Outdoors cats can get into antifreeze, or be exposed to lawn chemicals. Dr. For many cats, observing wildlife is almost as much fun as catching and killing it. If they really want to let a cat out on their property, we know that they can build a catio— a cat patio —or put them on a leash to go outside. Gary Loewenthal, former Host for the About Cats forum used to carry his cat Mike around their backyard, allowing him to sniff and explore at will. We recommend a sturdy harness or walking jacket, as opposed to a collar. Have a variety of ways for your cats to exercise. Dr. Richter recommends taking an old storage container and create insulation using straw (not blankets) to keep your cat—or strays that frequent your neighborhood—warm. To help your cat learn that it’s okay … This can work especially well if your cat is trained in using a cat door or cat flap, which then can connect to an enclosed area outside. For cats who would prefer to "free-roam" (within limits), outdoor enclosures are ideal. 8 Fun Ways to Celebrate Your Cat's Birthday, Low Stress Travel to the Vet With Your Cat, The 7 Best Cat Subscription Boxes of 2020, The 15 Best Gifts for Animal Lovers in 2020, Everything You Need to Know About Raising Your First Cat. Read up on the other to make sure your feline friend is happy and safe. Morgan is an Associate Editor at Reader’s Digest. Prior to any trips outside it is worth considering how you intend to give your cat or kitten access outdoors in the long-term. Some of the most common risks to an outdoor cat… The odds of an outdoor cat living a long, healthy life is very slim. The indoor cat to outdoor cat transition can be a lot easier if your cat has a safe spot he can go to outside. Keeping your cat out in the cold is just one of the dangerous mistakes cat owners should never make. Other dangerous stuff awaits cats that go outside, that I can partially control for by keeping my cats indoors. Be sure to test your cat's "leash quotient" indoors for several days before taking him outside. Territoriality. When cats go outside, they're exposed to many more diseases than they are when they stay inside. Cats love having outside space to explore and roam but you should make sure that your cat is ready to go outside. Cats are territorial, and if there's a neighborhood cat on the prowl (mentioned above), a … When Indoor Cats Want to Go Outside Carrying Your Cat. Dr. Nicholas Dodman, Animal Behavior Clinic Director at Tufts University offers some ideas that may help. Let them experience the outside safely. Do you let your cats go outdoors? Happily, there are ways to minimize the risks. Walking your cat outside on a harness and leash can be a great compromise on the issue of outside vs. inside. Consider adding a cat door to your home, setting up a safe shelter outside, or investing in a permanent heated structure. Common examples include: 1. feline leukemia (FeLV) 2. feline AIDS (FIV) 3. Slow and easy will result in a cat with a safe and happy indoor-outdoor experience. Many of these cats may carry diseases that can be passed on to your cat if he or she comes into contact with them. Mike's nose led Gary on their walk, and each outdoor expedition was a bit different than the last. These diseases can be carried by other cats, for instance, or insects that come in contact with your cat. If a cat’s body temperature falls below average, they can suffer from hypothermia and if winds are high, they can get frostbite. At worst, a neighbor might decide to take revenge on a cat that regularly terrorizes his livestock. Bottom line, “if the weather dips below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit), all cats are susceptible to hypothermia or frostbite,” says Dr. Richter. Nancy Huggins’s kitty, Norman, is a cat about town. It's all a matter of time and patience. Today, we understand the hazards of allowing cats to roam freely, either by personal experience, hearsay or through the media, including the Internet. Consider adding a cat door to your home, setting up a safe shelter outside, or investing in a permanent heated structure. Cats should never be left alone outdoors on a leash or a rope extension. Cats who are allowed to roam freely outdoors live just two to five years, on average. Please note that tying a cat outside on a leash is not a substitute for personal interaction and supervision. Important: Due to the coronavirus crisis, we have had to make changes to our current services. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Disease:The American Feral Cat Coalition estimates that there are approximately 60 million feral and homeless stray cats living in the U.S. By training your cat to use the litter box outside, you can get rid of litter odor once and for all. A walk means your cat stays safer from outside dangers like cars, toxins, and other animals, and your cat still gets to enjoy the enrichment the outdoors has to offer. Many cats will... A Personal Carrier. Creating an outdoor shelter doesn’t have to be an elaborate process. If that’s the case, make sure they are well fed and have access to a warm shelter. If your cat goes outside, I believe in treating fleas proactively every month. Your cat may prefer to just "lie around" outdoors on his leash, as does our Jaspurr (pictured above), who is a beginner in "leash etiquette." Had to make changes to our current services indoor cat can ’ t to. Clinic Director at Tufts University offers some ideas that may help mauled and killed by dogs, evil,! 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