Most cats are happy sleeping in a sunny spot on the floor of your living room. But if you have a cat that insists on going outside, here are some tips to help them be safe.
Get Your Cat's Vaccinations Up to Date
Have your veterinarian give your cat any recommended boosters. Your cat may encounter a number of creatures outside and any one of them could have a serious illness. Feline leukemia is highly contagious and often fatal. Rabies is another serious virus. Both of these can easily be transmitted to your cat through the saliva of an infected animal.
Declawed Cats Have Little Defense
If your cat does not have its front claws, it's missing one of its primary forms of defense against another animal attacking it. Your cat also uses its claws to climb trees to get away from conflict. It's best to keep a declawed cat indoors because you'll be sending it out with little protection.
Continue to Feed Your Cat Indoors
Make your cat come inside to eat. Don't put food outside for your cat. You have no way of knowing if your cat is really eating the food or if the neighbor's dog is helping itself. Your cat may use its predator instincts to find prey to eat outside, but it probably won't be a nutritional diet. Make sure your cat is eating a healthy diet by getting them accustomed to only eating while inside of the house.
Collars Are Crucial for the Outdoor Cat
You may be used to your indoor cats not wearing collars and tags, but it should be a requirement if the cat goes outside. Your vet will help you find a nylon collar that is quick release, so your cat won't injure itself should it catch the collar on a tree limb or fence. Identification tags are useful when other people need to contact you about your cat.
Consider having your cat microchipped, too. It can be done in your vet's office and most animal hospitals and shelters have the readers to access the information on the chip. This is valuable should your cat be hurt and end up in the animal shelter or an emergency animal hospital several neighborhoods away.
Check on Your Cat's Health Often
Your outdoor cat can come in with a variety of conditions that affect their health, such as:
- tick and fleas that spread disease
- bites and scratches acquired in a fight that can abscess
- burrs and sticks that can cause the fur to mat
- broken and bleeding claws
- abrasions and missing fur
Whenever your cat comes inside, check them over from head to toe to make sure they haven't been hurt during their last adventure outdoors. If your cat needs immediate medical attention, take them to a professional animal clinic, like Animal Emergency Clinic, immediately.