Outdoor cat risks
A recent event where a local family cat was alledgedly mutilated has brought me to want to educate people about indoor versus outdoor cats. It is important for pet owners to make informed decisions where their pets are concerned. In doing so you would need to understand the risks and benefits experienced by your furry feline.
First things first:
Not making feral cats the enemy, they most certainly aren’t. Pet owners need to understand that because of the vast number of stray and feral cats you can never be certain that your feline friend is associating with other inoculated and well maintained friends. They can therefore come home with life threatening diseases.
- feline leukemia (FeLV)
feline AIDS (FIV)
FIP (feline infectious peritonitis)
feline distemper (panleukopenia)
upper respiratory infections (or URI).
Parasites also found outdoors, can leave your cat with various issues. Good Cat owners know to consult their vet at least once a year, and treat to prevent symptoms such as scratching, skin infections, vomiting and diarrhoea caused by parasites. Remember that parasites can affect your family too and it is no easy task to ensure their permanent removal.
ringworm (a fungal infection)
Just as the world outside has risks for humans; there are life threatening risks for cats too.
Animal Cruelty: The main reason for my article. Sadly, because cats are seen as purely a menace to some people; they have been shot with BB guns or arrows, while other cats end up being trapped and abused.
Toxins and poisons: Also falling under the banner of Animal cruelty, outside cats also face the danger of coming into contact with toxins, such as antifreeze, that are often ingested because they have a pleasant taste. Cats may also end up accidently exposed to rodent poisons when they hunt and eat rodents that have recently ingested poison bait. We have to keep in mind that cats can just as easily fall prey to home invaders, who poison pets prior to breaking and entering.
Cars: A domesticated cat is not as street smart as a feral cat and may find themselves in a situation where being hit by a car is inescapable. Considering the size of a cat in proportion to a moving vehicle you can easily imagine the severity of their injuries.
In winter cats seek warmth, rescuers will tell you countless stories of cats found in car engines.
Loose dogs and wild animals: Domesticated and feral cats are not safe in the paws, claws and talons of dogs and wild animals. They can easily be scooped up by a bird of prey in search of their next meal. An attack by a stray dog can often be fatal.
Trees: Cats love to climb; therefore trees can be a source of danger. If chased by dogs they can possibly reach an unexpected height and not want to climb down. If not found soon enough by their owners they may be left there for days until they become so severely dehydrated and weak that they fall and suffer severe, serious or fatal injuries.
“Curiosity killed the cat”: curious felines, can find themselves locked inside garages for days on end because they went inside and found a comfy place to sleep.
They can also be mistaken as stray and end up at a shelter. To be realistic, the numbers of cats in shelters are vast and your cat may end up being euthanized due to the lack of worthy loving homes.
If you are going to allow your cat to venture out doors, I implore you make your property cat safe to eliminate threats and keep a safe, happy and healthy feline.
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Posted on June 3, 2013, in Animal Welfare, Di's Articles, For Cat Lovers and tagged cars, cats, kitty, outdoor, outside, poisoning, risks, safety, trapped, trees. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.