As a mindful cat owner, the decision of either letting them roam outside or keeping them indoors as an inside only cat is daunting. Some people argue that it is cruel to restrict cats from the outdoors. They maintain that outdoor cats are happy cats.
To some extent this may be true, but do you realize the danger you are exposing them to? Would you rather risk pain or even death to your beloved pet? Cat roaming risks are high and come from various sources. Letting your cat go outside significantly reduces feline life expectancy.
Many guilt-ridden cat owners have shared their experiences on the dreadful things that happened to their cats because they left them outdoors unsupervised. Some cats just disappeared. Others were hit by speeding vehicles, infected with diseases or attacked by predators.
Despite these testimonies, some cat owners still let their cats go outside alone. A good portion of these people do this with misplaced blameless intentions, but is it really worth the risk?
Letting your furry companion roam freely around your neighborhood without any supervision is downright dangerous. Outdoor cats get into much more trouble when compared to their indoor counterparts. In some cases, the consequences can be fatal to the cat.
Cats are known to be intelligent, but not smart enough to take care of themselves when alone outside. Cats are an integral part of many families. Just as you wouldn’t let your kid outside to wander the streets unattended, your cat should be accorded the same safety measures. They are like little kids vulnerable to all kinds of danger.
Letting cats outside unattended puts them at risk every time their paws hit the outdoors. It exposes them to encounters such as harassment by dogs and other animals, automobiles, abusive individuals that could harm them and sheds and open garages that they can get locked into.
Here are 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Cats Roam Outside Unsupervised.
1.They can get hit by moving cars and cyclists
Unlike human beings, cats do not know how to check the road before crossing. They don’t have any knowledge of street safety. They may be unaware of the cars around them which is dangerous. Cats being run over by motorists is a common occurrence.
They can carelessly run across and in front of the path of a cyclist or car. Some cars love resting under the car engine to get some warmth, especially during cold seasons. A clueless driver can tragically run over them. You do not have to live near a highway or busy road for your cat to get hit by a car or bike.
2.Cats can be hurt by other animals including predators and other cats
Catfights always occur when cats are left to wander freely in the neighborhood. The nasty fights due to cat roaming can lead to life-threatening injuries and diseases. These illnesses include feline HIV, Feline Leukemia, infected cuts, and abscesses.
Other pets like dogs are likely to hurt your cat when they enter unknown backyards. Some cat-dog fights are fatal, given that dogs are more powerful than cats. If you live in the countryside or near a forest there are many wild animals like snakes, wolves, and skunks that can hurt or kill your cat.
3.They are at more risk of getting deadly diseases
When left outside alone, cats are exposed to many diseases. As mentioned above, when they go outside the get into contact with other felines. Feline immunodeficiency virus has the same effects in cats as HIV in human beings. FIV is highly contagious and incurable.
It is spread by scratches and bites by cats that are already infected. If your cat is infected with FIV, it develops a weakened immune system meaning that other diseases can easily attack him or her.
A cat infected with Feline Leukemia Virus can pass on the virus to your healthy cat through close contact or saliva. Continually being exposed sunlight all day puts them at risk of getting skin cancer.
4.They may get trapped, lost or stolen
This is a no-brainer. This mainly happens to new cats that are not very unfamiliar with the surroundings. Not all cats have incredible directional skills.
They may roam far enough away and lose their way back home. Your cat may wander into someone’s garden and find a new owner just like that. The new owners may think that the cat is stray and adopt him or her. Cats can also get stuck under a house, inside a garage or up a tree with no help.
If they get trapped in a tight space and no one notices them, they can starve to death. Some people steal cats, especially kittens, and sell them to unsuspecting cat lovers.
5.Incidences of senseless cruelty
There are unreasonable people out there who have so much hatred for cats. When given the chance, these vengeful individuals will try to hurt the blameless cats for no reason.
Cats are often drowned, set on fire, shot or drowned. If your cat is an exotic breed, it has a higher risk of being stolen by heartless and unscrupulous individuals. Such cats are sold to dealers and animal testing labs. Some are used as live baits by dog trainers.
Remember that not everyone is enthusiastic about cats, there are malicious people out there who derive pleasure from torturing innocent pets. Losing a pet is distressing, but it’s worse if you lose them to intolerant people who hurt them intentionally.
6.Overpopulation of cats
You probably don’t know this but cats can get pregnant when they are as young as 4 months old. If your cat isn’t neutered or spayed, letting them go outside increases their chances of falling pregnant.
A female cat can get pregnant again even while nursing their kittens. Cats reproduce at an extraordinary rate. There are many cat roaming laws meant to regulate cat population.
7.They will get used to relieving themselves carelessly
When a cat is used to the outdoors, they use the outdoors as their bathroom. They can poop in your neighbors’ garden, shed or carport which may not go well with them, especially if they do not own any pets.
They may bring this behavior to the indoors. Instead of relieving themselves in the designated litter box, they may opt to do that on your sofa or bed. Click on this link to learn how to find the best spot for your cat’s litter box.
Poisoning may not be malicious but it is fatal. Some people carelessly dispose poisonous items like antifreeze that is very attractive to cats. Cats love the smell and taste of antifreeze.
Ingesting it can lead to kidney failure or even death. Whether the poisoning is deliberate or accidental, it makes no difference to a sick cat battling for their life.
The outdoors may appear safe, but there are plenty of health hazards just laying around. An unsuspecting cat patrolling the streets can get into contact with poisons and other toxins. Some plants are also poisonous; more reason to discourage cat roaming.
9.They may roam through rubbish bins
Your litter bin may have a lid and be safe from your curious cat but your neighbors’ bins may not be safe. Playing in bins is a favorite pass time for most outdoors cats. Sometimes, this can lead to the ingestion of toxic substances that may be harmful to your cat.
Your cat can also get tangled up or even strangled by wire cords or cut by sharp broken tin lids or glass. Worse is that your cat might get trapped in the bin never to be seen again. It’s only when the garbage trucks come to pick the trash that you realize your cat is long gone.
Letting your cat roam outside unsupervised puts them at risk of picking up ticks, fleas, ringworm, tapeworm and other parasites.
These parasites not only affects them, but they can affect other pets you might have and even yourself. Vaccination can help to some extent, but your cat may still run the risk of infection.
While it’s true that a majority of cats that live outdoors can live long, every time you let your cat outside unsupervised, you put their lives at risk.
Cats are curious by nature, and they can sneak outside if you don’t watch them keenly. However, contrary to popular belief, cats do not only get their stimulation from the outdoors. You can introduce new fun activities and indoor games, and they will be equally enthralled and happy.