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Keeping Your Indoor Cat Cool

Summer is here and the temperatures are rising. Even though you may keep your cat indoors, there are still precautions to take to ensure kitty stays cool and comfortable through the upcoming hot months.



Cool Naps

Many indoor cats will seek out cooler locations within the house for their cherished cat naps. You may find that your cat's normal cozy napping area has been temporarily abandoned for one closer to better air circulation, a cooler sleeping surface and out of direct sunlight.

If your cat typically enjoys being on a padded window perch or cat tree but isn't spending as much time there during hot weather, you can make the surface a bit cooler covering it with a cotton pillowcase. The coolness of the cotton may be more comfortable than the carpeted perch.

If air vents are tucked under furniture you can optimize air flow by placing a diverter over the vent. These inexpensive plastic diverters will direct the air out from under furniture for more efficient cooling.

Comfortable Temperatures

If you live in a home without any air conditioning, fans will be very important to help circulate the air. Even though an indoor cat won't be facing the brutal outdoor heat, indoor environments can get very hot and stuffy. Some breeds of cats such as Persians, already have a more compromised respiratory system so you want to make the air temperature as comfortable as possible. Older cats may also have difficulty if the indoor air gets too stuffy. If using fans though, be sure they are safe and kept out of the cat's reach.

When it comes to air conditioning, it can also become uncomfortable if you set the thermostat too low. For some cats, the chilly indoor air isn't what they wanted. Sphinx cats (they're almost hairless except for a fine, downy layer), ill kitties, geriatric kitties, etc., may end up seeking warmer parts of the home in order to avoid the chill. When setting the air temperature, keep your cat's age, health and comfort in mind.

Water

Even indoor cats have an increased need for fresh, cool water during hotter weather. Replenish water in bowls on a regular basis. Adding an ice cube in a water bowl not only keeps the water temperature cooler, it can become a little enticement for your cat to drink. It's not unusual for a curious kitty to paw at the floating ice cube in play and then lick her wet paw.

If your cat tends to play too enthusiastically in her water bowl and ends up with most of it spilled all over the floor, consider getting a pet water fountain. This way, she can paw at the water flowing from the fountain into the reservoir.



Creepy Crawlies

With summer, there will very likely be the inevitable unwanted visitors to your home (no, I'm not talking about that cousin of yours whom you never liked) in the form of bees, flies, spiders, ants and other various insects. As doors and windows are left open more, there's always the chance for the occasional intrusion. Be aware that a cat's sense of curiosity and desire to play may cause her to get closer to an insect than is safe. Wasps don't make good cat toys so whenever you get any kind of stinging or biting insect in the home, make sure your cat is secured in another room.

Don't Forget Kitty

With summer, families are outdoor more, on vacation and in general, enjoying the warm sunshine. In the process, the family cat may not get as much attention as she is used to. Remember to engage in interactive play sessions with kitty. Additionally, incorporate the use of fun activities such as puzzle feeders, puzzle toys and other forms of environmental enrichment so your cat has activities to keep her stimulated while she's home alone.

Wishing you and your cats a very happy and safe summer.

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About Pam Johnson-Bennett

Pam Johnson-Bennett is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant and best-selling author of seven books on cat behavior and training. Pam is one of the most well-known experts on cats and a pioneer in the field of behavior consulting. Pam owns Cat Behavior Associates, LLC, a veterinarian-referred behavior practice in Nashville, TN. Her website is www.catbehaviorassociates.com.

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