Is your kitty allowed to go outdoors? Perhaps you’ve adopted, or half-adopted, a local feline friend? While we always recommend that you keep Fluffy indoors, we do know that some cats want to explore their outdoor surroundings. Others may never adapt to living inside. In this article, a veterinarian gives some advice on how to keep outdoor cats healthy, happy, and purring.
Like all animals, Fluffy requires good food to live her nine lives to the fullest. Kibble is most likely your best bet, since it can stay out longer than canned food. But, don’t leave too much food out. This could bring mice and other vermin. Give your cat her food indoors, if possible.
Water is of course a basic necessity for all animals. Make sure Fluffy has fresh water all of the time. Be sure to wash her water bowl regularly so germs, dust, and dirt don’t collect in it.
Fluffy’s fur coat may provide some protection from the elements, but not complete protection. Always bring your feline friend inside when the weather is hot or cold. But, just in case Fluffy gets stuck outside, it’s a good idea to have an emergency shelter for her. One simple Do-It-Yourself project for this is to put two plastic storage totes together. One should fit inside the other, leaving a little bit of room in between them. In this space, put newspapers or old towels to provide insulation. For Fluffy’s comfort, add a soft blanket on the inside. To make a kitty door, cut holes in one of the sides.
It’s recommended by vets that all cats are fixed, microchipped, and kept up-to-date on parasite control and vaccines. This preventative care is especially important for felines that live or go outside. Outdoor pets are more subjected to germs and parasites than indoor ones, so they should go into an animal hospital a bit more often. Talk to your veterinarian to recommend a schedule for regular appointments.
Your best choice for an outdoor cat is to keep her indoors. Your furry friend will be healthier and feel safer inside. This lifestyle change could take a little patience and time, but keep trying. Toys, treats, kitty furniture, and catnip can help tempt Fluffy to stay indoors. If all you can do is put a limitation on her outdoor time, only allow her out during the day, and when the weather is nice.
Call your local pet clinic for more information on keeping an outdoor cat healthy and happy!