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Do you allow Fluffy to go outdoors? Maybe a local feline found her way to your doorstep and you’ve adopted her. While vets always recommend that you keep your kitty inside, we do know that many of our feline friends like to explore their outdoor environment. Others might never get used to living inside. Below, a veterinarian provides some advice on how you can keep your outdoor cat healthy and purring.
Fluffy, like all animals, needs good food to thrive. Feeding her kibble is probably your best bet, since it lasts longer than wet food. But, don’t leave too much food out, as this may bring in rats, mice, and other vermin. If possible, feed your kitty inside.
All animals need fresh water at all times to survive. So, be sure Fluffy has clean water all of the time. Wash her water bowl regularly, as dust and germs can collect in it.
Your cat might be wearing a fur coat, but it won’t offer her complete protection from the environment. You should bring Fluffy in whenever the weather is cold or hot. But, it’s good practice to set out an emergency shelter, in case she gets left outdoors. A simple DIY project for this is to put two plastic storage totes together by fitting one inside the other, leaving a little space between them. Stuff this area with newspapers or old towels to provide insulation. Adding a blanket on the inside for comfort is a nice touch. Cut a hole in the side for a kitty door.
We recommend that all cats be microchipped, fixed, and kept current on parasite control and vaccines. This preventative care is especially crucial for kitties that live or are let outside. Outdoor pets are more likely to be subjected to parasites and germs than ones that stay indoors, so they should go to see a veterinarian a bit more often. Contact your local pet clinic for an appointment schedule.
Keeping your outdoor cat inside may be difficult, but it’s the best thing you can do for her. Your feline friend will be both healthier and safer that way. This change in lifestyle may take time and patience, but don’t stop trying. Giving Fluffy toys, catnip, treats, and kitty furniture can help make her want to stay inside. If nothing else, put a limitation on Fluffy’s outdoor time, letting her out only during the day, and when it’s warm and sunny.
Talk to your local animal shelter for more information on keeping your outdoor cat healthy!