Do you let your kitty go outside? Perhaps you’ve adopted—or semi-adopted—a local feline friend? While the recommendation always is to keep Fluffy indoors, we do know that some of our feline buddies love to explore the great outdoors. Others may never get used to indoor living. Here, a veterinarian offers some advice on how to keep an outdoor cat healthy, happy, and purring.
All animals need clean water. Fluffy should always have fresh H20 available. Regularly wash your cat’s water bowl, so germs and dust don’t build up.
Like all animals, Fluffy needs good food to flourish. Kibble is probably a good choice since it lasts more than canned food. But, try not to leave too much food in the bowl, as this can attract mice and other pests. If possible, bring your cat indoors to feed her.
Veterinarians advise that all cats be microchipped, fixed, and kept current on parasite control and vaccines. Outdoor kitties especially need these things! Indoor pets are less exposed to parasites and germs than outdoor ones. So outdoor pets should go to the vet a little more often. Talk to your veterinarian about a schedule for Fluffy’s check-ups and shots.
Fluffy may have on a fur coat, but she doesn’t have complete protection from the environment. When it’s cold or hot outside, you should always bring your cat inside. But, it’s a good idea to leave out an emergency shelter, just in case your furry friend is left outdoors. One easy Do-It-Yourself option for a shelter is to get two plastic storage totes. You should fit one inside the other, leaving a little room between them. Put newspapers or old towels in the space, providing insulation. Place a blanket on the inside. Cut a hole in the side for a cat door. Done!
As mentioned before, keeping an outdoor cat inside is the best thing you can do for her. Your feline buddy will be both safer and healthier by staying in. This lifestyle change for Fluffy may take patience and time, but don’t stop trying. Offer toys, catnip, treats, and kitty furniture to sweeten the deal. If nothing else, limit your cat’s outdoor time, letting her out only during the day, and when it’s warm and sunny.
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