The cat is a very autonomous and independent animal, particularly lover of freedom. For this reason, if you live in places that give it a chance, the best choice would always be to allow the cat to live a good part of his day outdoors .
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF LIFE OUTDOORS FOR THE CAT
Life in the open air, in contact with nature, provides our animal with many advantages, which – with some precautions – far outweigh the disadvantages and allow a higher quality of life. for our kitty. Let’s see first what are the advantages :
- Lead a more natural life , in contact with the environment, with the sun, the air, other animals.
- The cat can vent its instincts and engage in the activities that most distinguish it: such as hunting. (And he won’t automatically scratch his fingernails on furniture and carpets in the house!).
- The animal can practice much more physical activity : running, jumping, rolling, climbing, hunting … and this will allow it to maintain a toned and slender body, avoiding the weight problems typical of apartment cats, with a consequent and great benefit for Health. But let’s remember that domesticated cats hunt more by instinct than hunger (If you’ve ever asked yourself what a cat would eat in nature, click here ).
- The cat can create a social life by coming into contact with other cats.
- Ample opportunity to roam freely and explore. The cat loves to explore new places and mark territory. This will also allow him to have fun, keep your mind trained and always stimulate your curiosity.
The Disadvantages that the cat can meet in the outdoor life, although not to be underestimated, can still be avoided by taking some precautions. But in the meantime let’s see what they could be:
- The cat could get injured during fights with other animals or incurring in some small accident .
- For a cat that lives outdoors, the risk of contracting infectious diseases or encountering problems related to parasites or fleas is greater.
- Cars are always one of the greatest dangers for our animals, even on the less busy roads.
- Other animals that live nearby could be a risk to the cat: foxes, dogs, or other stray cats.
- Risk of poisoning by chemicals that are released into the environment or potentially poisonous plants.
- Then there is also the risk that the animal may get lost or become trapped in some place from which it cannot get out (a garage, a basement, a car hood, a very tall tree …).
WHAT TO DO TO MAKE A CAT LIVE OUTDOORS SAFELY?
Many of the disadvantages listed above can be avoided if we pay attention to a number of things from the beginning:
- Accustom the cat from a young age to the outside space, initially going out together and keeping the cat on a leash, so that it begins to recognize spaces and smells and knows how to recognize the way home. A great way to make sure your dog always comes home is to pair the return with his favorite Life pet snack !
- The cat must be in possession of all the proposed vaccines and have undergone flea and parasiticide treatments .
- The ideal, for an outdoor cat, is to sterilize the animal so that it does not go too far from home and does not run into fights and love fights often triggered by hormonal factors.
- Give the cat an identifying microchip so that you can easily find the cat in case of loss.
- The night is the most dangerous time for the animal, therefore it is advisable to get it used to returning before sunset. In this sense it is very useful to train the cat to return to us when we call.
- Search the garden or the open space where the cat will move, to look for and eliminate all possible sources of danger: for example toxic plants or other chemicals that may be in the environment.
- If the garden is close to roads, you can consider inserting fences, nets and more to prevent the cat from leaving the safe perimeter that we can provide.
HOW TO MAKE THE CAT GOOD IN THE GARDEN
If we have a private garden, we can indulge ourselves in creating spaces to make our pet feel good :
- Provide the cat with a cat flap so that it can move even more freely and independently between outside and inside.
- Create a natural litter box outdoors , in a sheltered and hidden part of the garden, so that the animal can use it when it is out, avoiding making holes and needs for the whole garden. To get used to using it, just dig a hole and fill it with normal house litter sand (as long as it is natural and biodegradable). Even in this case, however, constant cleaning of this space is recommended.
- Cats love areas with tall grass, because they can hide there to rest or they can lurk there while hunting. Then create thick and bushy areas inside the garden. In addition, the bushes also offer shade and coolness during the hot summer months.
- Cats also love to climb and dominate space from above. It would therefore be perfect if they were in the garden trees or poles on which to climb.
- The cat loves to dig: always leave him some area of the garden where he can do it freely and without being scolded. Instead, it must be your care to enclose those spaces where you do not want the animal to dig.
Once these precautions have been taken into account, we will surely be able to guarantee our cat a happy and carefree life in the open air!
If, on the other hand, you do not have this possibility because your home does not have an outdoor space, or you do not think it is safe enough for your pet, do not worry: here are some tips on how to make a cat live well in an apartment, let’s hope creating a cat-friendly area at home, but also how to educate the cat to stay indoors.