It breaks my heart every time I see a ‘Lost Cat’ sign on a community mailbox. Too often, kitty never comes home safely, and another innocent life is lost. How can we prevent this needless tragedy?
When you adopt a cat, you commit to giving them a loving home and to keeping them healthy and safe. The only way to truly do this is to keep them indoors. Cats are happy being indoors and do not need to be outside to have a fulfilling life. Yet, some owners still struggle with the decision of whether to let their cat out.
The dangers of keeping your cat outdoors far outweigh any benefits. Just look at the numbers. Indoor cats live an average of 12.5 years and can reach the ripe old age of 18 or more. In contrast, outdoor cats on average live only 2 to 5 years.
Cats that are allowed outside are at risk of:
- Getting lost or being stolen
- Being seriously injured or killed
- Contracting potentially fatal diseases (feline leukemia, distemper) or illnesses they can pass on to humans (rabies, toxoplasmosis)
- Picking up fleas, ticks or other parasites
- Becoming ill from eating garbage, poisons or toxic plants
- Succumbing to frostbite in winter and dehydration or skin cancer in summer
- Unfixed cats can contribute to the cat overpopulation problem
To keep your cat happy indoors, combat kitty boredom. Here are some tips:
- Provide scratching posts to exercise their claws without damaging furniture
- Give them a place to perch (sofa by a window, window ledge, shelf or cat tree)
- Turn your windows into a cat movie theatre by putting a bird feeder nearby
- Let your cat try out different and exciting toys
- Get a second cat for companionship, especially if you’re gone for long hours
- Bring the outdoors in by growing cat grass for your kitty to eat.
Please make a smart decision. Prevent needless tragedy. Help your cat lead a long, safe, healthy and happy life. Keep your kitty indoors.
Judy is a dedicated volunteer with the Nova Scotia SPCA and proud adoptive fur-mama to Gracie. She is committed to speaking for animals who cannot speak for themselves.