Keeping your outdoor cat safe this summer

The summer season can be a great time to let your cat outside, as long as you take the proper precautions first.

Energetic and adventurous cats often love to go outside. There's more for them to explore and they can enjoy many of their favorite instinctual activities – like hunting or climbing – that they can't always do safely or effectively indoors. 

It's important for cat owners to take the proper precautions before sending their felines out into the wild, however. Many seemingly harmless summertime activities can create dangerous conditions for pets, so you need to be proactive in making the environment as safe as possible.

Outdoor hazards
With warmer weather comes more time for people to be outside as well, and some outdoor hobbies can be dangerous for animals. If your home has a garden, for example, it's important to be careful of the kind of pesticides you use and the plants you grow. Lilies, azaleas and certain ivies could all be hazardous to cats, so it's best to do your research and only keep feline-friendly plants in your yard. 

Cats are great hunters and can help you keep pesky rodents away from your home, so putting out poisons may be an unnecessary risk for your pets, warned Cat Behavior Associates.  There are also many naturally occurring poisons in different plants and animals that may make your cat sick, so you should pay close attention to its behavior after it's been outside. Signs of poisoning include labored breathing, vomiting and irregular heartbeats, according to I Cat Care. Contact a vet immediately if you think your pet has been poisoned.

Taking the right precautions
Your cat is likely going to be safer during the day, so try to keep it inside at night. Many predators are nocturnal hunters, so being out overnight leaves your little guy more vulnerable to bigger critters. Sunny summer weather may also make drivers less cautious on the road, so you need to carefully weigh the risks of letting your pets outside if you live on a busy street. 

Cats can get dehydrated from running around outside all day, so be sure to leave them plenty of fresh water. Check them for insect bites or injuries when they come inside, and be sure to brush them with Hartz® Groomer's Best® Combo Brush for Cats to get rid of any debris like dirt or twigs they accumulated rolling around in the yard.

This content is provided by the pet experts at Hartz®. Before you invest in a new chew toy, biscuit or treat for your companion, turn to us for top-of-the-line advice and tips.

Category: Pet Grooming