6 Ways to protect your cat outside

Oscillot North America
Endorsed by Nature Canada, Animal Welfare League of Australia

6 Ways to Protect Your Cat Outside

Simons cat, cat got lost, indoor vs outdoor - what is best for your cat

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Outdoor cats face many dangers when roaming the streets, which may be a major threat to their health and even result in death. An indoor cat spends most of its time in the confinement of a home. While keeping your cat inside may seem like the safest choice, it may underwhelm the animal as compared to the outdoors. Luckily, there are ways to ensure your cat’s safety outside your home, to help meet their physical and developmental needs. 

>> Read: Indoor vs Outdoor - What is best for your cat?

Thinking about the safety of your pet is crucial, especially in the outdoor environment. Let's go over some of the possible solutions you may consider towards letting your cat roam outside your home. 

1. Walk your cat on a leash

Cat harness, cat leash,  Photo by Zoë Gayah Jonker on Unsplash

Some cat owners have opted for this option and are ready to take some time out of their day to go for a walk with their beloved feline. For best results, you should select a fitting harness instead of a collar to make sure that it is secure and does not hurt your cat when you pull on a leash. You might also consider an adorable outfit that will protect your cat from different weather conditions.Many cats will not enjoy being limited by the leash. For the owner it is also not the most entertaining option. Unlike dogs, a cat has a different agenda when outside. Cats are natural hunters and may stay put without moving for hours waiting for prey.  

2. Build a catio

Cat house, catio, outdoor cat home, cat pen, cat tent, cat enclosure

This option will provide your cat with its own outdoor mansion. The cage gives your cat access to fresh air as well as the comfort of an indoor atmosphere. The best catio solutions are usually adjoined to the outside of the house with the entry point available directly from the house where your cat could use a window or a kitty door to get into the enclosure. Some more luxurious options include ropes to climb, ladders, hammocks and shelves. Although a catio may seem like a safe choice for letting a cat outside, it is still limited by the four walls of the cage. Just like inside the home, the catio will lack the variety of smells and surfaces that nature has to offer.

3. Install an open-air cat enclosure along the perimeter of your fence

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It is a balanced solution that provides a combination of security and open-air access to your cat. Unlike a catio, an enclosure installed on top of your existing fence does not take any additional space from your yard. At the same time, it provides your cat with maximum amount of the outdoor freedom while keeping it in a safe space. Cats can enjoy nature by chewing on grass, catching unfamiliar sounds, and chasing butterflies around the yard. This will keep them busy, excited and fit. Although this solution might be a larger investment, yet, in the end, the cat will thank you for it.

4. Attach a pet GPS to a collar

Outdoor Cat GPS, cat tracker, gps collar, alternatives to cat fence

Yes, we now live in times where cats have personal electronic devices. This technology, previously limited to dogs, has been significantly reduced in size to make it small and light enough for cats to wear. Watching a red dot on a GPS map is entertaining, but the pinpoint accuracy is limited to a size of three backyards. With this option, a cat is still roaming unprotected. While it improves your chances of finding your pet, if you think it is lost, it does not eliminate any dangers that are waiting for a feline in the freedom of the outdoors. Cats that roam the streets freely have 4 times shorter lifespan than the indoor cats.

5. Try to create habits in your cat

Outdoor Cat,  alternatives to cat fence, cat habits, cat training, fluffy cat

• You should maintain a supervised open-air time in a safe zone. For instance, let your cat go out for a stroll inside your backyard under your supervision. Interact with your cat and let it know of your presence when you see an attempt to leave the yard. 

 • If your cat receives meals on a specific time schedule, you can let it out between the meals, which will create the need for the cat to return for food. It is best to give the cat smaller portions than usual to ensure it will be hungry by the next mealtime. 

While this option provides your cat with maximum freedom, there is no guarantee that your cat will not run away.

6. Microchip your cat

Microchip cat, outdoor cat,  Photo by Manja Vitolic on Unsplash

It is a quick and painless procedure which includes inserting a chip with some basic ownership information under a cat’s skin. If your cat ends up in the hands of animal services, they will scan the chip to access your contact information. While an ID plate on a collar is the fastest way to get your phone number, there is no guarantee that the cat will still be wearing it when found. Microchipping is useful both for indoor and outdoor cats. Even if you are not ready to let your cat out of the comfort and safety of your home, it can slip out into a door or window left open by accident. It may take you some time to notice that your pet is not home. Therefore, you can never be too careful. 

In the end, the most important things that your pets need are constant attention, love, and care. When your feline is happy, it will reciprocate with loads of affection. 

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Indoor vs Outdoor - what is best for your cat?

Oscillot North America
Endorsed by Nature Canada, Animal Welfare League of Australia

Indoor vs Outdoor - what is best for your cat?

Simons cat, cat got lost, indoor vs outdoor - what is best for your cat

Photo by Rohit Singh on Unsplash

Letting cats outside is important for your cats' health and has many advantages that allow them to feel free by climbing and running in the open air. This helps cats to remain active and healthy, both physically and mentally. While being outdoors, they can engage in their mischief urge to scratch, mark their imprint, and experience different surfaces, which is something you would not appreciate on your home’s furniture. 

The open-air environment offers endless opportunities for curious cats to sensationalize to new sights, smells, tastes and surfaces. While we, as humans, can recognize our space, can easily socialize, and are quick to adapt or alter our surroundings, it is important to do the same for our pets; especially cats, who can easily become lazy and bored after spending days trapped within the confinement of the four walls. Not only is the change in surroundings vital for their well-being, but also it is important for their temperament and their socialization skills. 

Running cat, outdoor cat, cat fence, Photo by James Hammond on Unsplash

Though, despite all the synergy, freedom and health benefits, there are a few disadvantages of letting cats roam the streets which need to be kept in consideration. Vehicles are a major hazard to the outdoor cats and might cause life-threatening accidents even on unoccupied streets. Letting your cat outside may also increase a chance of it getting caught in somebody's shed, getting trapped under a hood of a car, getting stolen or drowning in a neighbor’s pool. A cat may get stuck on top of a tree with a fear to climb down, or may wander too far from home and get lost. In addition to that, the outside world is full of predators, such as foxes, coyotes and other critters that can put a cat’s life at risk. At the same time, cats present a danger to local wildlife by hunting endangered species of birds and other prey. 

Cats living outdoors are more likely to attract street illnesses particularly through dealing with other cats. Basic diseases that might be transmitted are feline Leukemia, feline AIDS, abscesses, and upper respiratory diseases, among others. Adding on, they might stumble upon harmful substances on the road, such as slug pellets, liquid catalyst or rodent poison. Some nursery plants like lilies or poinsettia that they might encounter are dangerous for cats as well. The outside world also brings parasites like ticks and worms, which are a threat to a cat’s general well-being. 

Outdoor cat dangers, cat fight, feral cats, cat fence

How to let your cat enjoy the outside safely

The outside world serves as mental stimulation for cats and can have a major positive impact on your pet’s health. Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate threats and let your kitty run in the fresh air and absorb some of that precious sunlight. 

• Routinely treat the cats with insect, tick and worming medicine, to desensitize them from possible parasites. Regular vet checkups are a must for all cats. Just let your vet know that you let your kitty outside and he will help you with the necessary preventative measures available

• Use one of the many solutions that can keep your cat safe, away from the streets and other animals while enjoying the outdoors. Check out the next article for more information.

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