Many cats love being able to roam freely and explore the neighborhood. But outside, along with freedom, there are also some potential dangers. Read here what you should consider if your cat is an outdoor cat.
Many cat owners are faced with the question: housing or free-range? Both options have their advantages and disadvantages. Outdoor access for cats is a particularly natural way of keeping cats, which encourages movement and activity for cats. But a big disadvantage is that there are many dangers for cats lurking outside. Therefore, there are a few things to consider when a cat becomes an outdoor cat. With our 10 golden rules you are well prepared.
The Right Cat Flap
If you have a cat flap, be sure to purchase the right size so your cat can comfortably pass through and not get stuck. There are also flaps that only allow your own cat access to the house.
Protection From the Busy Road?
Unfortunately, there is no protection against all dangers. As a cat owner, there is not much you can do about busy roads. However, you can fence your garden and thus secure it. This is relatively expensive, but if your house is near a dangerous main or federal road, it is definitely worth it! If it is not possible to offer the cat a safe outlet, in this case, it is better to refrain from going outside. Maybe you have a balcony instead that you can make cat-proof?
Don’t Let the Cat Out Too Early
After a move, the cat must first get used to the new house or apartment before it can go outside. This can take several weeks. The same goes for a kitten that is being let loose for the first time. Cats that have always lived in an apartment and suddenly move into a house with a garden need a slow introduction to being outdoors.
Vaccinations For Outdoor cats
Outdoor cats need protection against rabies in addition to all the usual vaccinations that indoor cats also get.
Protect Your Cat From Parasites
Effective tick and flea prophylaxis are essential for cats that roam outdoors. Your veterinarian can advise you and recommend a spray or an effective spot-on product and how to handle it. Very important: Do not use dog products for cats, this can be life-threatening.
Is There a Pond or Pool Nearby?
Pools and ponds represent a danger that should not be underestimated. It is unlikely that cats will simply drown in them, but cats that have fallen into the water cannot find a footing on slippery walls to get out and drown. You should therefore definitely secure bodies of water in your own garden or design them with a flat entrance and without creepers. Also, check whether there is such a danger in the immediate vicinity.
A Chip Can Come to the Rescue
Every cat that is allowed outside should be chipped. An individual and unique number are stored on the microchip, which is placed under the skin. The number can be read with a device that veterinarians or animal shelters, for example, have. Many missing cats return home thanks to Chip.
Can a Cat Get Too Cold?
Cats that are outdoors regularly developing a thick coat in the fall and winter. They get used to the increasingly cooler temperatures in autumn. As long as they are dry, the cold is usually not dangerous. But if the cat has to be outside for long periods of time, you should provide a place to warm up there (e.g. a box with a blanket) or buy a cat flap.
Wet is More Dangerous Than Cold
Wet fur cools the cat. So when the cat is soaked, it needs a dry place to warm up. If she can’t get in through a cat flap at any time, be sure to put a basket or box with a blanket in a sheltered spot outside, like the patio or shed. So the cat has a nice, dry, and warm place outside.
Be Considerate of Your Neighbors
Easier said than done because cats don’t let anything be forbidden outdoors. But be friendly and cooperative when she’s fishing for koi carp in the neighbor’s pond, for example. Otherwise, disputes can, unfortunately, escalate quickly.