Outside Cat Care

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While it may be tempting to let your feline roam in the great outdoors and enjoy everything the warm weather has to offer, you may be putting your feline at great risk. Traditionally, most cat owners would let their feline venture around the neighborhood during the day and let their feline in at night, but a majority of veterinarians and pet wellness experts believe this is doing your cat a disservice. If you don't know which decision to make, the following reasons may convince you to keep your cat indoors where he's safe and sound all year long

General Cat Care #1: Before You Bring Your Cat Home
You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.
General Cat Care #2: Feeding
An adult cat should be fed one large or two smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).

Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food (avoid generic brands) two to three times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.


While indoor cats are still susceptible to parasites like fleas, ticks and mosquitoes, they are far less likely to run into an infested animal or carry one of these insects inside when they are indoors 24/7, reports the AmericanHumane.org. Worse yet, your feline could also contract diseases like feline leukemia, infectious peritonitis, distemper and a variety of other potentially life-threatening ailments if he comes in contact with another animal

Safety concerns

General Cat Care #3: Grooming
Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs
General Cat Care #4: Handling
To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the front legs without supporting the rear end.
General Cat Care #5: Housing
Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, he can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, hurt in a fight or poisoned. Also, cats prey on wildlife.

While passing cars may seem like the most obvious threat to your feline, there are a variety of lesser-known concerns that you may not have thought of. If you live in a heavily-wooded area, large animals like coyotes, raccoons, foxes and badgers could cause your feline serious trouble. Even if you live in an urban area, the threat of loose dogs or less-than-friendly feral cats could be another potential danger for your feline

Outdoor toxins

The summer weather comes with its own share of concerns for dog and cat owners alike. Many homeowners are putting down fertilizers and other chemicals that could be potentially poisonous for your cat. Additionally, foreign substances like antifreeze, motor oil and other harsh substances could be ingested and could also prove to be fatal

When you really get down to it, there's no real reason to let your feline roam around outside when he has everything he needs indoors. The Humane Society of the United States suggests starting young with your indoor cat and give him plenty of stimulating toys and furniture to help him get used to his new confines. Keeping your feline indoors is one of the best ways to ensure cat wellness throughout your feline's life, and you may just be lengthening his life span in the process

General Cat Care #6: Identification
If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.
General Cat Care #7: Litter Box
All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat’s box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won’t use a messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent (don’t use ammonia) and refill at least once a week, less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use deodorants or scents in the litter or litter box (especially avoid lemon scent).
Updated: February 24, 2017 — 5:56 pm

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