Outdoor cats face many dangers that are not a threat for indoor cats. I know a lot of people think it is mean to keep a cat cooped up indoors, but their life span is greatly increased and the likelihood of meeting a horrible violent death dramatically decreased. If you give your indoor cat lots of attention and plenty of toys to play with they can have just as an exciting life as an outdoor cat – without all the risk.
So just what are the risks for outdoor cats? Plenty – even if you have your cat seems to stay right in the yard there are dangers lurking around every corner. Here’s a few of the perils they may face:
- Cars. Sure, you think your cat is smart enough to avoid them but one mistake can be fatal for your kitty.
- Disease and illness from other cats. You’ve vaccinated your outdoor cats against rabies and feline leukemia but there is no vaccine for feline Aids.
- Predators. Unlike indoor cats, felines that frolic outside are at risk of injury or death from a number of predators – dogs, coyotes, fisher cats to name a few. Depending on where you live there could be any number of dangerous animals that your cat could come in contact with. And don’t forget humans – not everyone is a nice person and some can be very cruel to animals.
- Antifreeze. Drinking it can kill them, even walking through puddles of it can cause some to get on their paws and when the cat goes to clean them he could become ill.
- Choking. If your outdoor cats wear collars than they run the risk of hanging or choking if the collars get caught on a branch or something else.
- Fleas, ticks and other bugs. With indoor cats, you can make your house flea free – outdoor cats will just bring them in from the outside so flea control will be a constant battle.
- Heartworm. Cats can get heartworm too!
If you have outdoor cats and want to “convert” them to indoor cats it is possible with a little patience. Make sure the cat is not lurking around when you open the door and don’t let him dart out. Make sure there are no open windows or holes in screens he can use to escape from. Lavish your cat with plenty of fun toys and invest in a nice scratching post and some cat platforms or kitty condos – put them near the window so he can amuse himself by gazing out at the world. Finally, spend lots of time with your indoor cats, eventually they will be much happier, healthier and long lived.