Do you let your cat go outdoors? Have you perhaps adopted—or half-adopted—a local kitty? While we always recommend keeping Fluffy in, we do understand that some of our feline friends enjoy exploring the Great Outdoors. Other felines may have never become accustomed to indoor life. In this article, a vet offers some advice on keeping an outdoor cat happy, healthy, and purring.
Like any other animal, Fluffy needs good food in order to thrive. Kibble is probably your best bet for an outside cat, just as it lasts longer than canned food. Just don’t leave too much food out, as this could attract mice and other vermin. If possible, feed your feline pal indoors.
Clean water is a basic necessity for all animals. Your kitty should have clean water available at all times. Clean Fluffy’s water bowl regularly, so dust and germs don’t collect in it.
Fluffy may be wearing a fur coat, but that won’t provide complete protection from the elements. You should bring your feline buddy in when it’s really hot or cold. However, it’s a good idea to set out an emergency shelter, in case she gets stuck outside in bad weather. One easy DIY option for this is to get two plastic storage totes. One tote should fit inside the other, with a little room left over. Stuff this space with newspapers or old towel to provide insulation. You can add a blanket on the inside. Cut holes in the side to make a kitty door. Done!
We recommend that all kitties be fixed, microchipped, and kept current on vaccines and parasite control. These things are especially important for furballs that live or are allowed outdoors. Outdoor pets are more exposed to parasites and germs than indoor ones are, so they should see their doctors a little more often. Follow your vet’s recommended appointment schedule.
Of course, the best thing you can do for Fluffy is keep her inside. Your furry friend will be both healthier and safer staying in! This kitty lifestyle change may take time and patience, but don’t give up. Offering toys, treats, catnip, and pet furniture will sweeten the deal. If nothing else, limit Fluffy’s outdoor time, and only let her out during the day, and when it’s nice out.
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