How to Decide on an Indoor or Outdoor Lifestyle of Your Cat

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How to Decide on an Indoor or Outdoor Lifestyle of Your Cat

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The huge dilemma when you adopt a cat is whether you allow the cat to go outside or not. Probably, you are aware of the predatory nature of your cat as natural-born hunter and its genetic inclination toward the life under the open sky. Maybe you have already noticed your kitten’s eagerness when in nature and its preoccupation with exploring the world. However, to allow your pet to be the outdoor cat has some risks, which can threaten its health and life. That is why many of you decide to keep the cat indoors. Before you make a decision from safety and security reasons, and confine your cat to the home, read the following tips on “Minimizing Risks for the Outdoor Cat” and give yourself some time to reconsider your decision.

How to Decide on an Indoor or Outdoor Lifestyle of Your Cat

Minimizing the risks

• Let your cat out in the day but shut him in at night as this is a more dangerous time to be out. There are more wild animals around and cats can be dazzled by car headlights on the road. A reflective or fluorescent collar may help get him seen, particularly in the winter months when it gets dark earlier. If you can train your cat to come when he is called you will be able to let him out at dawn and make sure he is in by dusk each day.

• If you are near a busy road try to encourage your cat to come in (by feeding at this time) at busy times in the morning and evening.

• Ensure that your cat is vaccinated against all infectious diseases it is possible to cover (as yet there is no vaccine for FIV). Worm your cat regularly, especially if he is a hunter.

• If your cat is wearing a collar make sure it is one with a safety catch which will enable him to escape should the collar get caught up in a tree or fence. Write your name and phone number on it clearly so that anyone finding him sick or injured can let you know. Many people now have their cats microchipped. A microchip the size of a grain of rice is injected under the skin that carries a unique number. Cats taken to rescue centres are automatically scanned for this and matched to the address on file.

• Make sure that your cat is neutered. The risks to entire animals are much greater than to neutered cats. An unneutered tom will wander for miles, often crossing busy roads. The average lifespan of an unneutered male is probably only a couple of years. Neutered animals do not wander so far, do not fight so much (and therefore are not at such a great risk of being infected with various diseases), and do not cause the noise and smell nuisance to neighbours that an unneutered torn can inflict. The risks of pregnancy to the unneutered female are also obvious.

Anyway, whether the lifestyle of your cat is indoor or outdoor – the both of them have their pro et contra. While there are some breeds that are exclusively indoors, for every other cat it is individual. Some cats are more prone to go out, such as a domestic cat, but for many others it depends on the cat’s personality. Although, the consensus among veterinarians of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has been made in a favor of indoor cats, for they are less exposed to risks, it is wise for your decision to think about your lifestyle, your home location and its conditions, as well as the cat’s affinities. For example, if you are living in the center of the crowded city, in a building, and your apartment is not on the ground floor, then it is wiser to keep your cat indoors. Whatever you choose, the only one thing is important – to be caring and loving cat owner, who are very well aware of all the risks.

1 Response

  1. pat massie says:

    M female cat gets out in morning but shows face a lot of the day. I call her if havent seen her for a while.I take her inside before dark. She doesnt like the door being shut on her, so if she wont come when called I close door properly. Next time I call her ,she bolts inside raging at me. She hasnt strayed far up to now. She is 3 or 4 years old.

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