If your cat is allowed outdoors, then keeping your kitty safe should be a priority. The following tips should help keep your cat healthy and safe, both in your yard and on the go.
The Great Outdoors and Cat Safety
Extreme weather, animal attacks, vehicles, hanging branches, and parasites are all potential threats to your outdoor cat’s well-being. But don’t let fear of the unknown stop you from letting your cat out to play. Fresh air, a bit of sunshine, and the exercise the great outdoors provides can go a long way in keeping your cat happy and healthy.
With a little prior planning and the aid of preventive vaccinations, your cat can thrive as an outdoor or indoor/outdoor cat, year-round.
How To Prepare for Cat Safety
Before you let your cat out, keep these safety considerations in mind:
- Identification—Be certain that your cat is wearing a breakaway collar with your contact info on the tags. This will help to ensure that your cat comes home, should he or she stray too far. Also, microchip your cat in the event they do run off.
- Breakaway Collars—Always opt for this type of collar with a cat. Breakaway collars will help your cat break free from dangerous situations, such as getting caught on a snag and falling prey to suffocation. Don’t worry about your cat losing his or her tags, that’s what the microchipping is for.
- Vaccinations and Deworming—From rabies and heartworm to fleas and ticks, keeping your cat current on his or her vaccinations will help to ensure that your cat remains healthy and disease free.
- Shelter—No matter the time of year, it is vitally important that you provide your cat with a place to escape from the elements. Whether it’s extreme heat or cold, or rain and snow, giving your cat a safe, comfortable place to find shelter is a must if your kitty goes outdoors.
- Water—Always be certain that there is fresh drinking water available for outdoor pets. During the colder months you’ll need to be certain that your cat’s water supply isn’t frozen.
Keeping Cats Safe From Animal Attacks
Keeping your cat safe from other animals may be the most difficult part of letting your cat play or live outdoors. Invariably, cat fights can seem impossible to avoid and the risk of your cat getting in a kerfuffle with a raccoon, squirrel, dog, or other wild animal can be high as well.
Keeping your kitty safe from these critters can oftentimes be as simple as a little common sense:
- Be certain that your cat is spayed or neutered, as this is often the primary cause of catfights.
- If your cat’s food is kept outside, keep it in a sheltered location that will not attract other animals.
- Likewise, keep trash and food waste in a securely closed bin, as often this will attract raccoons and other scavenger animals.
- Keep your yard fenced. Fencing may discourage visiting animals, especially those who can’t climb.
Cat Safety at Home
Finally, don’t just let your cat out and hope for the best. Take the time to help your cat acclimate to your outdoor space and recognize that this is part of his or her home.
Spend time with your cat outside before letting him or her roam free. Short trips in and out can help your kitty learn the sights and smells of home. Likewise, providing a comfortable and inviting shelter for your cat will go along way in keeping your cat close to home.
If you have any other questions about keeping your cat safe outdoors, or if you need to schedule an appointment to bring your outdoor cat current on his or her preventatives, please don’t hesitate to call us.