Keeping Cats Inside
It Isn’t Just For the Birds!
Friday, November 2, 2007
Many people believe that cats must go outdoors to be happy. In fact, cats can be perfectly content living indoors and those who do live indoors have a life expectancy three times longer than a cat allowed to roam freely outside.
Here are compelling reasons to keep your cat safely inside:
- Millions of cats are hit and killed by cars each year.
- Encounters with dogs, other cats, wild animals -especially coyotes - and even cruel humans can result in serious injuries or death.
Lisa Acho Remorenko
- Free-roaming cats that aren’t spayed or neutered are the single greatest cause of cat overpopulation, which results in the euthanasia of untold millions of cats in shelters.
- Many owners of unaltered cats who let their cats roam don’t realize how quickly cats can breed. Just two unaltered cats and their offspring can multiply into over 400,000 cats in just 7 years! Many of these cats die horrible deaths if left to fend for themselves.
- Outdoor cats kill hundreds of millions of birds and small mammals each year. In addition to the poor birds and mammals that die needlessly at the hands of cats, cats who roam into neighbor’s yards cause animosity between households that have wild bird feeders and those that let their cats roam, giving cats a bad rap.
- Outdoor cats are at risk of debilitating parasites such as worms and fleas, as well as many dangerous and even deadly diseases.
Tips to Keep Your Cat House-Happy:
- Window shelves and secure enclosures such as a screened porch provide endless hours of entertainment and let your cat enjoy the world outside while remaining safe.
- Spend quality time playing with your cat every day with a stimulating activity such as a feather toy on a string. Playthings such as catnip toys, ping-pong balls and even cardboard boxes will help keep your cat active when you’re not available for hands-on play.
- Cats love to graze on kitty grass planted in indoor pots and it gives them a sense of the outdoors without the dangers.
- Cats need buddies, too! Two or more cats living in a home can be playmates and provide comfort for each other.
- Any cat, even one who “never goes outside,” can easily slip out an open door or window. Therefore, it is extremely important to keep proper identification on your cat at all times.
- Cats who initially resist a collar can become used to it eventually (especially if you use a soft collar such as Beastie Bands). A collar with proper identification may be your only hope of finding your pet if he or she should become lost.
- The best collars to use are those that are “breakaway” so if you cat becomes entangled in his or her collar, she will easily slip out of the collar without choking himself or herself. Make sure the collar is secured on your cat, but not placed too snugly. You should be able to slip two fingers between the cat’s neck and his or her collar.
- If you are very worried about your cat becoming lost, have your cat microchipped. A microchip-the size of grain of rice-is inserted under the skin between an animal’s shoulder blades. The chip is assigned a code which coincides with the pet owner’s name and address. Most shelters and vet clinics have microchip scanners, so your cat can be quickly returned to you if picked up.
- If you insist on letting your cat outside, do so only when you can watch over him or his or her. Be safe and keep him or her in a harness on a leash so he or she doesn’t dart off. At the very least, bring your cat in at night!
With these tips, your cat can live a happy and healthy life indoors!