Summer's here and the living's easy. It's time for pool parties, clam bakes, and sunscreen galore. Unfortunately, our cats aren’t always so keen to get their toes (ahem, paws) in the sand.
Sure, your cat loves to stretch out in the sunny spot on the living room floor, but laying outside in the summer sunshine is another story. It’s actually dangerous for our kitties to be out too much in the heat. They can become dehydrated, overheated, and even sunburned despite all of that fluffy fur covering their skin.
So what do you do when you want to be poolside and your kitty wants to be by your side? After all, she wants to have fun this summer, too!
Thankfully, there're plenty of options for occupying your little one and keeping her from being a lonely cat even on the hottest of summer days.
Signs of a Lonely Cat
When you're hitting the pool or staying out late for a concert on the lawn, you want to be sure that your fur baby isn’t at home missing you.
While cats aren’t generally social animals in the same way dogs are, they can experience separation anxiety, and no one wants a lonely cat at home when they're out enjoying the warm summer air.
Some signs that your kitty is experiencing anxiety while you're away include:
- Meowing when you leave
- Accidents outside her litter box
- Excessive grooming
- Changes in her eating habits
- Excessive scratching of furniture and fabrics
These signs could point to other problems with your fur baby as well, so if you’re concerned it’s always a good idea to check in with your vet.
So what's a loving fur parent to do when Fluffy is feeling anxious? Here's how you can have fun in the sun while ensuring you have a safe, happy cat — not a lonely cat — all summer long.
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Feline Fun While You’re in the Sun
To help your kitty cope with your absence and turn your lonely cat into a happy cat, make sure your home is a comfortable and stimulating place for your little one while you're gone.
Consider setting up a “catio” or cat patio in your home. These are ideal for keeping your fur babies safe indoors, but also allowing them the benefits of stimulation from the outside world. Catios help ease stress and let your little one get some exercise, too.
If you don’t have the space for a catio, set up a small perch or cat tree near a sunny window for your kitty instead. This lets your cat experience the brilliant summer sun while still enjoying the air-conditioning — sounds purr-fect!
You can also bring the outdoors in for your fur baby by planting your own cat grass. Your cat may then enjoy the benefits of grazing or munching on grass without being outside in the heat.
When you are home with your cat, be sure to engage in regular play time. Playing with your cat helps ease her anxiety and makes her feel loved, secure, and bonded to you.
Kitty Treats to Beat the Heat
In addition to showing your little one some love when you are home together, there are many fun ways to have some cool fun with her this summer.
Just as you enjoyed popsicles as a kid, your fur baby would love a cooling "catsicle" treat in the summertime heat. You can freeze tuna brine or low-salt chicken stock to create icy snacks to keep her chilled and entertained.
Along with catsicles, some cats enjoy batting ice cubes around tile floors. When you get out the ice for your next batch of refreshing margaritas, grab an extra cube for Fluffy to pounce on and push around the kitchen.
Also, be sure to keep your kitty's water bowl cold and refreshed this summer. We'll have no dehydrated cats here!
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Road Tripping Tips
While enjoying the sun at home, you're likely also counting down the days to your summer vacation. Unfortunately, cats aren't quite as excited about hitting the road. Thankfully, there're some things you can do to make your travels easier on your fur baby.
Kitties thrive on routine, so car trips or most any travel doesn't sit well with them. Cats enjoy being in their own environment so, for a quick trip, leaving your kitty at home is the most comfortable option for her.
If you opt to take your cat on vacation with you, she'd probably prefer to fly than drive, but make sure to check that you are booking an airline that will allow her cat carrier in the cabin with you. Purr-haps even splurge on a first-class ticket, if you can — then blame Kitty for being just a little high maintenance.
Whatever your travel plans, make sure to give your fur baby lots of extra TLC around the time of the trip. A stressed-out cat is no fun for anyone.