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keeping cats indoors permanently

If you let your cat roam, stand by this unless medically inadvisable. Whether you’re attempting to rescue a neighborhood stray or you’ve decided to keep your indoor/outdoor cat indoors for good, the change won’t be easy. It will also, theoretically, protect your cat from predators and wild animals. The use of repellents is also known to be effective in keeping stray cats away. A sandpit, for example, will give your cat an opportunity to dig. Keeping your cat as a house cat will help keep them away from busy roads, but some indoor environments can become predictable and boring, leading to stress, inactivity and obesity. Some will stalk anything that moves, others are more selective. Some cats will be happy to lay on your clothes to experience these smells. As discussed, indoor cats typically live longer. The scent of your clothing will also pique a cat’s curiosity. Try different types of toys that allow your cat to stalk, chase, pounce and kick. The outside world is where a cat can embrace its natural instincts. These range from the comparatively minor to the gravely serious. There are clear positives of keeping a cat inside permanently. Equally likely is the potential to eat a poisonous plant or berry. A lack of stimulation can lead to behavioral issues. The cat has entered estrus, aka heat. Unfortunately, keeping cats indoors also poses health risks. Also read our tips for finding a lost pet. With dominant cats, this can take some time. If your cat has assigned territory in the home, this should not be a concern. If you cannot physically tend to your cat, ask a friend or neighbor to help out. This can lead to retribution. Top 20 Reasons to Keep Cats Indoors To Protect Wildlife and Humans. A well cared for indoor cat will be provided with abundant food, warmth, protection and stimulation. There are certainly some disadvantages to preventing a cat from roaming. This can leave a cat frustrated and cantankerous. While cats enjoy toys, Behavioral Processes finds that many prefer human interaction and food. This training takes time and patience, for both you and the cat, and it's easiest when your cat is young. Or just buy a bunch of things cats like! A feline's front and back claws may seem insignificant, but they are essential for climbing, hunting, defending, and territory marking. Cats loathe unsanitary conditions. When letting your cat out for the first time, you must stay calm. These are viral infections comparable to the flu. The cat may rail against this initially. Cats can be trained to accept your decisions, though. Animals claims that 15% of cats are lost and never recovered within five years of adoption. All felines have different levels of predatory drive. The outside world is an endless source of fascination for indoor cats. To keep your cat safe in the yard, you could set up a play pen. Unless you’re prepared for a litter of kittens, keep your cat indoors. It does mean that you must respect your cat’s need for space, though. It will assume that it has a reason to be afraid of the outdoors. Even indoor cats should still be outfitted with a collar and visible identification. Jacque Lynn Shultz from the ASPCA notes that indoor-only cats live an average of 10-12 years, while outdoor-only cats survive only an average of 2 years. Fill this with litter rather than sand. What it does not know is what you do. Yes. It will keep cat away from plants and digging the soil out of boredom, and will also be a great distraction from the unwanted behavior as cats react better to praise rather than punishment. Kittens who are kept indoors are usually happy to stay there as they grow up. Move Your Plants Your cat will pick up on this. If your indoor cat suddenly wants to go outside, consider why this may be. An unspayed female that shows sudden interest in going outside usually has one explanation. If your cat stays inside, it will not meet other animals – domesticated or wild. It can be particularly hard for cats to cope with living indoors if they have lots of energy, love to explore and have previously been allowed time outdoors. You must be aware of this and remain vigilant about cleaning. At the very least, stir cat litter multiple times a day. Advantages and Disadvantages of an Indoor Cat. Cats who are kept indoors can reach the ripe old age of 17 or more years, whereas outdoor cats live an average of just two to five years. Prevention – or, in this case, protection – is always better than cure. 2. Make no mistake, though; cats want to hunt. Feral cats are only expected to live an average of 3 years. CATS INDOORS PLEDGE. It also prevents a cat hunting and killing birds. Most of the time, these accidents are fatal. My friend Linda also got a cat enclosure. Humans have