Cats can carry any number of infectious diseases. Equally, older cats are often arthritic. They also require more maintenance and must have hunting instincts satisfied. These cats are protected from traffic, disease and aggressive animals. These accidents are frequently fatal. Cats … 1. This can become problematic in indoor felines. This keeps your cat healthy, reducing the risk of bacterial urinary tract infections. Older cats often have limited sight and hearing. Indoor cats can still develop parasites, especially fleas. It causes felines no end of distress. Many owners also sleep better at night knowing their cat is home. That includes access to multiple rooms, toys and puzzles, and exercise apparatus such as climbing trees. It’s a simple equation. You just need to help the cat understand that you are in charge. Consider your neighbors in this too, though. Do not let your cat push its luck too far, though. I'm Richard, the lead writer for Senior Cat Wellness. This is because remaining inside offers a cat a measure of protection. 2. It's a myth that going outside is a requirement for feline happiness. As cats grow older, they are typically less robust. Indoor cats do not get hit by cars. All felines have different levels of predatory drive. The same applies to cats. While keeping a cat indoors is not cruel, indoor cats aren't entirely immune to problems and dangers. Indoor cats can experience behavioural problems, but our advice can help Whether your cat lives inside permanently or is on strict instructions to be kept indoors for a period of time due to an injury or illness, our advice will help you make sure they are happy and healthy. Keeping an indoor vs. outdoor cat is a debate that has raged for years among owners. If you let your cat roam, stand by this unless medically inadvisable. Unfortunately, keeping cats indoors also poses health risks. As with all things, though, a balanced perspective is required. This means your cat will not be able to go into hiding. To decide whether to keep your cat indoors, think about the pros and cons of this lifestyle. This will simply add to the feline overpopulation problem. If humans spend too much time alone, we become set in our ways and less tolerant. A feline with no experience of other animals will be especially cantankerous. The scent of your clothing will also pique a cat’s curiosity. If your cat does not venture outside, it will not find itself disoriented and disconnected. My friend Linda also got a cat enclosure. If your indoor cat suddenly wants to go outside, consider why this may be. If you have a safe balcony, roof garden or enclosed area, you may be able to cat-proof it adequately so tha… Do not handle animal feces or urine with bare hands, and wash hands immediately after incidental contact. An unspayed female that shows sudden interest in going outside usually has one explanation. Kittens who are kept indoors are usually happy to stay there as they grow up. A cat tree can be short, or may stretch from floor to ceiling. Most of these repellents have strong odors disliked by feral cats. They will not appreciate your cat attacking birds on their property. This means that cats attempt to dominate each other. Shelter workers can give you tips on getting your pet back home safely. Cats do not experience a menopause. In addition, the hunting of birds is considered a significant problem. If your neighbors are bird lovers, they may use tables and seed to attract avian visitors. You need to decide whether your cat should remain indoors or be free to roam. Play with your cat each day. Your cat will look for, and seize upon, any opportunity to escape. Indoor cats typically enjoy a longer life expectancy and better health. In addition to hunting, cats are instinctively driven to climb, dig and claim territory. Keeping cats indoors removes access to these hazards. Forget what you may have heard – it is not, “cruel” to keep a cat inside. This can include aggression and destructive behavior. If the cat has somewhere it can cool off without being disturbed, it will remain happy. Cars. The collar and visible ID could help someone get your pet back to you. It just drastically reduces the chances of success. Some cats can even be harnessed and tied to a stationary object to enjoy the outdoors while you are gardening nearby (but be sure to never leave your cat alone while they are tethered). Unless you’re prepared for a litter of kittens, keep your cat indoors. Depending on the reason for which your cat needs to be kept inside, you may still be able to give them some supervised access to the outside world. The Journal of Veterinary Behavior confirms that prolonged playtimes reduce the likelihood of unwanted behaviors. Cats that do not embrace their natural instincts grow distressed and bored. I don't know if she will ever stop meowing at the door. Your cat cannot fall pregnant, but it can impregnate another. If this turns physical, bites and scratches are inevitable. Ensure that your cat has appropriate privacy, and more importantly, a quiet place to nap. It also prevents a cat hunting and killing birds. Whether you’re attempting to rescue a neighborhood stray or you’ve decided to keep your indoor/outdoor cat indoors for