If your cat can go outside, it will definitely bring a lot of fun it might not have at home. It has a lot of prey for hunting, trees for climbing and high grass for crawling. It can enjoy sun outside and make social bonds with other cats. Besides that, the outside world hides many various dangers for the cat. And we should consider them before we decide to let our cats go outside or not to go there, realize and really think through if the benefits of the outdoor life take precedence over its risks. It depends on our preferences, on where we live and on the nature of the cat and everyone needs to decide for himself/herself. Today, I will introduce you to the risks (I know) so you could make an informed choice.
Ticks, fleas and internal parasites
The first thing that probably comes to your mind is probably the danger of parasites. However, this can be quite easily reduced by getting antiparasitic agents. I like pipettes for cats more than collars – there is a risk that a cat remains stuck somewhere and suffocates. If the cat goes outside, there is a higher risk of catching a tapeworm, roundworms and other parasites. Therefore, you need to remember around regular deworming and do not underestimate it.
Cats very often die under the wheels. That’s why you need to consider how much traffic is in your surroundings and whether the access to the road is easy for the cat, if there isn’t a forest behind the road she would like to go to, etc. The risk of being hit by a car is sometimes so high that it is not worth letting your cat go outside.
Cats can be a dog’s prey as well. If your neighbour’s dog hates cats and hits on them, your cat might become its prey. Cats usually learn to avoid gardens where dogs hit on them but some of them are incorrigible and will provoke the dog until they pay for it.
If you live near a forest, your cat might be shot by a hunter. They can’t shoot at cats and dogs only within 200 m from the closest property designed for living. Therefore, keep your cats mainly at home during the hunting period if they are used to wander around.
An unknown cat might become a companion for adventures. However, it will more likely become an enemy. Mainly if it concerns two unneutered male cats and even in the period of rut. But even female cats fight. My cat started a fight with any cat that wasn’t willing to surrender. Cats are territorial creatures and they will protect the territory even if it costs some scratches. And the fights may be quite brutal, so you won’t avoid visiting a vet and potential stitches then.
The transmission of diseases is directly connected to these fights. The diseases might include calicivirus or panleukopenia and sometimes even fatal diseases such as FIV. Diseases are transmitted during an intercourse or, most often, by blood during fights.
Birds of prey
Even birds of prey may be threats to cats. Especially if you live in the countryside near fields, I wouldn’t worry about this risk in a city.
Poisoning may be for example caused by eating grass treated with pesticides, poisoned baits for mice or eating such a poisoned mouse, there might be poisoned water by fertilizers and pesticides.
While some risks are minimal for the cat, some can be prevented and somewhere there might be high enough that it would be irresponsible to let it go outside. So it’s necessary to think it through and decide in the best interest of your cat. Can you think of any other risks that should be considered?