In brief: Five reasons to keep your cats indoors

Our pet cats need enrichment, activities and things to do! But do these things only exist out of doors? No! While there are certainly problems that can arise from keeping a cat indoors under insufficiently stimulating conditions, it doesn’t have to be that way. Also note there are safe ways to give your cat a taste of the outdoors, such as via a catio/enclosure, cat fence, or harness training!

Those are all topics that could each take up a whole blog post! Today, just some quick food for thought on why you should consider keeping your cat indoors…

1. This won’t happen to your cat

2. This won’t happen to your cat

Remember Bart, the zombie cat?

Did you know that 5.4 million cats are killed by cars each year?

3. Your cat may be upsetting other cats

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My own cats (who love each other very much in my opinion) started fighting thanks to the neighbor cat, Tara. Luckily, they got over their conflict, but Tara still gets my cats riled up when she comes around.

During consultations, I am often asked by owners of indoor cats how to get neighbors to better control their outdoor cats — to which I say, good luck! Then I get asked by owners of the outdoor cats how to control their outdoor cats — to which I say, good luck!

4. Your cat won’t go to the bathroom in my garden

2015-10-21 10.27.12I stopped gardening, in part because our garden has become a giant litterbox for my neighbors’ cats. Hey, you don’t want to clean your cat’s litterbox? I don’t want to either, I have three of my own!

Feline feces are a major source of toxoplasmosis transmission, as is inadequate washing of food that has been exposed to toxo. So, cats pooping in your vegetable garden isn’t so great.

Note: cats that are kept indoors only are a very very low risk for carrying toxo.

5. Your cat won’t upset bird lovers

Whether or not we agree or the science is sound, people have picked the domestic cat as a scapegoat for all songbird deaths. While I feel that pet cats should be kept indoors, I FULLY support TNR (trap-neuter-return) for ferals. But somehow the problem often just becomes “CATS.” You can do your part to prevent bird deaths, by keeping your cat happily indoors.

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