Inside-Out Cats

Your cat's natural instincts make him want to explore outdoors, but vehicles and predators can end his life early. Here's why you should keep him inside.

Keeping a keen eye on your cat can be a life saver.Warm weather is around the corner and everyone is eager to get outside after enduring months of winter weather. The sun shining through the patio window beckons your cat, and singing songbirds drive your feline into a frenzy.

Inevitably, the front door will become a battleground and your cat will begin to view you as a frustrating obstacle to overcome before gaining access to the great outdoors.

But remember there is more on the other side of the door than budding trees and clean air. Keeping your cat indoors, or allowing only supervised jaunts outside, will protect it from injury, illness and possible death.

The most common injuries to outdoor cats that we treat at the clinic are the result of hit-by-car trauma, says Kim Friedenberg, DVM, of Alpine Veterinary Medical Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada.

Barb Harris, former animal shelter administrator for Humane Society-Yukon reports that the No. 1 stray cat injury that the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter encounters is puncture wounds from dogs or other predators.

But each jurisdiction has different hazards, and even if your cat is lucky enough to escape the neighborhood predators and vehicles, Friedenberg warns that outdoor cats are exposed to disease, parasites, accidental poisoning, frostbite, heatstroke and cat fights. 

Despite the sometimes pitiful, and often outraged, demands of our furry friends to be let outside, there are many ways to keep your mighty explorer both happy and safe.

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Cats · Health and Care