good, the change won’t be easy. Whether a cat should remain indoors depends on a range of factors. My best friend has 7 indoor cats and they are all just fine. It is likely that an outdoor cat will experience conflict. You should still supervise this. If your cat is willing to accept living this way, it remains advisable. There is a flip side to this, though. The cat has entered estrus, aka heat. Be sure to keep your house full of exciting gifts for them, and spend as much time as you can keeping them company. Lack of stimulation and exercise can lead to obesity and behavioral issues, including over grooming, over eating, picking on companion pets, and self-mutilation. Be sure to switch the toys from time to time so that they seem "new" and more interesting to your cat. Privacy Policy and Such include ground coffee, fresh lemon/orange peels, commercial cat repellents, and lavender. A cat will be fertile for her entire natural life and continue to enter estrus cycles. As per Veterinary Record, the likelihood decreases by 16% for every year of age. If you do lose your cat, contact your local animal shelter immediately to file a report. When letting your cat out for the first time, you must stay calm. The latter can irritate a cat’s nasal passages. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to feline care, though. You must be aware of this and remain vigilant about cleaning. This does not mean that felines always make the best decisions, though. This suggests that older cats understand the danger of traffic and moderate their behavior accordingly. Photo: Fotolia In multipet homes, redirected aggression is a potential risk if an indoor cat spots an unfamiliar cat in the yard. Most cats are already resistant to sharing their home. If your cat has assigned territory in the home, this should not be a concern. In addition, indoor cats are less likely to develop worms. What is true, though, is that indoor cats are likelier to live longer. If you retain a strong bond, your cat is unlikely to turn on you. While simple, this technique only works if you are home most of the time and can keep a personal eye on your plants. This will not reduce hunting instinct, though. Another option is an enclosure that sits in a window frame (much like an air conditioning unit) and provides a secure space in which your kitty can hang out. What it does not know is what you do. However, whether or not your cat is willing and able to put up with this is very much down to their individual personalities! The more time a cat spends outside, the shorter its estimated lifespan. 2021 can be the year YOU become a hero for all animals. If you want an indoor cat, keep your cat home at all times. It will also, theoretically, protect your cat from predators and wild animals. If your cat is desperate to hunt, it can become frustrated by inability to do so. The cat may not have intended to flee permanently. Indoor cats are less likely to struggle with parasite infestations, though. Larger perches can attach to the side of a house or ground-floor apartment patio. 8. If you can, locate the cat tree next to a window so your cat can watch the action outdoors. For your cat to express fondness for you physically…, Onychectomy is the process of removing a cat’s claws. It may have lost its bearings and found itself stray. Be careful about this habit. An indoor-only lifestyle for a cat is often chosen by an owner, mainly due to fear for their own cat’s welfare and concern for wildlife populations. This training takes time and patience, for both you and the cat, and it's easiest when your cat is young. Cats love to look out of the window. Expect to be scratched, clawed and hunted. If it cannot claim more land, it will take everything within an acceptable radius. Advantages and Disadvantages of an Indoor Cat. Eventually, though, a cat can be tempted out of hiding. Determined cats can escape from gardens. In her article, Should You Let Your Cat Go Outdoors? Keeping cats indoors permanently can be a great way to keep them healthy. A feline that cannot discover new scents and territory may quickly grow restless. The way to resolve this is through play. You just need to provide an appropriate lifestyle. This could be a local pet with owners that cannot cope with kittens. This can make the cat particularly territorial within the home. Outdoor cats eat or drink from these sources and find themselves infested. Senior cats are actually less likely to be involved in a road traffic accident. How Do Cats Show Dominance To Other Cats. You can buy special leads and harnesses for cats, in order to take them out walking on the lead in the same way that you would a dog. Our Cats Indoors program educates the public and policy makers about the many benefits to birds, cats, and people when cats are maintained indoors or under an owner's direct control. Permanently identify dogs and cats through microchip implantation. When you can't be there to supervise, leave out "toys" such as paper bags (with the handles removed) or cardboard boxes. This can leave a cat frustrated and cantankerous. A cat that stays inside cannot run away and get lost. If your cat does survive a car accident, they usually have severe injuries that will require surgery or … Fleas, for example, will happily leap from one animal to another. The only exception to this rule is when your cat is dozing. In addition, leave curtains or drapes open. Your cat will pick up on this. My mother hated cats and demanded that our pets weren’t allowed permanently indoors and that it was a waste of money to bring any animal to the veterinarian. 