Many cat owners are divided on the topic of keeping your cat indoors. A Scottsdale client recently told me a story of how his indoor / outdoor cat came home with scratches and bite marks after spending the night outside. His cat really enjoyed the freedom and stimulation of being outdoors, but after several dangerous encounters, this client decided to keep his kitty indoors full time.
Many veterinarians agree that indoor cats live longer due to lower incidents of illness, accidents, and stress. For a happier, healthier pet, you may want to consider keeping your cat indoors.
10 Reasons for Keeping Your Cat Safely Indoors:
Making the decision to keep your cat indoors for safety and health reasons is a very personal choice. In Scottsdale, we have coyotes, feral cats, homeless dogs, raccoons and other hungry animals roaming about – not to mention the occasional rattlesnake!
- Cat Parasites – Fleas, tapeworms, hookworms, and other parasites live outside. These skin and intestinal parasites are contracted while Fluffy is wandering in unfamiliar environments. She may pick them up from other animals or even by ingesting infected feces or soil. Parasites cause vomiting, diarrhea, dry skin, dull coat, itchiness and and other symptoms. Unfortunately, parasites can be very stressful for a cat.
- Traffic Accidents – Car accidents are a common cause of injury and death for outdoor cats.
- Feline Infection and Disease – Cats can easily catch something unpleasant when spending so much time outdoors. Common infections and some of the most dangerous feline diseases such as rabies, the leukemia virus and cat AIDS are extremely contagious. If your cat spends time outdoors, he may contract these diseases from infected felines or other animals. In addition, cats really like to chase mice and birds. Mice and birds are carriers of numerous infections.
- Poisoning – Outdoor cats may easily stumble upon toxic plants. Out of curiosity, craving or hunger, they will chew on these out of curiosity, craving or hunger. Poisoning can be fatal in cats, especially if you don’t get to the vet quickly.
- You can eliminate the toxic plants, rat poison and other potential dangers from your home, so your cat will not be at risk.
- Cat Fights – A cat spending time outdoors is more likely to get into a fight. Cats will fight with other cats, dogs, raccoons or skunks. Unless Fluffy is preparing for the impending serious injuries, this is very dangerous for her. In addition, contracting rabies from stray cats can also happen.
- Cat Allergies – Did you know that cats can get allergies, too? Some cats may develop allergy symptoms if left outdoors for extended periods of time. Why? Because they may be sensitive to inhalant allergens such as pollen.
- Early Detection – When kept indoors, you can better monitor your cat. Daily view of your feline allows you to quickly notice any changes in their health and behavior. This gives you opportunities to treat illnesses earlier.
- Reduce Stress – The stable environment that only a pet owner can provide while indoors, results in less stress for your beloved cats. Parasites and disease are also stress causing triggers. By being less exposed to these factors, an indoor cat may enjoy a more stress-free life.
- Cleaner Home – If your cat is not wandering outside, he won’t bring all the ‘gunk’. All kinds of dirt, dead animals and bacteria are out there and he may bring it in. This bacteria could affect the owner. This is especially true if the cat likes to spend time on couches or in the owner’s bed.
- Longer, Happier Life – Indoor cats typically live longer than outdoor cats. On average, indoor cats have a life expectancy between 10 to 15 years. Overall, however, there are several factors that determine how long your cat will live. This includes how often you take them to the vet for checkups.
Keeping your cat indoors is certainly a personal choice. If you’re like the cat owner we mentioned above, it may be time to consider making the switch to keeping your cat indoors full time.
For More Information
If you have questions about this topic or general questions about pet care, you can contact Kara Jenkins, Owner of TLC House & Pet Sitting. We are also available by email at email@example.com. View more of our articles on pets here.