Should you let your cat outside?

When deciding on your cat, you want to make the decision as to whether it’s to be purely kept inside or permitted to roam the outside world. The major factors to take into account are the strain of your cat and where you live.

It’s unfortunate but in today’s society, people will take pedigree dogs and cats for breeding purposes or to sell for profit. I’ve a friend whose pedigree male puppy is taken frequently for breeding and then dumped when they discover he has been sterilized. A couple of days later the dog finds its way home again, hungry and bedraggled.

Today, nearly all cat owners reside in urban or suburban environments filled with all manner of risks. If you live in an apartment or on a major road, then odds are you will have to keep your cat indoors as quickly moving trucks and a larger population of other domestic and feral cats pose a threat to the life of your cat. It’s unfortunate but we often see dead cats on the side of the road and if there’s absolutely no identification and if the driver bothers to stop, the bad owner is left wondering why his cat did not come home.

If you’re fortunate enough to live where there is a back yard or in a rural setting, then you’ve got more choices. I’m one of the lucky ones and my cats are permitted to roam at will. They still appear to spend a lot of the day inside in their preferred place while keeping an eye on what I am doing every so often. They both go out after dusk hunting mice and bring in one or two nights. It is quite rare that they will attack birds or other native wildlife.

However, in an urban or suburban setting, outdoor cats can be vulnerable to several serious diseases that are spread between cats. These diseases may include feline panleukopenia, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), feline calicivirus, feline leukemia, feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) and a host of other ailments.

Your outside cat also has a greater chance of being injured in a fight or getting pregnant. If your cat, male or female, is permitted to roam at will,  Melbourne FL Rat Removalyou have a duty to make sure that it is spayed or neutered in order to not add to the burden of unwanted kittens.

Cat Walking Stairs Steps Face Portrait PetI’ve had to take into consideration my cats may get into fights or grab an illness from other cats (though on 130 acres, there are not too many other cats around) which could shorten their life span. Not everyone is as lucky as me so this is a factor you want to know about. I’m sure my cats’ vaccinations are current and this is something I would strongly advise you to do as well. I also made sure both cats had been spayed though it took a couple of litters and emergency surgery before Tikki was spayed.

Cats that are permitted to spend much of their time outside can be less sociable towards people and other animals, especially other cats. This is because they need to learn how to fend for themselves and are much more careful around other animals, including us.

If your cat does need to be confined indoors all day, you need to find ways of maintaining it entertained. In case you’ve got small children, they will undoubtedly be pleased to play it for some time. Toys, scratching and climbing posts will also keep it occupied for short bursts of time. Providing stimulation through toys, particularly those infused with some catnip, will keep them happy and active for a surprisingly long time period. This time might come in short bursts but that isn’t a problem.

Why not place a climbing post or the back of some furniture (chair, couch) close to an open window. This won’t only give your kitty much needed fresh air, the motion and smells will capture its attention. If you can afford it and have the space, an enclosed outside area with toys, branches, soil and grass etc will offer the best of both worlds. There are a growing number of pet shops that sell prefabricated cat runs that only take minutes to assemble and install.

Indoor cats generally do live much more than their outdoor counterparts. They are healthier as they’re not exposed to many diseases, they are less likely to sustain serious injuries and they can live long and happy lives, particularly if they have lived this way since they were kittens.

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