Taking care of your cat in the summer

Although cats are very independent there are a few things you have to look after for them, especially in the heat of summer.

Cats take a very long time over their food. They will sniff at it first, than try a bit and when it is to their satisfaction it will eat. Even then it is unlikely that the food will be eaten in one go. Cats like to come back to their bowl throughout the day. In the summer fresh food will go bad very quickly so it is best to keep it in the fridge until needed again.

Whether the cat is long or short-haired makes no difference to its grooming. In all cases it has to be done regularly or the cat will get hairs in its stomach which can form hair balls.

Regular grooming will prevent this and will also help prevent ticks attaching themselves. If your cat has problems with hairballs you can add some extra roughage such as a wheat cereal or olive oil to its food. Sardines in oil are considered a treat by most cats and will do the job of getting rid of hairballs equally well.

A weekly dose of products like Defer-Um, available from your vet, will prevent hairballs from forming. Most cats like its rabbit flavour and will lick it from your finger, or you could smear a little on its coat and next time it washes the cat will automatically ingest it.

Ants are a problem when food is left in the cat's bowl. To avoid this, place the bowl inside a bigger one with a wide rim and fill the outer bowl with water. The water forms a moat that the ants cannot bridge.

Another important precaution is to make sure that all your animals, dogs and cats alike have access to a shaded area outside and always keep a plentiful supply of fresh water within reach.