7 Reasons to keep your cat indoors
I blogged about keeping your cats indoors while you celebrate, and about cats being terrorized by a coyote in Orlando, and also about how outdoor cats die young, but I just wanted to bring it up one more time in light of the fact that several outdoor cats have been shot in Pittsburgh lately.
Even if shooting cats isn't an issue in your neighborhood, you might want to consider keeping your cat indoors. I let Neo out on a harness and long leash whenever I go outside or if I can't go out with him I stay beside an open window so I can see and hear him while he plays outside. He has been on the leash since I brought him home as a kitten and he is used to it. Of course he doesn't like it so when I am outside and he is just lounging in the grass, I take it off of him and let him roll around, but he never roams freely.
There is a lot of construction going on and the last thing I want is for him to fall into a water filled pit that will become someone's basement and drown or not be able to get out so he starves to death while he hears my calls. I shudder to think about it. So besides construction and shooting here are 7 more reasons to keep your cat indoors:
1. Car accidents - I do not want Neo becoming road kill. Cars are big, fast and usually driven by people who are in a rush or not paying attention. They may be upset if they hit your cat, but they aren't going to care about your cat the way you do.
2. Cats are prey for larger animals like Coyotes and wolves and foxes. Most urban cats don't have to worry about these larger animals, or do they? In Orlando, that's what they used to think until a coyote cleaned out the cat population in their urban community.
3. Cats get lost or carried away. My childhood cat, Jungle cat, fell asleep in the neighbor's car while they were packing it up for a road trip, when they got to their destination they heard him meowing. They were kind enough to drive him all the way back and then start their road trip again. But not everyone will do that. Trust me, these are particularly nice people. Most people will let the cat go to find his way home. The best you can hope for is they take care of the cat and bring him home with them. But you can't depend on that. Or your cat could wander off, get chased into unfamiliar territory, picked up by animal control and destroyed, all before you are even aware he was gone!
4. Cats kill millions of birds every year and the sad part is, they don't always kill the birds they just maim them and they certainly don't eat them. So the bird is left to die a slow painful death. If the bird happens to have a nest full of eggs, they die too.
5. Toxins - antifreeze, fertilizers, pesticides and even some plants are poisonous to cats. The allure is that all things things taste good to cats, so they eat or drink it and then come home. You don't know what they've been eating so you go to bed or go to work thinking everything is fine, but suddenly, your cat is lethargic, vomiting, or dead. Not exactly what cat owners want.
6. Infectious diseases such as panleukopenia and rabies. Both diseases cause irreparable damage to your cat, vaccines help, but still it is always best to limit your cat's exposure to such dangerous diseases.
Bonus reason: Injury. There are other cats they can get into a fight with and get seriously hurt. A cat I knew had to have her tail amputated because of a bite that got infected.
Just think about it, your cat may not like it, but he'll certainly be safer indoors with only brief stints outside.
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