Many people feel guilty keeping their cats indoors. They think that these animals deserve the chance to roam free and experience the world. However, the modern world isn’t designed for a cat’s well being. There are many dangers in a modern urban, suburban, or rural landscape that can lead to a cat being killed or seriously injured. Before you decide to let your kitty outside, make sure you get to know these outdoor cat dangers.
Fleas, ticks, mites, hookworms, and the diseases and damage they bring are among some of the most prevalent hazards facing outdoor cats. Out in nature, many of these parasites are inevitable, whether from the environment or other cats. The best thing you can do to help keep these pests off your feline friend is to give them preventative treatment. Use your PetPlus membership to get long-lasting parasite treatments such as FrontlinePlus to help your outdoor cat fight off at least one hazard.
2. Predators and other animals
While small animals like ticks and lice can cause trouble for cats, so can larger ones. Foxes, owls, skunks, raccoons, coyotes, and even dogs are common predators for outdoor cats. In other parts of the U.S., there may be more specific dangers, such as alligators, the American Humane Association explained. Poisonous snakes or other reptiles may also be a significant hazard.
If you decide to let your fuzzy feline become an outdoor cat, there’s a good chance she’ll run into some wild animals. Even if she scratches, bites, and is full-on feisty, she still may be in real danger.
Other cats can also seriously injure your own feline. A cat fight in the wild is no mild affair. All the stops will be pulled out and your cat may suffer a severe injury or inflict one on someone else’s beloved feline.
Unfortunately, humans are also a significant outdoor cat danger. Jean Hofve, D.V.M., wrote on Little Big Cats that there are countless reports of truly horrible actions that humans have done to cats. Cats have been beaten, thrown from cars, tossed into rivers, set on fire, eaten, and worse. Sometimes people kill outdoor cats because they’re crawling around on their property, while others just hurt them for no reason. Many humane societies advise people to keep their cats indoors to avoid these awful situations altogether.
No matter how many vaccines you gave your cat before letting them become an outdoor pet, disease is still a risk factor. The American Feral Cat Coalition explained that there are about 60 million feral or homeless cats in the U.S. These cats never had vaccines and may be carrying one of many deadly diseases that your outdoor cat could contract.
Rabies, toxoplasmosis, cat scratch fever, leukemia, feline distemper, feline immunodeficiency virus, feline infectious peritonitis, upper respiratory infections, and even the plague are some of the most common diseases that cats can contract or develop in the outdoors. The Daily Cat pointed to disease as one of the leading outdoor cat dangers.
It may seem like a cliche, but outdoor cats can climb into a tree and get scared. Eventually they may stay up there so long that they become dehydrated or malnourished and fall, causing injuries.
6. Human environmental dangers
Even with well-meaning humans, cats can still get into trouble. Licking sweet-tasting, but poisonous antifreeze is one common environmental risk, while some cats are seriously injured from crawling into cars to stay warm in the winter.