Each cat is different. While some may be happy lounging on the couch at home, some just can’t get enough of the great outdoors. While letting your kitty go outside of home has its benefits, like experiencing an exciting environment, opportunities for her to express her predatory characteristics and more personal space for her, it is nevertheless fraught with risks. Let’s take a look at a few ways of ensuring your outdoor cat is safe and healthy.
1. Get Your Kitty A Safe Collar And ID
When getting a collar for your cat, remember to get one with a safety clasp that comes undone if the collar gets stuck somewhere, so that your Kitty is protected from strangulation. Also, it’s important that you get her a tag that has her name and your contact details on it, in case she wanders off somewhere far.
2. Get Her Microchipped
Getting your kitty microchipped is the best way to find her if she wanders off. If she gets lost and if someone finds her and turns her in, your details on the microchip will bring her right back to you. Just make sure your contact details are up to date when you do get her microchipped.
3. Give Her Free Access To Food And Water
Make sure Kitty has access to food and water throughout the day. Water becomes especially important during the summer.
4. Keep A Litter Box Inside
It’s important to keep a litter box inside the house, so that when your outdoor cat decides to stay at home, she has somewhere to relieve herself.
5. Keep An Eye Out For Possible Toxins
There are many toxins lurking outside, that your kitty may get exposed to. Pesticides, insecticides, baits for vermin – the list goes on. Even the salt or antifreeze that people use during winters can harm kitty’s paws or get ingested if she licks her paws right after being exposed to them. Although you can’t really protect her from everything when she’s outside, it helps to be aware that she may be exposed to them.
6. Make Her A Shelter Outside
It’s best to have your cat stay home during extreme weather conditions to protect her from hypothermia in the winters or a heatstroke during summers. But if she won’t stay inside for long, it may be a good idea to make a shelter for her outside to keep her warm in the winters and cool in the summertime.
7. Keep Her Confined Outside
If you feel worried about letting kitty out and about on her own, you can give her the best of both worlds, by making an outdoor enclosure for her or a high fence to keep her within your yard or garden. This way, your kitty is absolutely safe as she chases birds and squirrels and enjoys the outdoors.
8. Get Her Into A Routine
It’s a good idea to let your kitty settle into a routine where she goes out in the day and comes back in the evening. It’s safe for her to stay indoors after dark. You can start by enticing her home with treats during evenings till the time she gets used to the routine and starts spending the nights at home.
9. Get Her Neutered
It’s a good idea to get your cat spayed any time after she’s about 5 months of age, to prevent her from getting into catfights or roam very far away from home. Other than keeping her closer to home, getting her neutered also has many health benefits.
10. Take A Stroll Together
It’s a great idea to get a harness and a leash and take your outdoor cat for a walk outside. This strengthens her bond with you and gets you out and about too!
11. Do Not Get Her Declawed
Outdoor cats should never be declawed and declawed cats should never be let outside alone. This is because claws are their biggest defense mechanism. They use claws to defend themselves from dogs or other cats or to climb trees in the event of a threat.
12. Visit The Vet Regularly
Vaccines are crucial for outdoor cats as they are at risk and need to be vaccinated against a host of illnesses like feline leukemia, distemper and upper respiratory infections. They also need to be checked regularly for fleas and ticks. It’s important that you let her vet know that she goes outdoors, so that he can decide on what shots to give her.