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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Indoors Only Is Best

Indoors-Only is Best

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Indoors-Only is Best

Researchers estimate that indoor-only cats live almost twice as long as cats allowed outdoors. The single best way you can ensure that your cat has a long, healthy life is to keep it indoors. The following are just a few of the many dangers your cat will face if you let it outside.

  • While some people believe that cats need to go outside, this simply isn't true. Your cat considers its home its territory. If you keep it inside, its territory is relatively small. If you let your cat outside, however, it will expand its territory--sometimes to several miles! While exploring and protecting its territory, your cat will have to cross busy streets. You can't teach a cat to stay off the road. Millions of cats are killed or maimed by cars each year.
  • Some vaccinations are not 100 percent effective, so your cat can still get sick if it comes into contact with diseased animals. In addition, your cat may not be vaccinated against contagious diseases such as Feline AIDS (in no way related to human AIDS or contagious to humans) and Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), which can kill cats. An outdoor cat is also much more likely to become infested with fleas, worms, ear mites, and other parasites.
  • Dogs and wild animals are also a threat to your cat if it's outside. Cats often don't know enough to back away from a fight, and a domestic cat is no match for a large dog or a wild animal!
  • And yes, there are cruel people out there who will steal your beloved cat if given the chance. People who sell cats and kittens to research labs will snatch your cat when the supply of 'Free to Good Home' kittens runs short.
  • You've probably heard about cats and dogs drinking antifreeze, which is highly toxic yet delicious. Well, outdoor cats are exposed to other toxins as well, such as fertilizers and pesticides.

    The easiest way to train a cat to stay away from the door is to never let it outside. However, you can train an outdoor cat to stay inside by squirting it with water from a squirt bottle each time it goes near the door. It's painless and it works! If your cat cries continuously to go outside, try blocking the windows for a while. Be patient with your cat. It will adjust to life indoors eventually.

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11 Feb 2011 2:01 am

olivertwist said:

Interesting article. But my childhood cat lived outside most of his life (he came in at night to sleep) and lived to the age of 21 and 1/2. We never had any problems with "fleas, worms, ear mites, and other parasites". Our cats have always been raised as indoor at night and then to be outside most of the day and they have all been very happy. I can see your point if you live in the suburbs though where there are other houses and streets a few meters outside of your front door.

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