Outdoor cat safety: keeping your cat safe in nature

Keeping Your Cat Safe in Nature

If you’re a cat owner, you know that keeping them within the boundaries of your home can sometimes be beyond challenging. Cats are very curious, and they’re born explorers. That’s why you’ll need to make an effort to keep them safe if they ever go outside without your supervision. You shouldn’t worry too much about them being hurt because cats have excellent survival skills. However, to prevent them from being lost and keep them safe as you go out and about with them sometimes, you can do the following.

Neuter the cat

Sterilizing the cat is one of the first steps in keeping an indoor cat safe if it ever wanders outside. Their natural instincts will force them to go outside and look for a mate, which is a hazard announced. Therefore, be sure to neuter or spay your furry friend, so they don’t get frisky and seek for fun outdoors. Furthermore, sterilization will prevent your female cat from getting pregnant and overcrowding the household with unwanted kittens.

Vaccinate your feline

Vaccination is imperative for keeping a cat safe and healthy. If your kitten tends to spend a lot of time outside, vaccination is that more essential for them. You never know where the cat may wander off and what type of disease it may catch. Cats are exposed to various threats outdoors, so you’ll want to offer them top protection. Don’t risk your pet getting infected with fleas and ticks or catching a disease from rodents. Cats will sniff through garbage too and easily be infected by diseases that can make them very sick. Visit the vet regularly and stay up to date with all the necessary vaccinations.

Put a collar on the pet

No matter how unique your cat is, you’ll run into a very similar one in the streets as you look for your wandering feline. Therefore, it would be a good idea to put a collar on your cat and be able to spot it quickly if it gets lost. What’s more, if you opt for some of the very convenient cat ID tags, you’ll get the option of personalizing the tag and recognizing your little furry fella immediately if it ever wanders off. Get a tag in a shape of heart, kitten, bird, or maybe fish. Choose from gold to silver to zirconia embellished ones to make your cat more recognizable.

Introduce a harness

While you may think dogs are more of harness-prone pets, a feline can also handle them. Introducing a harness to your feline at a very early age will make them get accustomed to it much quicker. However, you’ll have to be prepared for some resistance, as cats love to be independent. Exploring the unknown on their own is in their nature, so there may be a little bit of fuss. To make the transition from roaming free and being attached to a harness easier, make sure you introduce it gradually and encourage positive association. You can use their favorite treats and food to teach them to handle the harness.

Consider getting a chip for the cat

Keeping your cat safe while outdoors can also be done with a microchip. Whether you decide to allow it to spend time outdoors, or the cat does it on its own, anyway, you must provide the feline with proper identification. Having the cat microchipped will ensure it’s always safe no matter where it is. In case your cat gets lost, you can have it safely returned if someone finds the cat before you do.

Try training them

Have you ever tried training your cat? If you think that only works for dogs, you’re partially right. Namely, cats tend to be very self-governing, which means they won’t be able to be trained that easily. However, you should try and spend some time teaching them what they are and what they aren’t allowed to do. With some extra effort, you’ll successfully condition them to respond to various rewards and triggers. For example, if you decide to feed your pet at the same time every day, they’ll always be home at that exact time. Because of their exceptional internal clock, their body will urge them to go home when it’s feeding time. Food is the greatest reward for cats, so if you treat them every time that they obey your command for coming back inside – you’ll have them eating out of your hand. Literally.

Antiparasitic drugs for cats

Gastrointestinal (GI) parasitism is a common problem in cats that can be transmitted to humans. Regular antiparasitic treatment for cats that regularly go outside, is recommended every 3 to 6 months, depending on where the cat is kept. In the clinical examinations performed by the veterinarian, the presence of internal and external parasites (skin) can be detected and in case of infection, treatment measures are taken.

Grooming when coming home

Bathing cats and tidying up their bodies is an essential part of a cat’s life especially after being in nature. Short-haired cats are able to take care of their hair on their own, however brushing helps to remove dead and dirty hair.  While your kittens are in nature, they will dirty themselves by playing with soil. To clean themselves, they tend to lick and swallow their hair which may lead to accumulation in the gastrointestinal tract. So the best solution is cleaning them after taking them home.

 

Final thoughts

The natural exploring instinct of cats will always push them outside and have them yearning for the outdoors. If you decide to allow them to spend time in nature, you should do everything to keep them safe from any dangers. Sterilizing them will prevent various disease and unwanted pregnancies, while also lowering their desire to look for a mate. Vaccinate them to keep them healthy and get a collar with an ID tag to have them back home safely and quickly. Train them, microchip them and use a harness if needed, to make sure your feline is always safe while it’s outdoors.