7 Important Tips on Caring for an Outdoor Cat
Most people would want their cats to stay indoors all the time. As much as this is important, the cat has to get outdoors at some point. It is important to give it some time to play outdoors with the kids for his daily exercise and breath of fresh air.
Getting outdoors is fun for the cat, but it also comes with some dangers to watch out for. Some of the common risks would include cat enemies, poison, cars, diseases, and predators. These are just a few dangers that your outdoor cat might face!
Because of this, more people end up limiting their cats' outdoor time. But not to worry, as you can still allow the cat to be outdoors and still be calm knowing that your cat is safe. Here are some tips you should consider when it comes to taking care of your outdoor cat.
1. Get It Chipped
Most organizations that advocate humane treatment of animals often have no problem with microchipping a pet. Having a chip implanted in the cat is an excellent idea, as it will always show the location of the cat even if it ends up wandering off.
Another excellent idea is to always update the collar information with your current phone number. This is great for other people to contact you just in case your cat gets lost.
2. Do not Declaw Your Cat
For a cat that might be spending more time outdoors, having its claws is critical for survival. It is the reason most veterinarians would advise AGAINST declawing a cat who usually goes outdoors.
The claws are made for the cat to defend itself from other cats, dangerous snakes, and dogs. The claws still come in handy when the cat tries to escape by climbing trees, too. As you can see, without the claws it can be a dangerous world for the cat outdoors.
3. Get Your Cat Vaccinated
As suggested earlier, the cat is in danger of ending up with diseases when left to wander outdoors. This would then mean that having vaccinations first would improve the immunity of the cat while outdoors.
The cat could use necessary vaccinations such as the feline leukemia vaccine and other different types. Talk to your vet to understand the other types of vaccines your cat needs depending on where you are from, because some diseases would be prevalent in some places than in others.
4. Neuter Your Pet
Neutering refers to removing the reproductive organs of a pet. It can be a small or large part of the reproductive organs. It usually often applies to the males, but recently, both sexes are getting the procedure.
The method is recommended to be done to the kitty when it is five months of age. Without the process, you are looking at a hyperactive cat that would often be wandering a lot and get involved in cat fights.
5. Always Feed Your Cat
The cat would love to be outdoors mostly during the summer time. This is when the weather is ideal for everyone to be outdoors. During this period, you have to make sure that the cat has access to water and food based on his feeding schedule.
Have a water dish placed outdoors during the summer so that the cat can quickly quench his thirst whenever it needs to do so. The winter months would require you to get your cat the food with more calories.
This is because winter can be cold and a cat that spends time outdoors would tend to burn more calories. Having food with enough calories should help keep it active and healthy during the cold weather.
6. Keep An Eye On Toxins
If the cat tends to be outdoors, at some point, you will find it in the trash cans. The scraps from the trash cans might lead to poisoning of the cat, therefore it's important that you watch out for suspicious areas around you. Keep the trash cans closed so that the cat does not find its way into them to scrape for things to eat or play with.
During the winter, people would spread antifreeze and salt around the front of their houses to prevent cases of slipping. Such products can still be dangerous for the cat’s paw. The same goes for the time when the cat ingests such products. You can always look for alternatives if you have an outdoor cat. Even if it has to be made at night, get your flashlight batteries and get the shelter done.
7. Get To Provide Shelter
No one likes the cold weather, but for the outdoor cat, it would at some point just get out. It is important you get to build a shelter for it outdoors. The chilly temperatures and ice will have an effect on the cat's health. The cat can also end up suffering from hypothermia and frostbite just like humans do when left in the cold.
You can always try to keep the cat indoors as much as possible so that it does not suffer the cold. If that seems impossible, you can create a wooden box shelter for it outdoors. This should help in keeping the cat warm at all times. But for most cats, they would often stay indoors where it is hot and cozy.
As you can see, there is a lot you can do to make sure that your outdoor cat gets the same love as the one that likes indoors. If you are uncertain, you can always consult your vet to know how much more you can do to keep the cat safe while outdoors. Go ahead and apply as many of the tips shared and see how you will keep the cat happy at all times.