The indoor-outdoor cat debate has been going on for what seems like forever. Some cat owners feel it is natural for cats to play outdoors. Other cat owners firmly believe there are far too many hidden dangers that lurk, and it is not safe for cats to be wandering the streets.
Today, more and more people believe that indoor cats are safer cats. When humans domesticated species, we took on the responsibility for their health and welfare. Part of that responsibility is to maintain their safety and good health.
Consider these top reasons to keep your cat indoors:
Indoor cats are safe from communicable diseases
Outdoor cats that freely meander invariably come in contact with other cats. Even casual contact can transmit parasites such as fleas or ringworm, or more serious communicable diseases such as FeLV (Feline Leukemia). Feline Leukemia is a virus that suppresses a cat’s immune system, leaving her unable to fight off diseases such as pneumonia. Outdoor cats also risk contracting Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). It causes a breakdown in a cat’s disease-fighting immune system, and is mostly passed along by bites from infected cats.
Indoor cats are safe from cars
It’s no secret that roads are not a safe place for cats. Even so-called “safe” country areas are no guarantee for cats exploring the territory. Country cats are not as car-savvy as their city brethren, which can put them at higher risk.
Indoor cats are safe from dogs and other predators
Today’s large urban centres have become havens for raccoons that may try and harm cats who are territorial or aggressive. Raccoons and dogs running in packs may see small kittens as prey. Even one large dog can easily overpower a small cat. And remember: if your cat is declawed, she is especially vulnerable to other animals.
Indoor cats don’t cause problems with neighbours
Even “well-bred” cats will venture into the neighbours’ yards when roaming freely. People who don’t like cats may not tolerate them using their gardens as litter boxes. Similarly, certain neighbours may resort to extreme measures to keep the cats out.
Indoor cats don’t get into fights with other cats
Cats can be very territorial and will often fight to defend their territory if challenged by another. These territorial battles can be prevented by keeping your cat inside.
Indoor cats still get plenty of exercise
Indoor cats get their exercise safely with interactive toys, climbing towers, scratching posts, and other safe alternatives to the potential dangers outside.
Indoor cats don’t get lost
As outdoor cats widen their exploration, they may get lost. If they are fortunate they may be “rescued” by other cat lovers, legitimate rescue groups, or picked up by animal control as strays. But you can never rely on good samaritans to get kitten safely home.