You have an indoor cat and she wants to go outside. She stands at the door and cries. This is a decision many owners face when owning a cat. Do you let her outside or do you keep her safely indoors. To help you decide, let’s first take a look at some of the many dangers associated with letting your feline friend outside.
1. Accidents: This can include life threatening injuries such as getting hit by motor vehicles, falling out of trees, or falling off of roofs and fences.
2. Dogs: Not all dogs like cats and some may inflict life-threatening injuries to your cat, especially if your cat is used to dogs and approaches one.
3. Predators: Coyotes, raccoons, owls, eagles and many other wildlife will consider your feline as a potential meal.
4. Other Cats: Cats can be territorial and can inflict nasty wounds on each other when allowed to roam free. These wounds can become infected and require medical attention.
5. Diseases: Contact with other cats or wildlife may increase the risk of becoming infected with life threatening diseases such as Feline Leukemia Virus or Rabies.
6. Parasites: Exposure to fleas, ticks, intestinal worms and other parasites can increase dramatically when your cat is allowed outside.
7. Poisons: A free- roaming feline may be exposed to, or ingest poisons such as antifreeze, pesticides and rodenticides.
8. Cruelty: Not all people like and enjoy cats. Cats can be harmed by neighbour’s who are angry about your cat roaming on their property.
9. Weather: If outside, cats can sustain frostbite in the winter or dehydration and heatstroke in the summer.
10. Getting Lost: Your cat may find itself locked in a shed, stolen, or adopted by another family who think it’s a stray.
11. Animal Control: Your roaming feline may be trapped by a well intentioned person and taken to the local humane society.
12. Unhappy Neighbours: Many people feed birds and cultivate beautiful gardens. They don’t appreciate your cat hunting birds on their property or using their garden as a toilet. This can make for a challenging relationship between you and your neighbours.
13. Lifespan: On average, outdoor cats live approximately 5 years less than cats living strictly indoors.
14. Kittens: Your non-spayed female cat WILL become pregnant if she is let outside and you may end up with unwanted kittens.
Please spay, neuter, and vaccinate your cat if you plan to let them outside. Or keep them indoors.