Most domesticated cats are always kept indoors. Many cat owners are kept hanging with the question: Can I let my cat outside and still come back? We are all faced with the nerve-racking thought of our cats not coming home after a trip outside. As a result, most cat owners decide to keep their feline friend indoors, but even indoor cats want to go outside as well. So, what do we do when our cat wants to go outside?
How do I prepare my cat for going outside?
Cats of different breeds have different survival rates outside. For example, lap cats such as Ragdoll, Persian and Russian Blues are typically gentle and meek, so their temperaments cannot survive a catfight outside. They also prefer to sleep more and cuddle with their hooman instead. The Sphynx breed are also not suitable for outdoor environments for the main reason that they are hairless. Without the coat of fur, they cannot survive extreme weather conditions.
If your cat is a breed that can survive outdoor environments, you must prepare him for his surroundings. Please note that kittens are more susceptible to getting lost, so make sure never to bring them outside when they are younger than four months old. Allow your kittens to settle in your home first before allowing them out wholly. This is to ensure that they will know where to come back. It is mostly the same when you adopt an adult cat. Let them settle for at least a month so they can recognize your house as their new home.
Once you have completed your cat's vaccination and neutering, you need to ensure that it has a unique identification when you allow it to roam outside. Put a unique collar around your cat's neck, or consider getting a microchip for your feline friend. In case your cat is lost, your contact details will be stored on the chip. Once people scan it, your cat can return to your home safely.
Outdoors can be a safe space for cats as well. If you have a garden in your lot, make sure that you make your garden exciting and safe for your cats to roam and play. This will also encourage your cat not to wander too far. Cats love climbing and scratching, so be sure to have some climbing poles and trees. If you can, provide a garden roof so you won't have to worry if it rains. Make sure that all plants in the garden are also pet-friendly and non-toxic.
Make sure that your cat knows their name when you call them. You can train your cat to respond to you when called by practicing calling them by their names every day. You can give them treats when they come to you too. This will speed up the training process as they'll associate the treats with them doing a good job. Once your cats are trained well, it's time to let them outside. But for the first few moments, you should always be with them. Let your cat explore on your garden, and when they run too far away, call them and give them treats. You can schedule a particular time for your outdoor bonding to ensure that your feline friend isn't out for too long.
Is going outdoors good for my cat?
Cats can be their instinctive selves when they are outside. They can unleash their natural behaviors such as hunting, climbing, scratching, and exploring. All cats have this kind of urge to go out, so take advantage of their natural instinct by playing with them and getting them healthy, preventing obesity.
As we know, cats are sensitive to smell, taste, and sounds. Outdoors can stimulate them mentally, which adds to their well-being. When cats are bored at home, they become obese and tend to sleep a lot, which is not good. Outdoor environments can also give your cats "alone-time" just to enjoy themselves. Moreover, a healthy dose of sunlight will be beneficial for them too. Remember that a good amount of Vitamin D can make cats happy.
Are there risks when I let my cat outside?
Your cat can be attacked by other animals outside. Beware of coyotes, foxes, raccoons, bobcats, or even other cats out. Since cats are territorial creatures, they can get into animal fights, and if your cat ends up getting wounded, immediately bring him to the veterinarian.
You also run the risk of your cat mating with other cats. If you are cool with your cat getting pregnant, then this should be no problem at all. Just make sure that you'll be able to take care of the kittens and not contribute to cat overpopulation. If you want to be sure that your cat is safe outside, get them spayed or neutered.
Protect your cat from rabies and other diseases by getting them vaccinated before allowing them to roam outdoors. Your cat can meet a lot of unknown animals, and you'd want your cat to be safe and not contact any form of disease.
You also run the risk of your cat getting in accidents when they are left outside. Pets are sometimes hit by cars due to blind spots, low lights, etc. If your cat is hit by a vehicle, bring them to the veterinarian immediately for treatment.
Whether or not you let your cat go outside is your ultimate decision. If you would decide to let them outside, make sure that their environment is 100% safe. Put the right precautions to ensure that your beloved feline friend is happy and healthy.
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