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Should Kitty Explore the Great Outdoors?

Updated: Feb 17


Cats are curious creatures and most thrive on exploration and hunting. But should you let your household feline go outside?


Keep reading to learn more.


Should Your Cat Roam Alone?

There are both pros and cons about whether cats should be allowed outside alone. But before you let your feline outside to explore, give some careful thought to the potential concerns and dangers your cat will face outside the protection of your home.



Outdoor Dangers for your Cat


Health Issues:

According to the American Feral Cat Coalition in 2016, there were approximately 60 million feral and stray cats living in the United States! Sadly, these cats often carry untreated feline diseases which can be serious and potentially fatal to your precious cat. 

These highly contagious diseases include:

Feline Leukemia (FeLV)

Feline AIDS (FIV)

Feline Distemper

Upper Respiratory Infections (URI)

While Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is not contagious, it is deadly. 



Parasites:

Even if feral cats are not an issue where you live, there are a variety of common parasites that pose moderate to severe threats to a cat’s overall health. These parasites include fleas, ticks, ear mites, ringworm (actually a fungal infection) and intestinal worms. 

Your cat can also bring these unwanted critters back into your home and cause difficult infestations and potential health issues for family members.  


Safety:

A roaming kitty is at risk of cruelty from humans, loose dogs, feral cats and even wild animals like coyotes, raccoons and foxes. Any injuries suffered can be serious and even fatal for your beloved pet. 

If your cat has been declawed, they will not be able to effectively protect themselves. 

Busy streets pose a constant threat to your cat’s safety. 

Antifreeze is a common toxin cats like to lick because of the pleasant smell and taste. 

Rodenticides pose a deadly threat whether it’s the poison directly or a rodent the cat eats which may have ingested poisoned bait earlier.


Cats love trees but often find themselves trapped with no way back down. 

Over-exposure to the sun may cause skin cancer for a cat with white or light-colored fur that typically lives inside away from the sun.

Ingested sick or infected birds or small animals can also hurt your cat.

Your roaming cat may be picked up by Animal Control and end up in a high-kill shelter.

Cats are susceptible to bacteria and parasite-contaminated water and in turn, diseases like giardia, leptospirosis and cryptosporidium.



8 Easy Ways to Keep Your Indoor Cat Happy!

Keeping  your cat inside your home doesn’t have to mean an unhappy cat. Below are 8 ways to keep your indoor cat happy and most importantly, safe!


Are you a Do-It-Yourself-er? Build a “catio” (an outdoor cat enclosure)!

Adopt a companion for your cat; another cat or even dog.

Provide your kitty with a variety of interactive toys to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.


Create new climbing places and cat perches near windows to keep your cat entertained. 

Make sure your cat has easy acess to a scratching post to relieve his natural instinct to scratch. 

Spend some extra time each day playing with your cat with prey-like toys to tire them out.

Take your leashed cat for a walk.

Hire a regular pet sitter for extra love, attention and playtime for your cat!



Your Pet AuPair


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Additional Reading:

Indoor Cats vs. Outdoor Cats

Should You Allow Your Cat to Go Outside?

Top Reasons to Keep Cats Indoors

10 Reasons to Have an Indoor-Only Cat

DIY Catio: How to Build Your Own Catio

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