Some people think itís kinder to keep their cats outdoors; I disagree for several reasons.
Having worked in animal shelters and having live-trapped feral felines, Iíve seen first hand the horrific tragedies that can befall an outdoor cat. Iíve seen brutalized cats missing eyes or limbs; Iíve seen burned cats, victims of someoneís childish prank or viciousness; and Iíve seen cats riddled with disease, fleas, and mange.
In my opinion, the outdoor dangers far outweigh the advantages of letting cats roam free.
Vehicular Traffic: It is a myth that cats are Ďstreet savvy.í Iíve personally seen many dead cats needlessly run down on our streets and highways.
Other Animals: A cat is usually no match for a dog or a raccoon in a brawl. Coyotes are increasingly turning to felines as a new food source since their normal food sources are rapidly declining.
Cruel Humans: Cat hating humans do all sorts of vile things to torture felines; including setting rat poison out for them, shooting them, and setting them on fire with gasoline.
Outdoor Hazards: Chemically treated lawns present health risks to felines that spend a lot of time on them, and antifreeze, which drips from many vehicles, is often relished by parched street animals. Antifreeze is extremely poisonous to all animals.
Disease: Outdoor cats can catch rabies, feline leukemia, or feline immunodeficiency virus from other outdoor animals.
Parasites: Outdoor cats will inevitably become infested with fleas, ticks, and other nasty little parasites. These parasites can eventually kill them or at least induce unnecessary suffering and infections; and these parasites can also infest your home when your outdoor cat briefly comes indoors.
The latest feline addition to my household was a tiny feral that I live-trapped. She was riddled with fleas, and had severe eye and respiratory infections. Tuffy is now healthy, happy, and living indoors.
Hunting Small Critters: Your well-fed outdoor pet cat will still hunt even though it does not need the food; itís just following its natural instinct. I would rather let my cats Ďhuntí indoor toys than chipmunks, salamanders, squirrels, and lovely little song birds.
Lifespan: Statistics reveal that homeless cats, or cats kept outdoors, have an average life span of 2 to 5 years, while cats that are kept indoors can live to be well over 17 years old.
As a responsible cat owner, you must make the right choice for your furry feline friends, as I think I did for mine.
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