If you want a straight answer, the truth is that your cat is safer indoors. That said, it’s possible to take a few precautions to keep them protected while still letting them enjoy the feeling of mulch underpaw. Here’s what you can do to help keep your feline safe outdoors.
An Ounce of Prevention
Your cat’s oldest and best line of defense in the wild is their immune system. With just a trip or two to the vet every year, you can get your cat or kitten the vaccines they need to shake off common viruses and parasites. While you’re at it, consider having them microchipped so they’re easier to track down if they decide to go on an extended expedition.
Spay or Neuter
Spaying and neutering doesn’t just help control pet populations; it increases the odds that your pet will live longer by preventing common infections and cancers. Plus, your cat will be less interested in marking territory or looking for love in all the wrong places.
Know Your Neighborhood
When it’s time to start letting your cat explore, they’ll begin with short scouting trips away from home to map out your neighborhood. Follow their lead and try to get a sense of potential hazards and hiding spots. You may want to reconsider when and where you let your cat roam if you live near a busy road.
Become Creatures of Habit
Cats thrive on routines. Establishing a consistent schedule will help them feel confident while they’re away from home. Plus, it’s easier to keep track of them when you can expect a visit at certain times of the day. Mealtimes are a great way to set the schedule.
Beware of Bullies
It’s not uncommon for outdoor cats to get into scuffles with other territorial animals. A little hissing match with a neighborhood cat may not be cause for major concern, but if your cat comes home with injuries, be sure to see a vet. You may also want to consider keeping them in the house for a little while, especially at night.
Home Is Where the Food Is
No matter how you decide to make your cat feel safe, one of the surest ways to keep them coming home is to provide a space especially for them. Stock their spot with CRAVE™ Dry Cat Food to give them the protein-rich diet an active cat needs. Always make sure to provide plenty of fresh water for your little vagrant, and if you have the space, consider creating an enclosed outdoor area or “catio” where they can experience the best of both worlds.