I saw recently on a Medicine Hat Facebook group a post about a cat who goes outdoors and came back to the owner with a BB bullet imbedded into its skin; pure cruelty on the person who did this to the animal – but this incidence of a cat coming back to their owner wounded from a night out prowling is not the first. Most times when a Veterinary Clinic has a feline patient that has been wounded in some way – 9 times out of 10 the kitty is an indoor/outdoor cat.
Some cats yearn to be outdoors – we get that – most of your veterinary staff have cats of their own who yowl at the door to be let out. But your veterinary team gets to see the outcomes of outdoor kitties who come back to their owners in unfortunate situations.
Most times cats will come in with a large, soft lump – usually an abscess that formed under the fur from another cat’s bite/scratch that was hidden until it festered. In these cases, the abscess is very painful and needs to be drained and cleaned under sedation. When cats wander into another cat’s territory they will fight and there will be wounds!
Other medical cases we have seen in the past are outdoor cats who have gotten their harness or collar stuck under their armpit and embedded into the skin – very painful and a very long road to recovery. Usually this will happen if the collar is not a break away, or an ill-fitting/too loose collar.
Outdoor cats can be hit by cars, attacked from other animals, attacked by people, get lost/stolen; the list goes on. An outdoor life for a cat even only for a couple of hours is not a fun and carefree one- your cat is constantly in survivor mode.
There is also threat of your cat going into someone else’s yard and constantly doing their business in their flower pots, children’s sandboxes, gardens, etc. Unless you have a GoPro on your cat to see where they are going during their run outside – you really don’t know where they go. This is unfair to your neighbors who have to deal with your cats excrement, and can cause stress to other animals in the neighborhood such as rabbits and birds whom cats love to chase and hunt.
And to top it all off, in the city of Medicine Hat it is illegal to allow your cat to roam off of your property. If caught, they can end up at the pound where you may have to pay fines.
So, to make things easier, here are some reasons to keep your cat strictly indoors:
1.) Statistically, indoor cats live longer than outdoor cats!
2.) Indoor cats have less incidences of contracting internal (roundworms/tapeworms) and external (fleas, earmites, ticks) parasites!
3.) You will know how your cat is doing with eating and litterbox habits and can monitor their behavior if something is “off” to catch illness early
4.) They cannot be stolen or get lost in the great outdoors!
5.) Your kitty will not be chased or hurt by other animals such as dogs, coyotes, owls, other cats, etc.
6.) Other smaller animals will be thankful to not be eaten (Birds and rabbits)
7.) Your neighbors will be thankful that their garden is kitty poo free
8.) If your cat is not spayed/neutered keeping it indoors will prevent more surprise kitties!
9.) They will be less likely to become ill by a disease from a feral cat or wild animal (FeLV, FIV, Rabies)
10.) Your kitty will not be caught unfortunately under a car hood (cats seek shelter under car hoods in cool weather)
We want your kitty to live a long and healthy life! This blog is only a suggestion and we know every cat has their own habits and routines. Of course, if your curious feline becomes caught up in an unfortunate situation while outside, we are here for them!