1. Your cat is unlikely to return home until she has mated. Most of the time, these accidents are fatal. It is impossible to make any guarantees about a cat’s lifespan. Ensure that your cat has plenty of to do. Feed your cat indoors. Even indoor cats should still be outfitted with a collar and visible identification. Jacque Lynn Shultz from the ASPCA notes that indoor-only cats live an average of 10-12 years, while outdoor-only cats survive only an average of 2 years. Some cats are happy to be submissive, while others will fight back and…, If your cat kisses you on the lips, it is expressing significant affection. Every location you go to will leave scent reminders of unvisited – and thus potentially unclaimed – territory. These are viral infections comparable to the flu. Felines lack basic road sense. The onus is upon you as an owner to meet your cat’s needs, though. Outdoor cats, meanwhile, can become grizzled veterans, learning how to survive over time. As discussed, indoor cats typically live longer. Once a cat is in heat, instinct takes over. Cats are actually safer indoors because they aren't running into other animals or diseases. Part of the appeal of roaming outside for cats is expanding claimed territory. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Make no mistake, though; cats want to hunt. For some people, keeping a cat indoors permanently is considered cruel. But I don't think it is cruel to keep cats indoors. Play with your cat. It will become an issue if you ever decide to adopt a second pet, though. Cats are not pack animals. Altering Your Cat’s Behavior Spay or neuter your cat. Estrus is a challenging time for both feline and owner. Cats who stay indoors have longer lifespans than those who are left to roam outdoors. Although only about 10% of pet cats in the UK are believed to live permanently indoors, this figure is increasing, and is already much higher in the USA, where keeping cats indoors is encouraged. Indoor cats can grow bored and territorial. A Cat Enclosure to Keep an Indoor Cat From Escaping Cat enclosures can be a godsend to indoor cats. Senior cats can be laid low by illness, and sometimes struggle to respond to treatment. This will provide limits to how far your cat can wander. Potentially just as dangerous are stings and bites from insects. All cats need a little time to themselves on occasion. Cats that live indoors need to be cared for appropriately. This is especially common if you have a strong bond. Remove any clumping litter and scoop any waste. You should also ensure your cat is not alone for too long. Cars kill more cats per year than the number of cats that are killed … Contributions to the HSUS are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. If necessary, bring a little of the outside to your indoor cat’s life. and are at far less risk of contracting parasites and infectious diseases such as the feline immunodeficiency virus. Keeping cats indoors can also save you a lot of trouble as an owner. This can lead to health and behavioral problems. This will typically come from consuming something inappropriate. Cats are governed by survival instinct. Oftentimes, threadworm infestations stem from water or soil that contain eggs. Outdoor domestic cats are a recognized threat to global biodiversity. Terms of Service apply. With dominant cats, this can take some time. The explanation for this simple. The HSUS's tax identification number is 53-0225390. You may not know this until it is too late. A sandpit, for example, will give your cat an opportunity to dig. A domesticated cat is unlikely to be this ambitious. Also read our tips for finding a lost pet. Yes. If you constantly interrupt a cat, though, it will look to leave the home for some peace and quiet. Wild cats can claim terrain as vast as two miles. With the cold weather upon us, here are some tips for making the great indoors an interesting, feline-friendly environment that meets all of your cat's needs. Sharing your home with a cat is a very rewarding experience. She is keen to get out and mate with an eligible tomcat. You could also work to satisfy your cat’s wild instincts in the yard. Indoor cats are pampered pets, with their every need met. A lack of stimulation can lead to behavioral issues. The cat is watching birds and considering how it would stalk and capture them. Get rid of the bird feeder, put a lid on the sandbox and keep tight fitting lids on the garbage cans. Factor your cat’s age, temperament, health, and life experience into this choice. Please enable Javascript and refresh the page to continue Make sure an adult supervises your kitty’s outdoor time to ensure strays cannot come into contact with her. Keeping Cats Entertained Indoors Cats need mental and physical stimulation, quite a lot of it. Prevention – or, in this case, protection – is always better than cure. Humans