Pet Pointers: Cats, inside or out?
The pet parents of cats have an ongoing debate: to keep their cat in or let their cat out? YNN's Lisa Chelenza takes a look at both sides of the argument in this edition of Pet Pointers.
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Cat lovers have long agonized over the age-old question whether to allow a cat outside or help them be content inside. Statistically, an indoor cat will have a longer life with some cats living into their twenties, but more commonly into their mid to late teens. Many cats that are allowed out but stay in most of the time enjoy a long life, but are at a greater risk of accidents or other unfortunate circumstances. A cat living exclusively on the streets, on average, only lives two to three years.
Many cat lovers believe the benefits of letting a cat enjoy the outside far outweigh the risks, by making for a happier cat, but others feel any risk is too much.
Car accidents claim the lives of even street-smart kitties and should be considered a serious threat. Unfortunately, even cat owners themselves can hit their own cats, which have become too comfortable around the family vehicle and fail to move in time.
Accidental poisoning can happen by a spilled chemical in the garage or even plants or gardening supplies. Keep all chemicals, fertilizers, plant bulbs, and seedlings in a secure location away from animals and clean up any fluids that may have leaked from your vehicles.
Despite what cartoons would have us believe, all animals do not play nice with one another. Cats can be the victims of dogs, raccoons, foxes, and even other cats. Large predatory birds can also be a threat especially if your cat is less than 20 pounds. Being vaccinated against rabies is extremely important, but most cats don’t survive a vicious encounter.
If your cat is injured or ill bring them to a vet or veterinary emergency clinic as soon as possible. Sometimes, even with a very serious health issue, proper and immediate treatment can result in recovery.
Whatever side you are on, be sure your cats see a vet every year and are up to date on their vaccinations as well as their flea and tick control, even if they are strictly indoor cats. Take care of your pets, and have your cats and dogs spayed or neutered.