been debating whether felines should remain indoors since cats were domesticated. Your cat knows that you go out every day. You need to make a choice that benefits you and your cat. A senior cat may not detect a vehicle approaching until it is too late. Oftentimes, threadworm infestations stem from water or soil that contain eggs. Others may never have been trained on how to enter or leave the home this way. The HSUS's tax identification number is 53-0225390. Cats are governed by survival instinct. These include traffic accidents, contagious sickness, toxicity and intervention from humans with ill intent. Feline herpesvirus or calicivirus, for example, spread like wildfire among cats. Eventually, though, a cat can be tempted out of hiding. This is because remaining inside offers a cat a measure of protection. Cars kill about 5.4 million cats each year, making them the deadliest killer to outdoor cats. Cats love to look out of the window. Instead of letting your cat back outside as soon as they're finished eating, keep them inside for increasing periods of time. With this in mind, spaying a cat that you have no intent to breed is advisable. This does not mean that felines always make the best decisions, though. Remove any clumping litter and scoop any waste. This can be heart-breaking for owners and cats alike. This is the classic cat “training” technique. Cats who live indoors live longer and healthier lives since they’re exposed to less threats like aggressive animals, cruel humans, toxic or poisonous substances, and diseases. Whether a cat should remain indoors depends on a range of factors. Consider your neighbors in this too, though. Provide a screened porch for your cat to experience the outdoors safely. Cats … Be sure your cat does not end up stuck in a tree, either. It is undeniable that there are pros and cons to both sides of the argument. If you can, locate the cat tree next to a window so your cat can watch the action outdoors. The collar and visible ID could help someone get your pet back to you. A cat keeping one eye closed all…, Cats are solitary creatures, often unused to sharing. Others want to see them firsthand. Cats are natural stimulations seekers. The life expectancy of most domesticated felines is between 15 and 20 years. Senior cats are actually less likely to be involved in a road traffic accident. Sign up to receive our exclusive e-book full of training techniques, problem-solving and important information about caring for your pet. In addition, leave curtains or drapes open. Do not get complacent. To coach your…. We also need to consider that cats can be aggressive and combative by nature. The fewer hazards a cat faces, the likelier it is to prolong its lifespan. A cat left unsupervised may inadvertently poison itself. A cat will be fertile for her entire natural life and continue to enter estrus cycles. There are four primary explanations for this shift in priorities. The same applies to cats. 2021 can be the year YOU become a hero for all animals. Larger perches can attach to the side of a house or ground-floor apartment patio. Install a perch indoors near a sunny window; padded perches can be purchased at many pet supply stores or through catalog retailers. A domesticated cat is unlikely to be this ambitious. Naturally, there is a big difference between cats roaming for a few hours and feral felines. Outdoor cats eat or drink from these sources and find themselves infested. It’s safer for all concerned to keep the cat inside. You can help reduce that number by keeping your pet cat safely indoors, on a leash, or within an outdoor enclosure. This can lead to wounded skin and diseases of the blood. Do not let your cat push its luck too far, though. Some of the dangers that stray and feral cats remain, though. Plant cat grass (available from pet supply stores) in indoor pots so your feline can graze. Keeping Cats Entertained Indoors Cats need mental and physical stimulation, quite a lot of it. If necessary, bring a little of the outside to your indoor cat’s life. The cat may then flee, likely leaving the yard in the process and going missing. An indoor-only lifestyle for a cat is often chosen by an owner, mainly due to fear for their own cat’s welfare and concern for wildlife populations. Take her to the veterinarian at least once every year for lifesaving vaccines, as well as parasite screening and treatment. Some cats can even be harnessed and tied to a stationary object to enjoy the outdoors while you are gardening nearby (but be sure to never leave your cat alone while they are tethered). Contributions to the HSUS are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. What’s more, you’ll need to be vigilant. Keeping cats indoors removes access to these hazards. You could fit your outdoor cat with a belled collar. Cats