Indoor Cat vs. Outdoor Cat

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Ideally, no cat should live outdoors. The life of an outdoor cat tends to be nasty, brutish and short. On the other hand, some people inherit outdoor cats from a previous homeowner or even from a relative who has passed away or moved away and left them the house. The new owners assume the cats are just used to being outdoors. This is probably true since they know nothing else and would have trouble adjusting if they were brought into the house. In other cases, an owner let their pet outside once and the little beast took to it right away. Some owners of fat cats find that they slim down beautifully once they’re allowed to run around outside. What can be done?

Make Sure She’s Safe

Even if your moggie roams around outside, you should still take care to make sure she’s safe. Among other things this means, unlike the end title of the Flintstones cartoon, that she comes in at night. Lots of predators hunt at night and cats are harder for a driver to see. There are even some depraved folks who shoot cats for the fun of it.

If Muffin complains about being brought into the house, put her in the garage with some food and water or prepare a little house. Dogs have houses, why not cats? Some owners build an enclosure in the backyard just for their moggie. That way, she can enjoy the outdoors without its hazards.

Take Her to the Vet

Whether she stays indoors or outdoors, she’ll still have to be to taken to the vet twice a year to make sure she’s in good shape and that she gets her shots for such diseases as rabies and distemper. Of course, you’ll really want to have an outdoor cat neutered or spayed.

Outdoor Cats Need I.D.

Outdoor cats need to wear a collar with a tag that has their name and your name and contact info on it. The collar should be able to break away in case it gets caught on something. More and more people are having their pet microchipped.

Try a Harness

Some cats simply will not wear a harness. If you put one on them, they will collapse and not move. But other cats can get used to walking around wearing a harness attached to a leash that’s attached to you. Who cares if people stare? Is it any weirder than walking a dog on a leash?

Don’t Ignore the Indoor Moggie

Indoor cats can have it a bit too easy. They don’t have to hunt for food, for they know that their bowl is always there. They don’t need to do much of anything at all except sit in the window and wonder at what it’s outdoors displays. So it’s important that your indoor pet get plenty of exercise. Put up scratch posts, kitty jungle gyms and hiding places, and provide plenty of toys. Even the moving spots of light from a penlight in a darkened room can keep your little Grimalkin busy for a very long time.

Cats need your care whether they’re indoor or outdoor. Whether they’re grazing in the grass or watching the bird feeder just outside the (firmly shut) window, their health and safety depends on you.

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