By Janice Murasko
Last week in “Days of Our Nine Lives,” new ARF cats played a dog safety game.
Phil: Since we reviewed dog safety in the summer, I think it’s time for a review of cat safety.
Atlas: I’m ready. This is more up our alley.
Phil: Multiple choice: Which are signs of heatstroke in cats?
a. Panting
b. Lethargy
c. Vomiting
d. All of the above
Buffie: Kind of like dogs, yes? I’m saying D, all of the above.
Phil: Right, Buffie! Guardians need to cool down their cats immediately and seek medical treatment. If they can’t get their body temperature down quickly enough, their cat can suffer serious organ damage or death.
Harley: That is so sad, and preventable.
Phil: And there are several ways to prevent heatstroke in cats. Anyone?
Candy: Cats’ playtimes should be in the cooler parts of the day, usually in the morning and evening.
Atlas: And we should always have access to plenty of cool, fresh water.
Phil: Right! Also, cats’ fur helps protect them from the elements — even heat. It’s important that guardians don’t completely shave their cats for summer. However, brushing can help reduce some of the mats and release hairs that may be trapped within the coat. That can help the cat maintain its appropriate body temperature. If guardians keep their cats groomed and free from mats, tangles and excess fur, it’s a lot easier for their bodies to cool off.
Pepper: There is another little trick we felines wish our guardians would make note of. There are many delicious and cool treats that can regulate a cat’s temperature by giving them something to enjoy. How about freezing water and tuna to create a frozen tuna treat? This encourages cats to drink water from the melting ice while giving them a mental puzzle.
Phil: That would be so, so nice!
Pepper: And yummy!
Be sure to keep up with the animal antics of “Days of our Nine Lives” each week. And please stop in to say hello to the entire adoptable cast at the ARF House, 26890 Highway 243. ARF is open Saturdays 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Sundays 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and during the week by appointment. Please call 951-659-1122.
Creature Corner is sponsored by Sandi Mathers.