that do not embrace their natural instincts grow distressed and bored. Prevention is the best first step. If your cat stares out the window for hours, for example, it is showing hunting instinct. Ensure that your cat has appropriate privacy, and more importantly, a quiet place to nap. Your cat is unlikely to return home until she has mated. What is true, though, is that indoor cats are likelier to live longer. The Journal of Veterinary Behavior confirms that prolonged playtimes reduce the likelihood of unwanted behaviors. Be careful about this habit. © 2020 The Humane Society of the United States Privacy Policy & Terms. A Cat Enclosure to Keep an Indoor Cat From Escaping Cat enclosures can be a godsend to indoor cats. This can include aggression and destructive behavior. If your cat is willing to accept living this way, it remains advisable. The cat may happen across a dangerous human food. Cats in estrus emit constant pleas to intact males and announce their availability through scenting. Altering Your Cat’s Behavior Spay or neuter your cat. Applied Animal Behavior Science confirms this claim. Your cat cannot fall pregnant, but it can impregnate another. This is typically related to indoor cats, though. 1. The onus is upon you as an owner to meet your cat’s needs, though. This will provide limits to how far your cat can wander. This does not mean that felines are anti-social loners. For your cat to express fondness for you physically…, Onychectomy is the process of removing a cat’s claws. Indoor cats can grow bored and territorial. There is a flip side to this, though. Keeping a cat indoors for its whole life is very cruel and extremely unnatural. It is impossible to make any guarantees about a cat’s lifespan. If your cat is desperate to hunt, it can become frustrated by inability to do so. Older cats often have limited sight and hearing. If your cat is home all day, it will grow used to being alone. If you do lose your cat, contact your local animal shelter immediately to file a report. Even if this is not the case, a cat can be seriously injured. It’s a simple equation. You will need to combat this within the home. There are certainly more benefits to this decision than drawbacks. Boredom can also lead to overeating and obesity. Indoor cats do not get hit by cars. Ensure that your cat has plenty of to do. If you do not want your cat to go outside, it is your choice. Cats are not always fulsome about their feelings. The Humane Society of the United States is registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. and are at far less risk of contracting parasites and infectious diseases such as the feline immunodeficiency virus. So, surely this means that the only thing that could be better than owning one cat is two cats.…, Cat are born hunters that usually have wide open, alert eyes. Felines lack basic road sense. Cats are innately curious, and prone to imitation. The biggest danger of keeping cats at home is boredom. A regular fence may not prevent other animals from entering your yard, so you should always be present when you allow your cat outside in your yard. Do not handle animal feces or urine with bare hands, and wash hands immediately after incidental contact. Please enable Javascript and refresh the page to continue That means near-constant cleaning of litter trays. Wherever possible, socialize your cat to a minimal acceptable standard. The explanation for this simple. My mother hated cats and demanded that our pets weren’t allowed permanently indoors and that it was a waste of money to bring any animal to the veterinarian. Place one where you want the litter box to permanently reside, and put the transitional box at the door the cat once used to exit the house. Reply STOP to opt out. Be sure to cat-proof the yard by checking that your fence has no escape routes and by making toxic plants, garden chemicals and other dangerous objects inaccessible. Indoor Cats Do Not Get Hit by Cars. A cat that stays inside cannot run away and get lost. 8. This will simply add to the feline overpopulation problem. If humans spend too much time alone, we become set in our ways and less tolerant. 