borrowing a line from shakespeare about cats: “to be [indoors], or not to be [indoors], that is the question.”
The answer is clear when you realize that the average lifespan of an indoor cat ranges from 10 to 20 years, while cats that go outdoors typically only live 2 to 5 years.
Cats allowed to roam outdoors face enormous safety and health risks, and sadly, some pay for that freedom with their lives.
- even apparently stray cats are frequently hit by cars.
- stray cats can get lost or picked up by animal control and then euthanized.
- some cruel people abuse cats.
- your cat could get sick from a neighbor’s lawn chemicals or could eat poison a neighbor put out for pests.
- Even friendly outdoor cats are sometimes forced to fend off other aggressive cats. cat fighting can be deadly, and unvaccinated or sick cats can transmit disease, especially through bite wounds. these diseases range from upper respiratory tract infections to feline immunodeficiency virus and deadly feline leukemia.
- Other animals pose a fatal threat to roaming domestic cats, including hawks, foxes, raccoons, and even some dogs. Along with possible exposure to rabies, a cat that has been attacked can end up with painful wounds or abscesses, resulting in an expensive trip to the vet if your cat is lucky enough to survive the attack.
- Your cat could also enter a neighbor’s shed or garage and become trapped inside when the neighbor closes the door.
- in winter, your cat may get frostbite if it is outdoors for a long time.
- In addition, outdoor parasites such as fleas, ticks, and ear mites can make your cat unwell and itchy. In addition to bringing fleas into your home, your stray cat could pick up worms and pass them on to you.
- if your outdoor cat hasn’t been spayed or neutered, it’s bound to be the father of unwanted litters!
- Keeping your cat inside is also courteous. Your neighbors probably don’t like it when your cat uses their yard or yard as a litter box, and they may worry that their dog might chase your cat.
Some people argue that it’s natural for cats to roam outdoors. But when you think of all the dangers your beloved kitty may encounter outside, is that risk really worth taking? Indoor cats that have been spayed or neutered live happy lives: basking on a warm windowsill, climbing cat towers instead of backyard trees, and playing with you or other kitties inside. your house. And with patience, indoor/outdoor cats can make the transition to live happily indoors while doubling their lifespan!
animal friends asks all cat adopters to sign an agreement stating that they will never allow their new kitty to roam free outdoors. Your cat is a loving part of your family, and we want you to share a long and happy life together, safely and indoors!
This article is dedicated to mattie, a kitten who died outside while I was working with her to bring her inside. I hope no one else suffers that kind of heartache and loss. l.a.s.