Indoor vs. Outdoor Cats
Have you ever watched the movie “Secret Life of Pets” and wondered if your cat (pet) is bored out of their minds by staying inside the home all day? While they may not be undercover superheroes or hanging out in the city with their animal friends, they may want to enjoy a little outside time (they may also be perfectly content indoors). As with everything, balance is key. Weighing the pros and cons of keeping your cats indoors or letting them hang out outside will help you decide what is best for your home and your pet.
If choosing to allow your cat to go outside, here are some things to be mindful of and some actions to take to make them safer.
Your cat’s outside time means that they will inevitably come in contact with homeless cats at some point. Stray cats are more susceptible to disease, which can be passed on to your cat. These illnesses include:
- FeLV or Feline Leukemia
- FIP (feline infectious peritonitis)
- Feline distemper (panleukopenia)
- URI – Upper respiratory infection
Being outside, your kitty could bring back parasites like fleas, ticks, mites, ringworm, all causing moderate side effects. Speak with your vet for suggestions on preventative measures. Also, keep in mind the dangers of traffic, especially if you live on a busy street or off the highway. Living in a wooded area, loose dogs and wild animals could also be a potential threat.
These hazards may seem a bit overwhelming, but there are still ways to let your cat out while keeping them safe and well.
- Make sure they are under adult supervision.
- Take them to regular vet visits for checkups and up-to-date vaccinations.
- Keep your cat in a confined space to roam around.
How do you keep your kitty indoors and happy? Having another animal in your home would give them a sense of companionship. It’s additionally helpful to place something outside the window to watch throughout the day to keep them entertained, like having a birdbath in the yard. Some other helpful tips are:
- Keep them stimulated with interactive toys.
- Scratching posts – cats have an instinct to score, and having one would keep them comfortable doing what comes naturally for them on an appropriate surface.
- Cat trees – these could also serve as your benefit to keep them from climbing on your furniture.
Keeping your pets happy while considering their well-being is possible. Having an indoor cat, outdoor, or somewhere in between all boils down to preference and resources.
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