Do you let your feline friend go outside? Perhaps you’ve adopted, or semi-adopted, a local cat? It’s always recommended that you keep Fluffy inside, but we do know that many of our furry buddies like to investigate the great outdoors. Others may never get used to living inside. Below, a local veterinarian provides five tips on how to keep an outdoor cat healthy, happy, and purring.
Basic necessities, like clean water, are essential for all animals. Have clean water available for your cat at all times. You’ll need to regularly wash Fluffy’s water bowl, so germs and dust don’t collect inside it.
Like all animals, your cat needs good food to thrive. Kibble is probably your best choice, as it lasts longer than wet food. But, don’t leave out too much food, as this may bring in vermin and pests, such as mice and rats. If possible, give Fluffy her food inside.
Your kitty might have a fur coat, but it doesn’t offer complete protection from the environment. Always bring your furry friend inside when it’s cold or hot outside. When you’re unable to, it’s a great idea to place an emergency shelter outside just in case Fluffy gets stuck there. One simple Do-It-Yourself project for this is to put two plastic storage totes together. One should fit inside the other, leaving a little space in between them. Put newspapers or old towels in this space, providing insulation. Place a blanket on the inside for comfort. For a kitty door, cut holes in the side.
We recommend that all felines be fixed, kept current on vaccines and parasite control, and microchipped. These preventive measures are extremely important for cats that live or go outside. Outdoor pets can be exposed more to parasites and germs than indoor ones, so they should go into the animal hospital a little more often. Talk to your local veterinarian for a recommendation for an appointment schedule.
The best option you have for an outdoor cat is to keep her indoors. Fluffy will be both safer and healthier that way. This change could take patience and time, but don’t give up. Giving her kitty furniture, toys, catnip, and treats can help sweeten the deal. If nothing else, put a limitation on your cat’s outdoor time, letting her out during the day, and only when it’s a nice day out.
For more information on outdoor cat safety, contact your local pet clinic.