Our definition of a cat’s ideal life may include chasing around mouses, exploring the nooks and crannies of the area they live in, and lazing under the sun as they lie down atop crisp grasses. Well, that does sound like a feline living in paradise. A paradise made of fun, freedom and the outdoors. Being collared, cats might forget how they should be or how they should act upon natural instincts.
But should our beloved feline companions truly live that way? Are we really doing what is best for them when we allow them to roam outside freely? Is it absolutely in our cat’s best interest to venture outside despite the dangers they are likely to encounter?
If you are renting, or living near a street where motor vehicles frequently pass through, then letting your furry buddy out might not be the best idea. Cats are generally jumpy and cautious creatures, making them react on reflex and impulse. This rushed reaction often works with other animals, but could spell disaster when it comes to automobiles.
Unfortunately, cats getting run over happens quite a lot in urban areas and results are rarely pleasant. A cat getting hit by a car will almost surely perish. Their size also makes it very difficult for drivers to see them and when they do notice the cat, it is often already too late.
Extreme Weather Conditions and Parasites
Cats that are used to being outdoors aren’t safe from extreme weather conditions. Rain and snow are perilous climates and without shelter, they would either succumb to the elements, or be in great danger. This is especially fatal for kittens, whose bodies still haven’t fully developed yet.
Parasites are also going to take advantage of the fact that your cat is outside and making itself vulnerable. Ticks and fleas are the number one freeloaders that would latch themselves on to your adorable bundle of fur. Not only would they cause discomfort, and most likely pain, for your cat, they would also be invading your house after being brought in by your feline friend.
Other Cats and Animals
As if automobiles, parasites and weather conditions aren’t trouble enough, your fluffy pal has to deal with their own species too. It’s not uncommon for other cats to fight each other, an encounter that could possibly lead to injuries. If you have a female cat who is not spayed, there’s a high chance that she’ll get pregnant too.
A male cat who isn’t neutered will keep on spraying urine inside and outside your home, to mark its territory and possibly attract females. There’s also the possibility of encountering different types of animals, like raccoons, who could be carrying with them deadly diseases. Your cat could contract feline distemper, feline leukemia virus, and the dreaded rabies virus.
Giving our cats the freedom to explore and satisfy their curiosity isn’t wrong. We just have to be careful on how we let them do it, so they would be put in harm’s way. It’s best to keep them inside where it is safer for them. You can help them have more fun by installing cat perches, making catios and making your house more interesting.