Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Risks of an Outdoor Cat

In a perfect world, it is alright to have our adorable purring friends go outside; however, as we all know it, we do not live in a faultless, picture-perfect realm. While lots of cats enjoy being outdoors where they can explore their surroundings and even hunt prey, it is hardly ever true that going outside is a must for kitty’s happiness. As a matter of fact, playing with your tiny furry friends on a regular basis can easily satisfy their instinct to stalk, keep them well-stimulated, and provide the needed exercise to let them stay happy and healthy indoors.


Common Outdoor Hazards


Below are some of the everyday dangers that outside cats are at risk of:


Infectious diseases.
Outside cats are more likely to get communicable diseases because of their open encounters with wildlife and other outdoor pets.

Parasites.
Bloodsuckers like fleas, ticks, mites, and mosquitos are just waiting for kitty to go outside and come along. Remember that trying to get rid of your house of flea infestation is not only time-consuming but rather costly as well.


Poisons.
They, too, are more likely to consume poisons because of the wide and varied environment they see and get to explore; whether it’s just your neighbor’s yard with toxic chemicals in their lawn, or a factory with noxious substances around it.

Vehicular accidents.
An outdoor cat that darts across the street could easily become a victim of moving cars. Remember that cats hit by vehicles rarely survive.

Cat fights.
Yes, if your cat gets into a serious territorial fight with another cat and then gets bitten, she could acquire an infection that would require immediate veterinary attention. In many areas, wild animals can be potential predators as well.

Laws.
As hard as it is to believe, not all people love our feline friends. There are lots of cities that have laws against stray animals, and cats are not an exemption. If these folks spot kitty wandering outside, she may be picked up by people from the Animal Control and you will have to pay a hefty fine to get her back – that is, if you are lucky enough to find her.

Malicious people.
It’s a sad reality but there truly are people who intentionally abuse animals. It’s hard to understand but they exist and are driven to torture and kill pets. Beware and pay attention. (I once had a cat that snuck out through a hole in a screen door and when she came home, she’d been shot 6 times with a pellet gun!)

Regardless of the many dangers of letting cats outside, many people still do it. So, if you’re going to let your cat outside, take some precautions to ensure her safety.

How to Protect your Cat if You’re Going to Let Her Outside:

  1. Provide your adorable feline companions with a collar or a harness that includes an ID tag
  2. Have your cat microchipped, so if she is picked up and has lost her collar, she can still be identified
  3. Never let her out without a leash especially if you have busy roads or aggressive dogs in the neighborhood.
  4. Ensure that your cat’s vaccines are up-to-date and that she’s been spayed or neutered.
  5. Consider attaching a bell to her collar to keep her from killing song birds and other small mammals, as well as to help alert people that they are around.
  6. If you have the resources, consider building your own outdoor enclosure at home.
  7. If your cat has been declawed (not a procedure we recommend) then you should absolutely not let her outside, as she has no ability to defend herself.

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