The Dangers of Leaving Cats in Cars

The number one reason you should never leave your cat in a parked car is the fact that she can suffer brain damage or even die from heatstroke on a warm day.

Temperature in a parked car can spike in a matter of minutes and leaving the window a little open, is not a solution. Leaving your cat alone is cruel, dangerous and irresponsible.

If your cat, or any cat you encounter, has been exposed to high temperatures, look out for physical distress:

  • Vomiting
  • Rapid pulse
  • Glazed eyes
  • Heavy panting
  • A staggering gait
  • Any form of unsteadiness
  • A deep red or purple tongue

What you need to do first is lower your cat’s body temperature. Find shade and gradually apply cool (not cold) water to her body. Get ice packs or cold towels and gently place them against your cat’s head, neck and chest. Offer water, in small amounts. Ice cubes may be more appealing or effective. Once your cat is a bit more stable, it’s time to visit your veterinarian.

If you come across a cat or any other animal trapped in a car, especially if they display signs of heatstroke, take action: call a local animal care agency or the police immediately.

Besides heatstroke (that can be fatal), your cat is also in danger of being stolen. If your cat doesn’t need to be in your car for a specific reason, leave her at home. Cats should also always ride in carriers that are secured so they don’t slide around or fall over.

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