The Dangers Outside - Turn Your Cat into an Indoor Only Pet!
My cat, Oscar, was once an outdoor, creature of the night. However, now that I am educated on the hazards of outdoor living, he has since become an indoor only pet. Trust me when I say that I understand why cats enjoy going outside. After all, life outside is exciting! There are things to hunt, other cats to play with and sunbeams to sleep in. Though life on the "outside" may be fun and exciting to your cat, the dangers are too great of a risk. After all, we are talking about the safety and well being of your feline friend. Caring for your cat is much easier to do INSIDE of your home than out!
Did you know that the average lifespan of an outdoor cat is only FIVE YEARS! That is shocking when you compare it to the life expectancy of an indoor only feline. If properly cared for, indoor only cats can live 18 to 20 years! So, what exactly are the dangers that outdoor cats face on a daily basis you ask? Well, let me tell you!
The Dangers of the Great Outdoors
- Automobiles – Need I say more?!
- Other Cats – Many outdoor cats are territorial and will fight to protect what is theirs. Cat fights are NOT pretty.
- Disease - There are many diseases that an outdoor cat can become infected with. Some diseases such as Feline Leukemia, Rabies and Immunodeficiency Viruses are transmitted from one animal to another.
- Poison – Outdoor animals run the risk of coming into contact with poisons such as rat and insect poison as well as plant and garden fertilizers.
- People – Sad but true, there are people in the world who are NOT so kind to animals. In fact, people have been known to abuse and torture animals. Though most of the people that live in your neighborhood are most likely kind to the animals they come across do you want to risk your cat with the ONE person who is not?
- Fleas, Ticks & Mites, Oh my! - If you cat is an indoor only pet, he or she will be less likely to become infested with fleas, ticks and mites.
- Help, I'm Lost! – Many cats that are free roaming, outdoor animals, often, at one point or another, end up getting lost or picked up by animal control. If your cat does not have the proper identification, it might be difficult to locate him.
- Thieves – As I previously mentioned, there are some "not so nice" people in this world. If you leave your cat outdoors, there is a chance he could be stolen.
- Dogs – Stray dogs that come across outdoor cats are not always so kind.
The reasons listed above should be enough to convince you that it is smarter to have an INDOOR rather than an outdoor cat. Indoor cats receive better care and live longer. If you are worried that your cat won't be happy staying inside, there are things you can do and steps you can take in order to convince him that life IN THE HOUSE, isn't so bad after all.
If your cat MUST go outside...consider these products!
Inside Fun for the Outside Cat!
Indoor cats that do not receive enough stimulation often become overweight and end up spending a lot of their time sleeping. Don't get me wrong, cats are known for LOOOONG naps, so don't be too alarmed if your puss sleeps a lot!
It is important that your cat has a lot of toys to play with. It is also a good idea if you spend at least 30 to 60 minutes a day actually playing with your cat. I know, sounds like a lot of time, however, you can watch TV and play with your cat at the same time. Trust me, it's not hard to do (besides, the bonding time will be good for BOTH of you). Another great "cat item" to invest in is a cat tree! Cat trees allow your cat to retreat to their own "safe place" high above the rest of the room. They will also enjoy the scratching opportunities that cat trees provide. If possible, put the cat tree near a window. If given the opportunity, many cats will gaze outside for hours. Another great idea is to get a second cat! Contrary to what people may say, cats are NOT loners, they enjoy companionship! Finally, if you feel guilty about your cat not being allowed to go outside then buy him a cat harness and take him for a walk! Not all cats enjoy going for walks…but you'll never know until you try! Good luck and may you be successful at bringing your outside cat…in!