Do you allow Fluffy to go outside? Perhaps you’ve adopted—or half-adopted—a local feline? While it’s always recommended to keep your cat indoors, we know that some kitties enjoy exploring their outdoor environment. Others may never get used to life indoors. Below, a veterinarian offers five ways to keep an outdoor cat healthy, happy, and purring.
All animals, Fluffy included, need good food in order to thrive. Your best bet is probably kibble, as it lasts longer than wet food. But, don’t leave out too much food. This might bring in rats and other vermin. Feed your feline friend inside, if possible.
A basic necessity for all animals is fresh water. Fluffy should have clean water available at all times. You’ll have to regularly wash her water bowl, so germs and dust don’t collect in it.
Your cat may have on a fur coat, but that doesn’t offer total protection from the elements. When it’s too hot or cold outside, bring Fluffy inside. But, just in case she gets stuck outside, it’s a good idea to make an emergency shelter. One simple Do-It-Yourself project for this is to get two plastic storage totes, fitting one inside the other, and leaving a little room in between them. Stuff this empty area with newspapers or old towels for insulation. Adding a blanket on the inside for your cat’s comfort is a nice touch. For a kitty door, cut holes in the side.
Veterinarians recommend that all felines be kept up-to-date on vaccines and parasite control, fixed, and microchipped. These preventative measures are especially important for cats that live or are allowed outside. Outdoor pets are more susceptible to parasites and germs than indoor ones are, so they should go to see a vet more often. Contact your local pet clinic for an appointment schedule recommendation.
Keeping an outdoor cat inside is the best thing you can do for her. By doing this, your furry friend will be healthier and safer staying inside. This change in lifestyle could take time and patience, but keep trying. You can offer treats, toys, kitty furniture, and catnip to help sweeten the deal. If nothing else, put a limitation on Fluffy’s time outside, letting her out only during the day, and when it’s warm and sunny.
Got questions about your outdoor cat’s health? Call your local animal clinic!