Is It Safer For Cats to Stay Inside?

If you feel your kitty should roam the great outdoors, you’re not alone. Many cat lovers feel their cat is happiest lounging in the fresh air or stalking unsuspecting prey.

However, there are many reasons why it’s safer for your kitty to stay inside - traffic being one - and many cat owners are realizing the dangers of life outdoors.

Why Kitties are Safer Inside

Speeding vehicles is a major source of untimely deaths for cats. Plus, there are diseases, cat fights, unpleasant neighbors, and other reasons why you would want to keep your cat indoors. Let’s take a look in more detail.

According to cat behaviorist Pam Johnson-Bennett, “In general, a cat who spends his entire life indoors will live many years longer than a cat restricted exclusively to the outdoors. If your cat has indoor/outdoor access, chances are he’ll live longer than the exclusively outdoor feline but he still faces increased risks to his health and safety that can impact lifespan.”

Disease

“The American Feral Cat Coalition estimates that there are approximately 60 million feral and homeless stray cats living in the U.S. Many of these cats may carry diseases that can be passed on to your cat if he or she comes into contact with them. A number of these diseases can be serious or potentially fatal. Common examples include:

  • feline leukemia (FeLV)
  • feline AIDS (FIV)
  • FIP (feline infectious peritonitis)
  • feline distemper (panleukopenia)
  • upper respiratory infections (or URI)” (Source: American Humane)

Besides diseases, there are the risks of other creatures who may eye your kitty as a meal or sport.

While outside, cats must defend against danger

At Risk for Predators

“Outdoor cats are below wildlife predators in the food chain, and they are sitting ducks for owls, raptors, coyotes, and native big cats. Dogs running in packs will consider a cat fair game; even one large dog can easily overpower and kill a cat. Remember that some dogs are also bred to attack; they are not really to blame when their instinct takes over. Even with a full set of fangs and claws, the cat rarely has a chance when caught outside, and declawed cats are even more at risk.” (Source: The Spruce)

There’s a lot that can happen to your cats if you allow them to roam. They may even make enemies with non cat-loving neighbors, and we’ve heard stories of that not working out well for the kitty.

Unfriendly Neighbors

No one wants to think another person would harm an animal, but there is evidence to the contrary. Whether it's on the news or via word-of-mouth, we’ve heard horror stories of neighbors poisoning other people’s pets or calling animal control to pick up a “stray” cat.

It doesn’t have to be a nearby neighbor that you even know either. One thing that many people don’t realize is how far their housecat is likely to roam.

“A study of 10 house cats and seven farm cats published in the European ecology journal Ecography found that on average, the house cats covered more ground than the farm cats — at night, the house cats moved within an average area of nearly 20 acres, compared to just over 6 acres for the farm cats. (Source: Petfinder)

Now, you probably don’t leave your cat out all night, but even in the evening, your cat could wander far afield. That also makes them more at risk for predators.

If you must let your cat out, go outside with them. A little supervision is a good thing. If you have a fenced yard, your cat can wander in there under your watchful eye. And believe it or not, cats can be trained to walk on a harness and leash! Contact us if you'd like some training pointers. And we recommend that you make an appointment to make sure your cat has the vaccines and Make the indoors fun and engaging for your kitty preventives onboard that they'll need for protection.

If you’re concerned about your kitty being bored inside, then make the inside interesting. Get a kitty condo so they can go climbing. Play with your cat daily. Get some catnip. Indoor cats can live a rich and happy life, and you can help them.

Hopefully, now you realize the benefits of keeping your cat inside rather than allowing them to roam the streets. If you have a cat who insists on going outside, it is possible to transition your indoor/outdoor kitty to indoors only. Just get in touch with us to talk about your options!

 

 

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