Do cats need to go outside?

Would you keep your cat in or out of the fence? The decision to have an indoor or outdoor pet would have a significant bearing on the quality of lie of the pet. A cat owner may have the notion that the pet needs to be allowed to roam the great outdoors having been a denizen of the wild. Cat experts though believe that cats that are allowed to go outside are exposed to various situations that can shorten its life expectancy. Cats do not need to go outside. Cats can be trained to be perfectly happy being indoor pets.

Despite years of domestication, cats are still viewed as aloof, independent and solitary animals. Cat owners are providing all the basic needs of the pet. Cat owners have good intentions in allowing the pet to go outside. It is the nature of cats to play outdoors because these animals love the warmth of the sun. Being predators, cats love to investigate interesting scents and movements. Climbing trees, chasing small fast moving animals, even fighting with other cats are pleasurable activities for cats. Once a cat gets tired of all these activities, it would be seen peacefully sleeping under the shade of a tree. By allowing the pet to go outside, the owner is relieved of maintaining a litter box for the pet. Cats would eliminate in the owner’s or on the neighbor’s yard. Owners of outdoor cats would not be concerned by the pet’s scratching and territorial marking behavior. The home will not reek of cat urine and the furniture and carpet will be saved from the cat’s unsheathed claws.

However, the life of an outdoor cat is fraught with dangers…danger from diseases, from parasites, from other animals and from humans. Aside from this fact, a cat that is allowed to go outside can be a nuisance to the community. Common feline diseases are carried by roaming cats. Feline AIDS, feline, leukemia, feline infectious peritonitis and feline immunodeficiency virus are some of the life threatening disease that a companion cat can get from other outdoor pets and from stray cats. Rabies is a dreaded disease because the causative virus can affect not only cats but humans as well. Rabies is most commonly transmitted by wild animals. Cat owners that allow the pet to go outside have to think of possible parasite infestation. Cats can get octoparasites from infested cats. Cats are hunters. Even well fed ones will not pass up the chance to hunt and eat a prey. These animals eaten by the cat can be carriers of intestinal parasites. A cat that is allowed to roam freely can be the cause of altercations between the owner and the neighbors. Remember, not all people are cat lovers. Some people would not hesitate to harm a cat that has been digging in the garden or one that has decided to use their yard as its litter box. Cats that are allowed to roam freely will become the problem of the community. An intact cat would add to the ever growing unwanted cat population.

Confining a pet inside the home would be difficult especially if it was once a stray. Some owners would give in to the inclination of the pet to wander. However, allowing the cat to go outside is practically signing the cat’s death sentence given that outdoor cats generally have shorter life spans. Enriching the indoor environment with toys and providing stimulating activities would entice a cat to stay indoors. If these are not enough to keep the cat indoors, the yard can be made cat-proof. With a well secured fence, the cat can enjoy being out in the sun…to occasionally chase a prey but the dangers associated with being in the great outdoors will be prevented.

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