have been debating whether felines should remain indoors since cats were domesticated. What matters most is that you are consistent. Richard earned his degree in journalism in 2008. According to one source, more cats are killed by cars annually … Assign your cat territory in the home and respect its boundaries. Many are struck by vehicles while crossing the road. Cats in estrus emit constant pleas to intact males and announce their availability through scenting. Indoor cats are at lower risk for injuries associated with the outdoor environment (cars, trains, dogs, predators, humans, etc.) More importantly, it will ensure your cat does not start eliminating outside the litter box. The fewer hazards a cat faces, the likelier it is to prolong its lifespan. There are many circumstances in which keeping a cat indoors may be safer for the cat and therefore, arguably, better for the cat. This can lead to retribution. If you do not want your cat to go outside, it is your choice. This is preferable to attempting to track down a lost cat and fearing the worst. The cat will turn this frustration on you. You can help reduce that number by keeping your pet cat safely indoors, on a leash, or within an outdoor enclosure. Protect your kitty from other cats. Here are our top seven reasons to keep your cat indoors. A regular fence may not prevent other animals from entering your yard, so you should always be present when you allow your cat outside in your yard. You’ll still need to use preventative treatments. All being well, you will meet these needs in the home for an indoor cat. Road traffic accidents are arguably the biggest danger to roaming cats. This can be heart-breaking for owners and cats alike. Others may never have been trained on how to enter or leave the home this way. Good fences = happy kitties Provide a screened porch for your cat to experience the outdoors safely. A cat left unsupervised may inadvertently poison itself. That means near-constant cleaning of litter trays. A cat that previously roamed will struggle with a change in the status quo. Indoor cats with appropriate stimulation are happy and healthy. Your cat wants to make sure you are not visiting other felines. Or just buy a bunch of things cats like! It also prevents local birds or rodents from being hunted. This is how cats end up visiting other homes – sometimes growing reluctant to return. At the very least, stir cat litter multiple times a day. That means every room, every piece of furniture and everything you own. Take her to the veterinarian at least once every year for lifesaving vaccines, as well as parasite screening and treatment. But…, Cats can develop a sudden phobia of using a cat flap. While few people shed tears over dead mice, eating rodents can be dangerous for cats. Equally, do not let your cat grow actively hostile to visitors or family members. It may have designs on territory outside the four walls of a home, though. It's possible for indoor cats to become bored, which can lead to stress and behavior issues. Move Your Plants Have a spray bottle of water handy, and give your cat a spritz when they get near your plants. Consider building or purchasing a "catio" or similar enclosure to allow your cat to get a taste of the outside without the risks. Do not allow any anxiety to show. Some cats will be happy to lay on your clothes to experience these smells. What’s more, it’s a chance to check up on you. For the former indoor/outdoor cat, a two-box system filled with fine-grain, clumping litter works best. Plant cat grass (available from pet supply stores) in indoor pots so your feline can graze. Cats are born hunters. Some of the dangers that stray and feral cats remain, though. There are many circumstances in which keeping a cat indoors may be safer for a cat and therefore, arguably, better for the cat. A senior cat may not detect a vehicle approaching until it is too late. For others, it is an act of love. Of greater concern are conditions like ringworm and even rabies. The Journal of Zoology explains how cats reduced the sparrow population of an English village by 30%. Applied Animal Behavior Science confirms this claim. Your cat knows that you go out every day. Reply STOP to opt out. Of course, keeping a cat indoors does not just protect the cat. Others want to see them firsthand. If your cat stays inside, it will soil its litter multiple times per day. The cat may happen across a dangerous human food. Keep her on a leash or secured in a cage or other confined space where she can’t get out (and other cats can’t get in). Some will stalk anything that moves, others are more selective. The occasional open window (make sure your windows have secure screens) or door offers a tempting opportunity for your cat. For extra insurance, consider having your cat microchipped and keep your contact information with the microchip registry up to date. Prevention is the best first step. Be sure your cat does not end up stuck in a tree, either. Try different types of toys that allow your cat to stalk, chase, pounce and kick. If you do not wish to do so, make your cat as comfortable as possible. This does not mean that felines are anti-social loners. 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