The Rescue strongly believes that our adopted cats and kittens should live indoors. Especially in summertime, some owners might interpret “indoors” to include areas like apartment balconies. Balconies are very dangerous places for a your cat. This articles covers several threats that are more common in summer.
Tilt & Turn Windows
Tilt & Turn Windows are very dangerous for cats. This type of window opens from the top, creating a vee shaped gap on either side in which a cat could become trapped with risk of severe injury or death.
Read this short article from Yummypets. It shows a example of a tilt & turn window plus photos of how a cat could get caught in one of these windows.
Cats can try to climb outside using a tilting window. In many cases they lose grip because of the smooth frame, and fall into the gap of the tilted window. This can have dramatic consequences. When your cat gets stuck, this can lead to suffocation or damage to the spinal cord. Often cats will start to resist in an attempt to free themselves. However, this does not work and can only increase the harm done. Unfortunately, many cats have already died in a tilting window or have suffered such severe damage to their spine or hind legs that they have become paralysed or had to undergo leg amputation.
As a cat owner, it is crucial to be aware of the harm tilt windows, or tilt and turn windows, can cause. It is even more important to find a solution and protect your cat from falling between the gap of your tilting window.
Preventing Your Cat From Falling Out the Window
Some people trust and believe their cat won’t go out an open balcony door or leap over the edge. However, the old adage “curiosity killed the cat” still applies.
From CatHealth.com – Dangerous Places for Cats
All windows should have sturdy screens. Patch or repair window screens that have holes right away. A few well-placed scratches and your kitty could make the hole wide enough to fit herself through. Her silent escape could occur in the middle of the night and it might be a long time before you even figure out what happened. You may also want to replace flimsy screens on your kitty’s favorite windows with heavier models.
Curtains and blinds can be extremely dangerous if they have looped cords. Cats, especially kittens, can hang themselves on the loop at the end of the cord. Cut all looped cords or replace them with cords that do not have looped handles.
Because of their small size and frequent explorations, kittens have a higher potential for getting into perilous situations. Be extra-vigilant and precautionary with kittens; there is an added level of urgency in “cat-proofing” your home when you share it with kittens.
Cats fall off balconies and out of upper floor windows so frequently that the condition is called “high-rise syndrome” by emergency veterinarians. Cats should not be allowed on balconies. It can happen so quickly: a cat gets caught up in the moment and leaps after a bird or squirrel. Railings offer little protection; cats can fall through them, slip under them, or jump on top of them and lose their footing.
Close the door leading to the balcony at all times when not using it. Do not put your cat’s scratching posts, food bowl, or bed near the balcony, and do not play or have fun times with your cat near the balcony—do not give your cat positive associations with the balcony area or any reason to hang out near it.
Should You Walk Your Cat on a Leash?
Preventative Vet has a must read article if you are considering walking your cat.
Walking a cat on a leash and harness comes with risks. It’s important to understand those risks, what you can do to minimize them, and how to react in an emergency.
Why? Cats are not small dogs. They take in and respond to stimuli and triggers very differently than dogs do.
To keep your cat (and you) safe, it’s vital to look at the outdoors through your cat’s eyes, know a bit about why they do what they do, make informed decisions, and plan ahead so you can walk your cat on leash safely.
Bee & Wasp Stings
5 Summer Dangers and How to Protect Your Cat From Them
Bee stings aren’t a very common problem for indoor cats, but they can be dangerous and even fatal if not dealt with properly. There’s always a chance that a bee could slip in through an open door or a hole in a screen, and we all know how our cats will react when they notice it buzzing around the living room.
If your cat has been stung, the area will be red, swollen, and tender. Apply a cold compress and contact your veterinarian, who may prescribe a feline-friendly antihistamine. If your cat begins vomiting or develops pale gums seek emergency treatment as she may be in anaphylactic shock (a reaction that can be fatal.)
Ticks have become a common problem. Purina has an informative article about ticks and cats, even indoor cats, can get a tick.
Ticks can be carried in on your clothing or on a dog (if you have one) and transfer to your cat. When you groom your cat, run your hand over their fur, especially around the neck. An engorged tick will look something like a skin tag. The tick’s head will be inside the skin. The article explains how to properly remove a tick.
Even if kitty stays indoors, often flowering garden plants are brought indoors. Lilies, marigolds, chrysanthemums, lily of the valley, and more are toxic for cats. Here is information from Spruce Pets.
Heatstroke & Dehydration
This Spruce Pets article explains what heatstroke is.
Kittens, seniors, and sick cats are more susceptible to heatstroke because they are even less capable of regulating their temperatures than healthy adult cats. In addition, short-nosed cats like Persians often have compromised airways and are more sensitive to heat. Overweight and obese cats are also more prone to overheating. It’s important that high-risk cats remain in temperature-regulated indoor areas.
Catster’s article, 3 Summer Tips, covers dehydration and other summer tips. Make sure your cat has clean water available at all times.