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Indoor Versus Outdoor Cats – What’s Safer?

When it comes to what is safer for your cat, there is only one definitive answer: don’t let your cat go outdoors.

The prevailing opinion of veterinarians, rescue organizations and humane societies is that the indoor cat is the healthier and happier cat. In fact some rescue organizations and humane societies will not even let you adopt a cat if you have any intention of letting it outside. Your request to adopt will be outright refused. At some humane societies you are also charged more expensive medical treatment if you bring them a cat that has suffered injury due to being let outdoors. In essence, if you let your cat roam around unsupervised outdoors in this day and age you are considered to be a bad cat parent.

Why is letting your cat outside so dangerous? Here is a short list of just a few of the risks to its health and well-being that an outdoor cat faces.

  • Being run over by a vehicle.
  • Eating poisonous plants.
  • Drinking antifreeze in a garage
  • Eating rat or raccoon poison
  • Injury or death caused by a fight with other cats
  • Contracting a fatal disease such as Feline Aids or Feline Leukemia from other cats
  • Abuse from mentally ill or addicted people
  • Abuse from annoyed neighbors
  • Getting lost
  • Getting stolen and then sold as bait for illicit gaming
  • Getting stolen and then sold to a laboratory
  • Contracting parasites, fleas, ticks and ringworms from the great outdoors

Maintaining an indoor cat is also cheaper. For one thing your cat will need less vaccinations over the course of its lifetime. You will also be spared the expense of items such as a microchip (however if you really care about any cat you will microchip in case it is stolen or gets lost without wearing its collar.)

Many people come from the old school of thought which maintains the romantic belief that cats are creatures who love the outdoors and that it is against their nature to be deprived of the ability to roam and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Many people would maintain that the happier cat is one that is allowed to go outside. Basically the decision to letting your cat outside comes down to a slightly frustrated cat who lives a long life and costs you minimally in terms of vet bills (the classic indoor cat) or the cat that has a happy but potentially very short life (the outdoor cat.) Keep in mind, however, that most vets maintain that an indoor cat is not an unhappy at all unless you give it a taste of what it is missing.

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