Should I Let My Cat Outside?


Should you keep your cat indoors, or allow them to go outside? Let’s consider the pros and cons to going outside!

Should you keep your cat indoors, or allow them to go outside? Let’s consider the pros and cons to going outside!

Pro: Cats that are allowed outside are easier to keep entertained

Cats with outdoor access are much better able to find their own entertainment. Whether this is climbing trees, exploring or hunting, there’s always plenty going on outside. This isn’t to say that indoor cats are doomed to a life of boredom, it just takes a little more effort. Provide toys, hide food around the house so they can hunt for it, or – even better – build them an enclosed outdoor area so they can experience the great outdoors without the risks. Cats and kittens can also be harness and leash trained, allowing them to go out on walks with you!

Con: Increased risk of injury, potentially leading to death

Unfortunately, there’s a dark side to “the great outdoors”. Getting hit by cars, or hurt by dogs or other cats are all ways that your pet can get into strife outside. Not only can these events seriously hurt your pet, they often result in expensive vet bills. Worst of all, if your cat is too badly hurt, even the best veterinary care may not be enough to save them.

Con: Risk of getting stolen or lost

It’s not uncommon for outdoor cats to go missing, either because they go too far and get lost, or because they get “adopted” by another family. Friendly cats, or cats of certain breeds, are more likely to go missing. If you do decide to allow your cat outside, make sure your cat is microchipped and your details up to date, and ensure they have a collar with your phone number clearly shown on it. However, these are not guarantees. The safest option is to keep your pet inside.

Con: Risk of getting FIV

FIV, also known as Feline AIDs, is a similar disease to HIV, or AIDs in humans. Over time the virus suppresses the immune system, causing your cat to become more susceptible to other diseases. Eventually, the immune system will be so suppressed that they are unable to defend themselves against even simple infections, leading to their death. The disease is spread by getting bitten by infected cats. Alarmingly, the number of outdoor cats with this disease is on the rise – now 1 in 5 cats are infected with FIV. There is no treatment for FIV, however you can prevent your pet catching it via vaccination. If your cat is going to be an outdoor cat, or is at risk of getting out and taking themselves for walks, we strongly recommend you get your cat vaccinated for FIV. Prevention is absolutely better, especially when there is no cure!

While many cats do enjoy going outside, it’s important to realise that there are some definite downsides to allowing your pet to roam. If you do decide to allow your pet outside, make sure to give us a call to get your cat up to date with FIV vaccinations today!

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