How Are The Wildfires Affecting My Cat?

How Are The Wildfires Affecting My Cat?

Written by Sela Garza

If you live in California at the moment and own a cat, you might be wondering how the wildfires are affecting cats and what we can do to keep them safe. Smoke and low air quality can affect your cat just as they affect humans. It’s easier to keep indoor cats safe from harm, but we can protect our outdoor cats, too, by limiting the amount of time they spend outside. It will be an adjustment for them—and probably for you—but it will be worth it when you see them emerge from the house happy and healthy! As in humans, smoke can irritate your pet’s respiratory tract, which can lead to labored breathing and coughing. Needless to say, they cannot tell you when they are struggling, so it is up to you to take precautions and preventive measures to keep them healthy until the air quality improves. It is also crucial to remain vigilant and observe any subtle changes in their behavior that might indicate that they are feeling the effects of smoke. A few signs to look out for include coughing, red eyes, a change in appetite (due to throat irritation), difficulty breathing, and a decline in energy levels. Smoke contains numerous gases that are harmful to animals, including carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide. One way to combat these toxins in your home is to circulate your air (if you have central A/C) and to employ the assistance of an air purifier to remove harmful particles from the air. Purifiers are also useful as a long-term investment, as they help remove dander and pollen from the air in your household. I own a HEPA filter purifier, and I absolutely notice a difference in the air quality when it is turned on, specifically concerning the campfire smell that so many of us are trying to eradicate from our homes. Given that we seem to be experiencing wildfires every summer, it really is a useful appliance to have at the ready. It is also ill-advised to pollute the air inside your home any further, which means that you should limit or eliminate activities such as burning candles, using fireplaces, and smoking until the air quality improves. Following these general guidelines should determine the effects of the fires not only on the humans in your home but also on your furry friend. In these challenging times, it’s essential to use your best judgment, stay indoors as much as possible, and treat your cat’s health as you would your own. 

Our cats’ health is always in the back of our minds, especially as the wildfire season kicks off. We still want to know that our pets are taken care of and that we have a plan for any emergencies. One way to ensure some cushion of protection is ready for our fur babies is enrolling in pet insurance. However, with the many varieties of insurance out there, it may be challenging to hone in on the one fit for us. Thankfully, consumeradvocate.org/pet-insurance goes in-depth with their guide to finding the pet insurance plan appropriate for your pets. With a guide composed of more than 200 hours of research and 15 companies vetted, you know you are reading a comprehensive guide to securing a safety net for the pets in our lives. 

Read their excellent guide at www.consumeradvocate.org/pet-insurance.

Edited by Rena Henderson