Note: All cats (even ex-strays) can be conditioned to live indoors, and we strongly encourage cat owners to do so. These tips below are only to further facilitate a safe experience outdoors.
Is your cat prone to wandering around? Research by experts has shown that indoor cats on average live much longer than cats who venture outdoors because the latter are more prone to fatal accidents.
However, while most of us would love to keep our precious furry friends indoors all the time to keep them from harm’s way, some cats simply love to explore beyond your doors, whether it’s an adopted stray, or a free-spirited feline. To ensure that your cat can enjoy all the benefits of playing outdoors while ensuring its protection and the safety of those around, we’ve compiled the following tips:
Leash on, at all times
Not all cats will take to a leash gladly, but besides keeping a watchful eye on your kitty, it will be good to train it to learn to walk with a harness and leash on your whenever you bring it out for some exploration fun. This is to minimise the chances of your cat getting lost, or running away unsupervised into dangerous and unwanted situations.
Do not declaw your cat
Many veterinarians who are experienced in dealing with cat injuries unanimously agree that a cat that does not have claws should not be let outside. This is because declawing a cat not only causes it immense pain and discomfort, but without claws, your cat will not be able to defend itself or climb to escape from a threat as well!
Get your cat vaccinated
Vaccinating your cat should be common practice, and for good reasons especially if your cat is a free-spirited feline who loves the great outdoors. Giving your cat the proper shots it needs before it ventures outdoors will reduce the risk of it contracting various sicknesses or infections that can be fatal, such as rabies or feline leukaemia.
Create a safe space for your cat
If you live on landed property, let your cat roam outdoors in a secure perimeter by creating a dedicated space just for your cat in your yard! Consider installing a cat patio, also affectionately known as a “catio”, complete with scratching posts, high places for your kitty to perch, shelves, and plenty of shade for your feline friend to roam to its heart’s content, all while being protected in a safe space.
Micro-chip your cat
Even if you have your cat on a leash, there’s always a chance that it might get lost. Without any form of identification, chances of finding your kitty would be slim to none, which is why cat owners should consider micro-chipping their animals. The size of a grain of rice, this chip contains information that links you to your cat, and will not cause your cat any discomfort.
Even with all these tips, it is important that you keep a vigilant eye out for your cat. Only then can your cat truly be safe!