Risks for Outdoor Cats
- Increased exposure to outdoor poisons (e.g., a few bites out of your day lilies or licks of antifreeze from your neighborís driveway can result in life-threatening acute kidney failure)
- Increased risk of catching deadly cat viruses like feline leukemia (FeLV) or feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)
- Increased risk for pet overpopulation (If your catís not neutered or spayed yet, please donít let him or her out!)
- Contributing to the spread of toxoplasmosis all over your neighborhood
- Contributing to the killing of migrating song birds
Believe it or not, outdoor cats donít necessary have more fun, and yes, indoor cats can be just as content living indoors. If youíve already decided to let your cat outside, just be aware that once cats have tasted the “great outdoors,” itís harder to keep them from crying for it, begging for it, or running out when that screen door opens. For that reason, itís always the safest approach not even to let your cat experience the great outdoors to begin with.
Also, if you decide to let your cat outside, just be prepared to have him snatched away ó permanently. A good-intentioned neighbor may think they have found a sweet cat and decide to keep your cat as their own Ö right after you paid for the spay/neuter and vaccines! Hence, all the “Lost Cat: Reward!” signs in the Ďhood.