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Summer cat care

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By Stacey Brecher
 

Now that summer is here, the rising temperature, brighter sun and increased risk of ticks and fleas can all pose threats to your cat. But you can help your kitty enjoy the summer as much as you do by taking a few precautions.

"Cats are fairly wise at protecting themselves from the heat," says Louise Murray, vice president of the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. "They are adept at finding a cool spot to stretch out, such as a tiled floor. Free access to shade and fresh water at all times are essential." Murray adds that many pets enjoy access to fresh, running water via a cat fountain.

Keeping your cat indoors will help to protect your pet from fleas and ticks, as well as from cars and predators. A "catio" screened area can provide your pet with the sights, sounds and odors of the outdoors while keeping it protected in a safe, enclosed spot. Murray further advises that you talk to your veterinarian about flea and tick prevention.

As for the myth that you should cut your cat's fur in the summer, Murray debunks it. Cat fur actually serves as insulation, which protects its skin from sun and heat. The sun can be particularly harsh on the thinly haired areas -- like ear tips and noses -- of light-colored cats, so be sure to limit exposure to any rays.

By taking some simple precautionary measures, your cat will likely keep its cool and remain comfortable and healthy all summer long.

Stacey Brecher is an editor at Woman's World magazine, where she covers a variety of topics -- from home decorating tips to travel. 

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