Do you allow your cat to go outside? Maybe you’ve adopted—or semi-adopted—a local feline? While veterinarians recommend you keep Fluffy indoors, we know that some of our kitty friends like investigating the great outdoors. Other cats may never get accustomed to living inside. Here, a local vet provides some advice on how to keep an outdoor cat healthy, happy, and purring.
Like all animals, your feline companion requires good food to thrive. Your best bet is probably kibble, since it lasts longer than wet food. But, don’t leave out too much food, as this can attract pests, such as mice. Try to always feed your cat indoors.
All animals require clean water, as it is a basic necessity for them. Your kitty always needs fresh water available. Make sure you regularly wash Fluffy’s water bowl. That way, germs and dust won’t collect in it.
Your furry friend may have a fur coat on, but it doesn’t offer complete protection from the environment. When it’s cold or hot outside, bring Fluffy inside. It’s always a good idea to make an emergency shelter in the event she gets stuck outside. One simple DIY option is to put two plastic storage totes together, with one fitting inside the other, leaving a little space between them. Put old towels or newspapers in this space. This provides insulation. Add a soft blanket on the inside. For a kitty door, cut a hole in the side.
Vets recommend that all cats be microchipped, fixed, and kept up-to-date on vaccines and parasite control. Felines that live or are allowed outside especially need this care. Outdoor pets are more susceptible to germs and parasites than indoor ones, so bring them into the vet as often as you can. Talk to your pet clinic about an appointment schedule.
Naturally, the best thing to do for an outdoor kitty is keep her inside. Fluffy will be safer and healthier staying indoors. This lifestyle change will take patience and time, but keep trying. You can offer your feline buddy catnip, toys, treats, and kitty furniture to sweeten the deal. If all you can do is limit your cat’s outdoor time, let her out only during the day, and when it’s warm and sunny.
Talk to your local pet clinic for more information about how to keep an outdoor cat purrrfectly happy and healthy.