Regardless of if you are a new kitten owner or an experienced cat owner, it is often a momentous decision when you choose to let your cat go outdoors or want to keep her inside. If you already own a cat then you are aware that mostly this is not the thing that people normally give much thought to. Cat owners prefer to spend their time debating what type of food, cat toys and so on they should provide for their beloved furry friend.
However, there always comes a time when you notice that your cat is itching to get outdoors. Small scratches on the door and window panes are a clear indication. This is when the daunting question of if you should let your cat outdoors or not arises.
If you do decide to let it out, then other queries come up. How long can it stay outside? What are the risks involved? If these are questions that seem to be haunting you, then read along to know how you can make some preparation to let your cat outside safely.
Get It Chipped
There are many predators, cars, and other bully cats that can cause your cat to panic and break into a dash. For such reasons, it is advised and recommended to microchip your pet. This gives you an excellent way to identify where they are and get the location of where they may have wandered off to. You can also add a nice collar to your cat with your contact number so that other people can contact you if they find it.
Get a Harness
There is no such thing as taking on a little bit of extra precaution. Along with microchipping your pet, you can use cat harnesses when you take them out. These harnesses are comfortable for your cat and when used properly can allow it to explore the outdoors without you losing control of its whereabouts. This way you can allow them to enjoy the outdoors more freely and eventually train them to walk on a leash with the harness on.
Don’t Declaw Them
If you want your cat to go outside and roam around freely, the one thing that you should never do is to declaw them. This advice is often given by vets as well. This is because if your cat doesn’t have claws then it will not be able to defend itself from dogs or other bully cats. In case they feel threatened then they will not be able to climb up a tree or jump over the fence. This makes them prone to many risks when they are outdoors.
Get Them Vaccinated
While you may have given your cat all the shots that are needed for them as a kitten, when you decide that you want your cat to go outdoors then you should get them vaccinated for the same. Take your cat to the vet and let your vet know that you plan to let the cat go outdoors. They will be able to vaccinate your cat with additionally needed vaccinations making them less prone to getting sick.
Keep Food and Water Bowls
It is recommended to always keep food and water handy when you let your cat out. If your cat goes out on its own, then make sure the food and water bowl are kept outside properly. Keeping the water bowl clean and fresh is important specifically during the summer months. During winter months, cats need to consume more calories so make sure to increase their food portion accordingly.
Keep Litter Boxes Ready
It is important that your cat has easy access to the litter box when it is inside and outside the house. If your cat doesn’t have easy access to enter or leave the house to use the litter box then make sure there is one in each place. Clean litter boxes are important for the cat’s health. If this is not kept clean your cat can suffer from severe urinary and kidney problems.
Watch Out for Trash
When your cat ventures out, its curiosity will definitely lead it to sniff and look around trash cans and other dirty areas. Watch out for any toxins that your cat can come in contact with. Trash cans sometimes contain harmful items like pesticides and other poisonous items that can make your cat very ill. Even the antifreeze and salt left over in front of the doors to prevent slipping on ice during winter months can cause damage to the paws of your cat.
Provide Comfortable Shelter
As your pet gets more accustomed to spending time outside, there could be unexpected times when they stay out too late. If the weather is extremely hot or cold, the health of your cat can be affected. While it is not recommended to let your pet out during such weather conditions if they do so for any reason then make sure they have a good shelter. Extreme cold conditions can affect your cat as they can get frostbites or hypothermia.
Train Your Cat
Start training your cat when it is a young kitten. Kittens tend to learn easily as compared to fully grown cats. Train your cat to respond to its name immediately. It will help you build a bond with your cat and at the same time, it will help you locate it when it’s lost.
Treat Them Wisely
Those innocent cat eyes can melt even the most hard-hearted person. If you are a cat owner then you have already experienced situations wherein you gave them some extra treats just because of their innocent looks and child-like mewing pleads. However, you should use treats wisely to ascertain good behavior in your cat. This way you can use the treat to make them respond to you easily when they don’t do otherwise.
Give Your Cat Some Time
Cats have been known to behave unpredictably. One minute they are asleep and the next minute they have jumped on the hanging chandelier. By microchipping your cat and using a leash, you can reduce the risk of losing your cat in case any unexpected situations arise. Be patient with them and don’t be harsh when you are training your cat.
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