Just a cat running in a giant wheel but there’s a serious message for pet owners

We’re trying to ignore it, but there’s no escaping the fact that it’s getting seriously hot and we’re finding more reasons to avoid being outdoors.

However, pet owners who want to exercise their furry friends may still be braving the heat and humidity long after everyone else has gone into summer lockdown.

That’s we love this innovative toy that’s just come in stock at a Dubai pet shop (is it a first for the emirate? We haven’t seen it anywhere else!).

Seeing these happy cats joyously zip round a huge wheel has pretty much made our day!

One Fast Cat, creators of the 21-centimetre wheel, say it gives feisty felines a safe outlet for their energy, because it’s completely animal powered!

It’s also an effortless way to slim down chubby moggies and you can order it from www.dubaipetfood.com for AED 1,100.

As hilarious as high-speed cats are, there’s a serious message about protecting animals from the heat. Vets want to warn pet owners about the potential lethal consequences of leaving their animals outdoors.

Dubai’s largest veterinary hospital has already tackled six cases of heat stroke – including a parrot and a goat. The distressed bird was left in the garden for four hours, as the owner said it was being too noisy in the house, while goat was left in a vehicle’s boot while the driver carried out some jobs.

Dr Sara Elliott, British Veterinary Hospital’s director of veterinary services, is especially worried about the large number of ‘fashionable’ short-nosed pets in the country, such as Bulldogs, Pekingese and Pug breeds and Persian and British Shorthair cats.

“The rise in the number of short nosed breeds in this hot country is phenomenal and sadly we fully expect to see a large number of this type of dog and cat being carried into our hospitals by their frantic owners after suffering exposure to the elements,” she said.

“Many airlines, such as Emirates, which has a fantastic record with transporting animals, refuse to relocate short nosed breeds between May and September, such is the vulnerability of the animals, so people must take note and realise the seriousness of the summer heat.”

Since March this year, the practice has already treated three dogs fallen foul of the heat, thankfully with all making a full recovery.

Animals who survive heat stroke can be left with long-term health problems, including damage to the brain, organs, hearing and sight, heart disease and changes in personality.

10 tips for keeping animals safe in the heat

  1. Don’t let your pets walk on ground you can’t hold the palm of your hand on for 15 seconds
  2. Never leave pets in a parked car for any amount of time in the heat
  3. Don’t leave pets unattended at home for more than eight hours
  4. Ensure home help are trained and briefed when looking after your animals
  5. Limit exercise times to evenings and mornings and only walk once long coats are trimmed
  6. Don’t rely on a fan – pets do not sweat like us, so fans can have little effect
  7. Provide ample shade and water whenever outside
  8. Prepare for power issues, by having a back up house to take your pet to in emergencies
  9. Consider effective gadgets, such as cool mats and jackets
  10. Remove or permanently close door flaps to the garden, which can jam with devastating consequences
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