All cats are different. Some of our feline friends can’t get enough of the great outdoors and some are practically glued to their spot on the couch! There are many benefits to having an outdoor cat, and also some risks, but we want to make sure your cat is happy and healthy wherever they enjoy spending their time.
We’ve put together some factors to give you more information about how to take care of your outdoor cats’ health.
More to explore – Being outdoors gives your cat the opportunity to experience a different and exciting environment with lots to do, and the stimulation of new sensations provides a great mental workout.
Natural Instincts – Allowing your cat to spend time outside with nature keeps it more alert and can express more predatory characteristics than indoors, they are hunt and stalk small rodents or birds as an activity, which will also keep unwanted rodents at bay.
Exercise – Being outdoors keeps cats active, as they aren’t space restricted as they would be indoors. When hunting they chase and pounce, and leap from ledge to post.
Personal Space – When our homes get busy and noisy, it is ideal for cats to be able to have unrestricted access in and out of the home so they can have their own space to escape to. Our Staywell® Magnetic 4 Way Locking Classic Cat Flap gives your cat the freedom to come and go as they please without letting in other unwanted animals.
Injury – It is no surprise that with more space comes more hazards. Busy roads are a huge risk to a cat’s safety, especially through the night and on quiet country roads which have very few cars passing through. Cats can also be injured by other cats or dogs that fight over territories in the area.
Diseases and parasites – Outdoor cats are more susceptible to becoming infected by contact with other cats and other environmental risks. This can also lead into infestation of fleas and ticks, which can nest in grass and other outdoor environments.
Getting lost – If your cat wanders too far from your home it may be picked up as a stray by neighbours, which could result in being taken in by another family or handed into an animal charity.
Vaccinate – Before your cat goes outdoors, be sure to be up to date with vaccinations and spay or neuter, discuss the matter fully with your vet which vaccines your cat needs and how often they should be given. Keep in mind to regularly check for fleas and provide medicine if there is an ongoing case.
Identification – An identified cat is a safer cat; microchips are the most permanent source of identification so make sure it is up to date to give your cat the best chance at being returned if they go missing. A collar with an ID tag is also a quick and easy way to show others that your pet has a home and makes it easy to contact you.
Routine – For ease for you and your pets, get them into the routine of going out during the day, so they can come back in at night. That way they are out when roads are less busy and are ready to settle down in the evening when you are home.
Containment – If you have reservations about letting your cat explore without constraint consider constructing an outdoor run to provide more space to roam, or a high fence to keep them within the garden.
So whether your feline friend is an intrepid explorer or a home-bird, PetSafe® are here to provide all you need to know about your outdoor cat’s health.