Cats may love to go outside, but for their own good, keep them in. Although cats are smart, alert and adroit, they are no match for the many perils that await them outside. That's why the average indoor-only cat lives up to three times longer than the cat who goes outside.
Consider these threats -
Parasites - Outdoor cats suffer from fleas, ticks, ear mites, and worms that indoor cats are not generally exposed to.
Poisonings - Poisons can be found in lawn chemicals, bait left out to kill rodents, auto antifreeze and other sources.
Other Animals - Fights with other cats, dogs, raccoons, coyotes and other wildlife often leave cats maimed, injured or dead. And it's not just the male cats. Female cats get into fights, too, because cats are, by nature, territorial. Injuries also mean increased veterinary bills for care.
Cruel People - Cats are often the victims of burning, tarring, sacrifice and other tortures. Animal dealers trap and collect outside cats for sale to research labs. Outside pets are at the mercy of the people they encounter. We've personally had cats, Tundra, whose throat was slit from ear to ear, Dallas, who was gutted across his stomach, and Rosey Red, who was swung around by her leg, resulting in it being pulled out of the hip socket and ultimately needing to be amputated. Not all people are nice to cats.
Traps - It's estimated that over 100,000 cats are caught in traps each year. Those who are not killed may suffer for days before being released and often lose limbs from injuries.
Traffic - Most outdoor cats die prematurely from being hit by cars. It is a myth that cats are "streetwise" about cars. No matter how alert, a cat is no match for a fast moving vehicles.
Pet Overpopulation - Unaltered cats allowed to roam and mate at will account for millions of the cats who are euthanized each year because there are not enough homes for them. Allowing unaltered animals outside is irresponsible and the root of the terrible pet overpopulation problem.
Cats can be completely happy inside if you provide them with toys, good care and most importantly, love and attention. If you have a kitten, start it out right by never letting him or her outside. Older cats who are used to going outside can make the transition to being indoor cats with time and attention. For more information on the risks to outdoor cats or converting you cat to life inside, please contact us. We'll be glad to help you provide your cat with a happy and safe inside life with you.