How to keep an outdoor cat
Learn how to keep an outdoor cat as a pet living safe and happy
Whether it is a newly discovered cat allergy, a guestís fear of felines, or a cat that simply cannot abide being kept in the confines of their humanís home, sometimes circumstances dictate that a beloved feline simply must be an outdoor cat. Fortunately, there are several ways to keep your pet safe and happy while outside.
Food and Water
You will need to make sure that your cat has access to fresh food and water. Since other outdoor animals will also try to partake of these bountiful offerings, you should take care to locate the food and water in a place where it is less likely to attract unwanted visitors (of both the wild and domesticated variety).
In addition, weather extremes can also complicate the issue of feeding your pet. If you place your petís food and water outdoors, frigid temperatures can cause water to freeze and restrict your petís access to hydration. This is less of a concern if you plan to allow your cat access to the home, or to a garage, via a pet door.
Your cat will also need to have access to a dry, comfortable shelter. Whether you choose to allow your cat limited access to your home, a garage, a shed, or a pet home located outdoors, you should make sure that there is clean and comfortable bedding available.
Many owners of outdoor pets find that caring for the pet is made easier by allowing the pet admittance to a garage or shed. Pet doors can be installed which allow pets entry to eat, sleep, or escape some perceived danger. Pet doors are available in a variety of sizes and, by choosing a size proportionate to your feline, you can reduce the risk of a larger predator following your pet into her safe place.
It is imperative that pet owners make sure that a pet has access to the shelter even when the owner is not home. Sudden storms, prowling dogs, and changes in temperature can all cause a cat to seek shelter. Pet doors allow pets entry into their place of shelter, yet they can also be locked and secured at the pet ownerís discretion.
It is especially important that outdoor cats be seen regularly by a veterinarian to make sure that they are up to date on their immunizations, worming, and other health care needs. As a responsible pet owner, also make certain that you have your cat spayed or neutered. Since outdoor pets are exposed to more animals (both domestic and wild) than the average indoor pet, it is crucial that their owners be vigilant about preventative care, as well as emergent care.
Outdoor pets are more likely to have a shorter life span than their indoor counterparts. Weather, other animals, cars, and disease all conspire to shorten the life of your four-legged companion. Consider having your pet microchipped to help increase the likelihood of a reunion should he wander too far from home. Make sure that your pet wears a collar and identification tags, as well. Also keep current photos of your pet, in the event he goes missing. Be proactive about ensuring a safe return for your beloved pet.
Sometimes there is no choice but for a well-loved cat to spend some time outside. When this is the case, it is vital that owners of outdoor pets realize that there is more to caring for an outdoor pet than simply putting it outside and giving it bowls of food and water. Pet owners who choose to allow a cat outdoors, must take appropriate steps to adequately ensure the catís health and safety.