What Are Safety Measures For Keeping An Outdoor Pet Cat?
If you are adopting an older cat, or if your kitty has reached a point where she has had all her initial vaccinations and is ready to head out and roam the neighborhood, you may well have a few concerns. Your backyard and beyond represents a great way for your feline to get the fresh air and exercise she needs to stay healthy, as well as provide her with all important mental stimulation to keep her mind sharp. However, cats are well known for their independent nature, curiosity and strong will and these are traits that can get an outdoor cat into difficulties when out in the big wide world. Fortunately, there are some safety measures that you can take to help keep your furry feline happy and healthy when outside.
Ensure her vaccinations are up to date
The most important thing that you should do before letting your cat outside for the very first time is to ensure that she is up to date with all of her vaccinations. This is just as important with older cats as it is with kittens. This is because there are many different contagious diseases and viruses that can affect your furbaby, and these are more prevalent in the outside world where your cat may come into contact with un-vaccinated animals, both wild and domestic. Some of the illnesses are airborne, meaning that your kitty is at risk the moment she steps outside.
However, by ensuring that your cat is up to date with all core vaccinations, as well as any optional vaccines that our vet feels will be beneficial for her, you will not only protect your own feline, but also do your part to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases, many of which are dangerous and even deadly. If you aren’t sure which vaccinations you cat needs, arrange an appointment with our vet.
Protect her from parasites
Similarly, it is essential that your cat has proper parasite protection before she goes out into the world. There are a variety of external and internal parasites that can affect cats, including fleas, ticks and worms. All of these can make your pet very sick, and the symptoms that she will suffer will be very unpleasant. Fortunately, there are many different types of parasite preventatives now available, from spot-on treatments and collars to oral medications. Our vet will be happy to recommend which is most suitable for your cat.
Get her microchipped
Microchipping is the only tamper-free way of ensuring that your contact information is linked to your cat. It is a quick, painless procedure that sees our vet implant a tiny microchip under her skin. This chip has a unique reference number on it that is revealed when a microchip scanner is placed over it. This reference number relates to a secure database that holds your contact information. If your kitty becomes lost and is then found, a veterinary center or animal shelter with access to a scanner can check her and locate your details, making you more likely to be reunited with your kitty. In addition to this, we still recommend that you place a collar with an ID tag around her neck. That way someone who finds her can call you rather than needing to find a vet with a scanner. Two forms of ID are infinitely better than one!
Install a cat flap
Unless your kitty is in your backyard, you’ve got no chance of her coming when she is called. For this reason, it is important that any outdoor cat owner installs a cat flap. This will enable your feline to come and go as she pleases without needing to be let in. This can be important, since she may want to come in because she is hungry or thirsty, because it is too hot, cold or wet outside, or in some cases to escape another animal she has come into contact with. Make sure she has access to your home when she needs it and doesn’t need to wait to be let in.
For more advice on safety measures for an outdoor cat, do not hesitate to contact our veterinarian.