Here are 10 reasons to why you should keep your kitty inside:
- Parasites, fleas, ticks, mites
- It’s cold out there. Being covered in fur is not the same a wearing a NorthFace parka.
- Birds- birds eat bugs and spiders, they are beautiful and some have a lovely song. Cats think birds are tasty.
- Birds- some birds think cats are tasty. It’s a rarity but it has happened that a hawk or eagle has carried off an unsuspecting cat. Why take that chance?
- Racoons are opportunists. A healthy cat would not usually be a victim but if a raccoon comes across an injured cat it would definitely be a losing battle.
- People- some really crummy people bait for racoons and cats could also be poisoned.
- Cars- no matter how smart your kitty is, being chased into the street by another cat or dog into the pathway of a car happens more often than you think. Some hybrid cars are practically silent that kitties wouldn’t even hear it coming. We have seen kitties that have survived shattered pelvises and jaws and it is a painful and costly rehabilitation. Some will never be able to walk again- euthanasia is often the end result.
- Cats- when outdoor cats meet other strange outdoor cats it doesn’t look like a NetFlix episode of “Kitten Party” (perfect for watching when you are sick- I gave it 4 stars). The yowling and screaming that you hear is not likely all talk. Cats can catch diseases from other cats and get nasty abscesses from being bitten by a cat with decaying teeth.
- Trees – cats climb up and some can’t figure out how to get down. I am not sure but I think that the fire department racing to the rescue only happens on T.V. Kitty will likely have to wait for animal services and they are very busy people. Racoons are often in those trees… and there are some mighty big feral super squirrels in Toronto.
- The Canine- not that there are wild dogs in Toronto that I am aware of but there are coyotes which can be super dangerous.
If you insist on letting kitty outside some precautions…
- Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate. Not just the usual core vaccines but include the Feline Leukemia vaccine on a yearly basis. It is also a by-law that cats in Toronto be vaccinated against rabies. Rabies can be transmitted to other animals and to people. Rabies can kill you and your little cat too.
- Parasite prevention. Make sure that you are applying preventative medication such as Advantage multi or Revolution monthly to prevent against fleas, mange, mites and other nasties.
- Deworming– they are going to eat all sorts of gross stuff. Tapeworms can be ingested by eating a flea infested host. Roundworm eggs can be found in the tissues of birds, rodents, earthworms and in the feces of infected cats.
- Foreign bodies stuck in the intestine- like I said, they are going to eat lots of gross stuff. Objects often don’t look the same as they did going down – it may sound like a fun game for us to guess what that goopy thing is that we just surgically removed from their intestinal tract but it’s really not.
- Make sure they wear a reflective and breakaway collar with identification. Kitty can catch their collar on a fence or branch and strangle themselves.
- The 1st thing any clinic, shelter or rescue does when they find a kitty is scan for a microchip.
- Make sure your cat knows its name. I suggest that if you plan to have an outdoor cat that you don’t name it “Captain Fluffy Pants” or something that will totally embarrass you as you bellow the name from your back door.
- Feed 2 meals a day, and feed dinner when he comes back home and stays for the evening. You will be training him to come back at a certain time and the reward is food. Have a can of treats that you can shake to gets his attention.
- Spay or Neuter– ever notice why a litter of kittens all look like they are different? A lady cat can become pregnant by several different fathers. Very busy kitties indeed.
- Insurance or a vet bill fund. Kitty has a much larger chance of being injured or getting sick if it goes outdoors. It would be a good idea to be prepared for when they eat gross stuff.
Common misconceptions about the indoor cat:
My cat will get fat. You are in control of that. Talk to your veterinarian about proper diet and feeding methods that will keep kitty’s trim figure. There are a number of toys too that will make kitty work to dispense food.
They need to experience nature. Get some cat grass and turn on Animal Planet.
They get bored. Spend quality time with kitty. Leave the radio on when you are away during the day. Set up a fish tank. Adopt a Labrador or Golden Retriever.
He yowls, screams and has a fit wanting to go out! Kitty will get over it- ever grounded a teenager?
He is scratching the $#_! out of my new sofa! Umm, that’s not going to change if you let kitty outside. Train kitty to scratch on a post, keep nails trimmed and ask your vet about “Soft Paws”. Soft paws can be affixed to kitties nails and can help protect sofas and the people who sit on them.
We Can Help- Talk to your veterinarian about concerns you have. We want to make sure kitty has a long, happy healthy life sharing it with you as their best buddy (aka the food-guy).
Written by Annika Parker, Client Care Representative