Do you allow your kitty to go outside? Perhaps you’ve adopted—or half-adopted—a local feline? While veterinarians always recommend that you keep Fluffy inside, we do know that some cats like to explore their outdoor territory. Other kitties may never get used to indoor life. Below, a veterinarian offers five ways to keep an outdoor cat healthy.
A basic necessity for all animals is clean water. Fluffy should have fresh water at all times. You’ll need to clean her water bowl regularly, as dust and germs can collect in it.
Like all animals, your kitty must have good food to thrive. Since kibble lasts longer than wet food, you should probably feed that to your cat. But, don’t leave out too much food, as this can attract mice, rats, and other vermin. It’s best to feed your cat indoors, if possible.
Veterinarians recommend that all cats be microchipped, fixed, and kept current on vaccines and parasite control. Outdoor cats especially need these things, as they’re more exposed to germs and parasites than indoor ones are, so they should go into the pet clinic more often. Talk to your local animal clinic for an appointment schedule.
The fur coat that Fluffy wears actually doesn’t completely protect her from the elements. You should bring your cat inside when the weather is too hot or cold. But, just in case your kitty gets stuck outside, it’s a good idea to set out an emergency shelter. One simple DIY project for this is to put two plastic storage totes together, fitting one inside the other, and leaving a little room between them. Stuff this area with newspapers or old towels for insulation. You can add a blanket on the inside for Fluffy’s comfort. Cut holes in the side to make a kitty door.
If you want what is best for Fluffy, keep her inside. She will be both healthier and safer by doing this. This lifestyle change may take time and patience, but keep trying. Offer treats, toys, catnip, and cat furniture to sweeten the deal. If all you can do is limit Fluffy’s outdoor time, let her out only during the day, and when the weather is nice.
Contact your local vet for more information on keeping your outdoor cat healthy!