As many of you know, one of mom’s core beliefs is that an indoor life is the only way to ensure your cat is protected from many of the dangerous challenges that are presented when you let your cat free-roam outside.
From predators such as coyotes, foxes, hawks, etc, to fights with other cats, the potential to contract diseases and fleas, being poisoned accidentally or on purpose, being hit by a car or stolen for assorted reasons – an easy way to prevent any and all of those things from happening to your beloved kitty is to keep it inside.
Mom says that she understands that some cats appear to pine for the outdoors, such as the “darter and escape artist” cats – and maybe they do. However it is often because their indoor life is not enriched with enough “catification” to make it interesting for the cat to just hang out inside! But that’s another “conversation” – in the meantime you can check out Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin’s book Catification to read how it’s done.
In the meantime, you think that us cats “have to go outside” and how can you do that safely?
For example you get the idea that cats are inherently safer indoors, but you have a backyard and you would love to let your cat join you in the garden when you are hanging out or have friends and family over…or letting them have a way to independently hang out outside and just enjoy the weather.
And you love taking long walks, a casual stroll through town or in the local park. The thought of doing it with your cat would be so fun! Also mom says certain cultures love to congregate with their beloved pets on a weekend and “show off” and share their love for their pets in a communal setting.
Thankfully there are options and you just need to plan ahead so that there are never any disasters!
MAKE THE GARDEN SAFE:
Make sure all your plants are non-toxic before you plant. Consult ASPCA’s website for a complete listing of all plants by scientific and “known as” names.
Limit as many chemicals as possible in the garden…there are more organic soils, fertilizers, pest control methods, etc coming to the market every season so take advantage of them so you limit the toxins in the garden.
Plant wheat grass and oats in a designated area for the cats for their high nutritional benefits – as well as catnip and catmint.
Most important, consider a cat containment system that attaches to the top of any fence such as Oscillot, which can be easily installed. Fabulously simple! Check out their video and be wowed! Will also keep other wildlife out of your garden too!
PROTECT FROM PREDATORS:
Never leave us in the garden unattended. There are predators who swoop in from the sky and snatch little cats and dogs!
Best option is to get an enclosure – a CATIO – a screened-in porch just for the cats which attaches to the house with an entry “cat door” from the main house into the enclosure. Be sure to include climbing stations and different vertical levels for the cats to sit on as they take in the “outdoor” experience! Put planters in there with wheat grass and catnip for their enjoyment!
WALKING AROUND WITH YOUR CAT:
There are many options for mesh-enclosed strollers to take your cat for a walk safely. Check the internet for sites that carry a selection of strollers!
Some want to walk their cats on a leash – our recommendation is to use a harness, not just a collar. Cats are very slinky and are known for slipping out of things! Harnesses are much more secure and safely control the animal through the chest area.
Mom loves a company called Your Cat Backpack who created the clear bubble “porthole” window for your cat to look out on the world while very secure in its backpack on your back! How cool is that?!
The idea is to determine how you want your cat to experience the outdoors – and then take the appropriate safety actions to protect your kitty outdoors – before you venture outdoors!
All of our recommendations are our opinions based on research and/or personal experience. At no time are we compensated for any of these suggestions.the