Why Cats Should Be Indoor-Only Cats!
Now days it’s simply not safe for cats to go outside. Being curious, and if not stimulated inside, they may try to dart out the door, but as a pet owner it’s your responsibility to keep them safe. After all, you wouldn’t let a young child outside unsupervised. Same should go for your pet! Remember, the average indoor-only cat lives 15+ years, while one allowed outside may live 2-3 years. Below are just a few outdoor hazards!
DISEASE The 3 main cat diseases, FeLV, FIV & FIP, are found in all areas. They can be contagious to other cats and can be fatal. Rabies may be passed from wildlife to your cats and to people also.
PARASITES Cats will inevitably bring fleas and ticks into the house. Fleas can cause anemia, skin irritations, & allergies in cats. Just like ticks, they transmit disease through bites, posing a risk to humans. Ridding the home of pests is difficult, very expensive, & exposes the pet to harmful chemicals.
POISONING Fact is, most yards are treated with chemicals. Cats will later lick their paws ingesting the poison they walked on. Rodent poison and leaking antifreeze are just a few deadly dangers that attract cats. Remember, just because you don’t have any poison on your property, doesn’t lessen the risk, as your neighbor most likely does!
OTHER ANIMALS Other cats, dogs, and wildlife are enemies, often leaving cats injured or killed after fights. Many suffer torn ears, cut eyes, abscesses, broken limbs...and the list goes on and on!
TRAPS Over 100,000 cats are caught in traps yearly. Those who aren’t killed may suffer days before being released and then often lose limbs.
TRAFFIC Cats like to crawl up by the engine to stay warm, while others sit on tires. Many die a painful death as they are torn up when the vehicle is started, or when they get hit crossing a road. Please also think of the family who may tragically die after they swerve to avoid your hitting your cat.
How to Keep Cats Happy Indoors!
1) Open windows to let fresh air in! Cats love it since they feel like they’re outside with the smells & sounds, but safe inside. Be sure screens are secure & consider a kitty window ‘perch’ for comfort.
2) Cats need to chew on greens. “Indoor Cat” foods are now available with greens, however they still like to nibble. Plant a small pot of grass, bird seed, or alfalfa to satisfy them. Remember many house plants & cut flowers are toxic to cats!
3) Prevent boredom by hiding a few treats around the house. Cats catch on fast, so be sneaky! Also bring out toys just for when you’re gone & rotate them each day. Examples are paper bags (minus handles), a cardboard box, ring toy, fake mouse. Only using these while you’re gone and rotating keeps them new and exciting for the cats!
4) Consider a companion! Cats do spend most of the day napping & many love to snuggle and groom another cat. For active cats, nothing keeps them more entertained than another active wrestling buddy!
5) Stock up on stimulating, life-like toys! Think like a cat...does it have fur or feathers, does it move or feel like small pray? These toys will keep them entertained w/o the risk of swallowing bones from real pray & contracting worms.
6) Buy or create a carpeted climbing tree! Whether declawed or not, cats still enjoy scratching, climbing and perching up high. The more shelves and the higher, the better!
7) Spend time with your cat! They crave companionship. Besides cuddle-time, play some games such as peek-a-boo around corners, chase, or get out the laser-pointer, but avoid the eyes!
8) Buy a “Cat Video” or make your own featuring rodents, birds and bugs with actual sounds! Fish tanks are also fun. Some cats will watch for hours!
If you really love your cat, do what is best and keep them inside! If you feel they must go outside, be sure they are supervised or on a harness!