins! If you have a pet or pets (which, we’ll assume that you do because you’re reading this) you’ll need to remember a couple things to make their summer an enjoyable time too.

§  Let’s go for a ride!

This phrase has a euphoric affect on my cat. Our cat loves to lay across the dashboard and peer at where we were going while enjoying the view, the sun, and the air conditioner! What wonder…all of her favorite things!

Take into account however, that when you take your pet on a road-trip. That cars can increase in heat very quickly. Make a rule never to leave you pet in a parked car. If you make a standard rule, you’ll be far likely to break it. And if you never break that rule, you’ll never have to live with the regret that you caused your own pet harm. On a cool day, the sun can raise the temperature of the interior of your car 120o in just a matter of minutes. Even with the winds rolled down, if there is no air ventilation it will still get too hot for them!

§  The 80o Rule.

Whether inside or outside, realize that this key number will save your pet a lot of grief! Keep this number in your head always, and when you realize that the temperature is getting a little warm, do something about it. If you’re outside, find your pet shade and something to drink. Be considerate of them, they deserve it!       

If you’re planning on leaving your house for more than a couple days, you might consider changing the thermostat setting before you leave. Consider, though, your cats needs before you change it. Cats do not have very efficient cooling mechanisms. In the wild, when a cat doesn’t like something or a temperature, they will move. If you cat is shut up in your house, they will not have the ability to change their environment. Remember that anything over 80o  will be uncomfortable for your cat.           

§  Keep ‘em Moving!

Also, remember to leave access to different parts of your house for their comfort. On a normal day, your cat will change position to find a sunny at a window, or sit on the tile in the bathroom to cool off. Give your cat access to your house. This will allow everyone concerned to truly enjoy the time off.

§  Protection!

As much as you consider protecting your own skin from overexposure to the sun’s harmful rays, consider that your pet may need protection as well. If your pet has short or light colored hair, their skin can be damaged by the sun much in the same way that you can be. They can suffer from sunburns, peeling and ultimately cancer.

§  Water, Water, Everywhere!

One of the few ways that we have to cool our bodies is through water. We drink it to cool ourselves and to properly hydrate ourselves, so that we can release water in ways to cool our bodies. Keep water available. If you’re going go away, have plenty of water sources available! Keep a little water in your sinks, extra water bowls around.

§  Be aware of heatstroke!

If for some reason, you realize that you might have missed a couple things, or maybe you had an emergency and had to leave quickly look for these symptoms when determining if your pet needs attention for heat stroke.

  • Body temperature of 104-110F
  • Sticky or dry tongue and gums
  • Dark or bright red tongue and gums
  • Staggering
  • Seizures
  • Bloody diarrhea or vomiting

 

Announcement: The Ears Have It – (Really)

You’ve taken on the care of a cat, and you’re to be commended for that, but one of the most common problems that cats may have often goes neglected.

As responsible cat owners, we’ll address the issue of fleas and ticks, because they run the risk of offending us, and this motivates us to address the issue. But the matter of ear mites often goes unnoticed and unaddressed simply because it doesn’t affect us (ear mites almost never transfer to humans). Ear mites can travel over the body, and be transferred to other household pets and can ultimately threaten the overall health and life of your cat.

Symptoms

You may notice that your cat is scratching more often, and as you probably have already addressed the issue of fleas or ticks, you need to narrow down the culprit. Your cat seems to be scratching his ears more often, and more vehemently than usual. Your cat may also be producing more wax or a discolored wax in their ears. This is one thing that you need to get the advice of a professional. Take your cat to determine if your cat really does have a problem with ear mites, and to find out a treatment suitable for their case. You can first take note of these five things that the ASPCA says that cat owners should look for:

  • Head shaking, scratching, ear rubbing
  • Dark waxy discharge
  • Swelling in or around the ear
  • Hair loss and sores from scratching
  • Strong smelly odor coming from the ears

There are over-the-counter remedies for ear mites, and they do work. You’ll need to decide what you are willing and able to do to bring your cat comfort from their torment.

You’re not alone

Ear mites are not something to be embarrassed about. It is reported that almost 90% of cats have been affected by ear mites. The most common are eight-legged little crab-like parasites that feed on the wax and oils in the cat’s ear and ear canal. The threat that they pose to the cat’s health comes when excessive scratching causes blood vessels within the cat’s ear rupture from sever scratching and head shaking.

They’ll love you in the long run!

I’m sure we’ve all come to turn with the discomfort that it causes your cat to be treated by someone that they do not know well. But the importance of their treatment combined with the almost immediate relief that they will get from treatment, will show you how much they really have wanted something to be done with their problem.

The veterinarian will clean out your cat’s ears with a cotton swab and an ear cleaner. In extreme cases they may need to sedate the cat to perform complete ear irrigation. In any cases, your cat will be able to finally relax and be at ease because you have taken the time and energy to address a vital detail in their health!