Is Fluffy allowed to go outside? Maybe you adopted her, or perhaps she’s a local feline that you semi-adopted. Although cats are better off staying in, many of them do like to come and go as they please. Also, some of our feline friends just never get used to life indoors. In this article, a vet provides some advice on keeping an outdoor cat’s health in check.
Like all animals, your kitty needs good food to thrive. You probably want to feed her kibble, as it lasts longer than wet food. Just don’t leave too much food out, as this might bring in mice, rats, and other pests. If possible, feed Fluffy inside.
All animals also need fresh water every day. Regularly clean Fluffy’s water bowl, so germs and dust don’t collect in it.
Fluffy’s fur coat doesn’t give her complete protection from the environment. Bring your cat inside when the weather’s too hot or cold. But, it’s always a good idea to leave out an emergency shelter, in case Fluffy gets stuck outdoors. One simple Do-It-Yourself project for this is to get two plastic storage totes, fitting one inside the other. There should be a little space between the totes. Stuff this space with old towels or newspapers to provide insulation. Adding a soft blanket on the inside for your feline buddy’s comfort is a thoughtful touch. Cut holes in the side to make a kitty door.
Vets recommend that all felines be microchipped, fixed, and kept up-to-date on vaccines and parasite control. This preventative care is especially crucial for cats that live or are let outdoors. Outdoor pets are exposed more to germs and parasites than indoor ones, so they should go to a veterinarian more often. Talk to your local pet clinic for an appointment schedule.
As recommended by most vets, the best thing to do for an outdoor cat is keep her inside. Fluffy will be both healthier and safer that way. This change in lifestyle might take patience and time, but keep trying. Offering treats, catnip, toys, and kitty furniture will help her adjust. If all you can do is limit Fluffy’s outdoor time, then only allow her to go out during the day, and when the weather is nice.
Contact your local animal clinic for ideas on keeping your outdoor cat healthy!