BY JANET McAFEE
Some people still think cats are happier if they have the “freedom” to live outside. However, most cat rescue groups will require you to keep the cat you adopt from them indoors. Here are some of the reasons to keep your cat inside, as much as you might think he would enjoy a romp out in the sunshine.
- Outdoor cats are subject to predators
Coyotes are the primary threat to felines in the Coachella Valley, and they are often spotted inside gated communities. Stray dogs can kill a cat, particularly if they are running in packs.
- Risk of Injury or Disease
Thousands of cats are killed every year from cars. Other hazards such as barb wire fencing, rodent traps, and poisons can cause grave injury or death. Cats like the sweet taste of anti-freeze, but it is extremely toxic and will result in death. Fleas, ticks and various feline diseases may be transmitted from other cats while Felix wanders the neighborhood.
- Fights with other Cats
Cats are territorial animals, and injuries from cat fights can run up some major veterinary bills. Their territorial battles can result in abscessed wounds which can be deadly.
- Malicious Individuals
Sad to say, there are people in our community who are cruel and sadistic. With Halloween approaching, cat owners need to be vigilant.
Even if they don’t intend to harm your pet, thieves may decide to “adopt” your cat. Tracking them down and proving ownership may be difficult. If your cat is a sought after breed such as Siamese or Persian, thieves steal them to resell.
- Run Aways
We hear incredible tales of cats that travel thousands of miles to return home. But there are also stories of animals who wander off, and their grieving owners never know their fate. Unneutered Tom cats will wander in search of females in heat.
- Public Shelters
Your friendly cat could be taken in by someone who thinks he’s a stray animal. They might take him to a public shelter where about 80% of the cats are euthanized.
- Songbird Conservation
Cats are predators, and have an instinctual behavior to kill and eat birds and other small wildlife.
- Neighbor Relations
Ways to keep Kitty Happy Indoors – Cats are perfectly content to sit in the sunshine on a safe window ledge INSIDE your home. You can provide exercise with a supply of toys, a carpet covered cat tree, and a cat scratching post. Get your cat a buddy…..there is nothing more joyful than two cats at play.
Here’s the best reason to keep your cat indoors. The average life span of outdoor cats is about five years, while cats that live indoors live an average thirteen to eighteen years.