We all know that it’s not terribly safe for cats outside. There are lots of dangers that outdoor cats face which their indoor friends do not. There are cars that can run us over and sometimes even mean people that wish to do us harm. There are predators, like coyotes, that look at us as dinner.
These are just a few of the dangers. There are many more, probably way too many to list them all here. Sometimes our own habits can get us into trouble. Like in the kitty cam study that showed some of the cats in the study exploring the local sewer system. I mean, can you say yuck!!
Still, I like a bit of outdoor adventure and I know many of my feline friends do as well. Who wants to be cooped up inside 24/7! So what’s a cat to do?
My friends at CATalyst Council have some answers to that question. They have suggested a couple of ways for us to be able to enjoy being outdoors while staying safe.
Firstly, they suggest taking a walk with your cat. You can fit a harness on your cat and walk him or her that way. Yes, we can learn to walk on a harness! Or you can put your cat in a pet stroller and take a walk.
Taking a walk is nice but I really like the second idea. Creating an enclosed space outside for your cat. Some people call these spaces catios. I really like that word…catio. Don’t you think it’s just the most purrific word?
Anyway, I like the idea of lounging outdoors in a catio. A thoughtful cat owner might even put some catnip plants or cat grass in the catio for their cat. Maybe a few perches to relax on. And don’t forget to include a nice soft bed – for cat napping. Some toys for entertainment would be good too. And for those hot summer days, keep a water bowl full for your cat and make sure there’s plenty of shelter away from the sun or free access back indoors.
Now, I ask you, what could be more purrfect than spending a lazy afternoon hanging out on the catio? Personally, I can’t think of a thing unless maybe it would be curling up next to my human on the couch for some attention or a good snooze.
Oh, one more thing. If you are going to allow your cat outdoors in a supervised fashion, Catalyst Council recommends checking with your veterinarian to make sure your cat is adequately protected against fleas, ticks and other parasites. I agree. I don’t want to get any of those! And regular trips to your veterinarian are a necessity anyway.