3. If your cat stays inside, it will soil its litter multiple times per day. In addition, the hunting of birds is considered a significant problem. To decide whether to keep your cat indoors, think about the pros and cons of this lifestyle. There are a number of pros and cons involved in terms of cats being allowed outside versus cats being kept in the home. Indoor cats with appropriate stimulation are happy and healthy. It is likely that an outdoor cat will experience conflict. While simple, this technique only works if you are home most of the time and can keep a personal eye on your plants. This will not reduce hunting instinct, though. Some cats will just get sneakier and make mischief when you are not home, but some will dev… Alternatively, it could be a stray or feral cat. Create the ideal environment for your cat. Indoor cats are at lower risk for injuries associated with the outdoor environment (cars, trains, dogs, predators, humans, etc.) Owned, free-roaming cats kill over 700 million birds in the U.S. each year. These cats are protected from traffic, disease and aggressive animals. Cats are not pack animals. Of course, keeping a cat indoors does not just protect the cat. Your cat will likely wail and howl near constantly. If it cannot claim more land, it will take everything within an acceptable radius. It also prevents local birds or rodents from being hunted. Buy a ready-made cat tree (often called a "kitty condo"), or make your own. Assign your cat territory in the home and respect its boundaries. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to feline care, though. Play with your cat each day. Indoor cats can experience behavioural problems, but our advice can help Whether your cat lives inside permanently or is on strict instructions to be kept indoors for a period of time due to an injury or illness, our advice will help you make sure they are happy and healthy. What matters most is that you are consistent. If your cat does go outside while in heat, there will only be one outcome. These may cling to your clothing and latch onto a cat. This, in turn, means the cat is less likely to struggle with parasitic infestations. My reasons for keeping my cats indoors is due to being traumatized from owning outdoor cats while growing up. Every location you go to will leave scent reminders of unvisited – and thus potentially unclaimed – territory. A feline with no experience of other animals will be especially cantankerous. This is how cats end up visiting other homes – sometimes growing reluctant to return. The more time a cat spends outside, the shorter its estimated lifespan. If you retain a strong bond, your cat is unlikely to turn on you. When you've tired out your cat, store toys that could harm them (such as toys with strings attached) out of reach. These include: These are just some of the considerations that you’ll need to make. Equally, older cats are often arthritic. Outdoors cats, meanwhile, need to live by their wits. Have a spray bottle of water handy, and give your cat a spritz when they get near your plants. The only exception to this rule is when your cat is dozing. They also require more maintenance and must have hunting instincts satisfied. The cat will turn this frustration on you. If you want an indoor cat, keep your cat home at all times. Determined cats can escape from gardens. She is keen to get out and mate with an eligible tomcat. This means that cats attempt to dominate each other. All cats need a little time to themselves on occasion. While keeping a cat indoors is not cruel, indoor cats aren't entirely immune to problems and dangers. It will become an issue if you ever decide to adopt a second pet, though. You can buy special leads and harnesses for cats, in order to take them out walking on the lead in the same way that you would a dog. This does not necessarily need to be a problem. 03 января 2017 Sue Hartley ответила: I think my answer to that would be that it’s much more difficult to meet a cat’s needs when they’re kept purely indoors. There are many circumstances in which keeping a cat indoors may be safer for the cat and therefore, arguably, better for the cat. That means every room, every piece of furniture and everything you own. If you live in a peaceful neighborhood in which you can walk without encountering loose dogs, consider buying a harness and training your cat to walk on a leash. Permanently identify dogs and cats through microchip implantation. Indoor cats typically enjoy a longer life expectancy and better health. When you can't be there to supervise, leave out "toys" such as paper bags (with the handles removed) or cardboard boxes. The latter can irritate a cat’s nasal passages. Cars kill more cats per year than the number of cats that are killed … Hunting games, played at least twice a day, should satisfy a cat’s instincts. It's a myth that going outside is a requirement for feline happiness. It also keeps local wildlife safe! In her article, Should You Let Your Cat Go Outdoors? A cat that previously roamed will struggle with a change in the status quo. Play with your cat. You have to follow cats where they want to go. Outdoor domestic cats are a recognized threat to global biodiversity. Many owners also sleep better at night knowing their cat is home. Ideally, such cats should never have been allowed outdoors, so … Here are our top seven reasons to keep your cat indoors. This can make it slightly ill-tempered and belligerent. These cats are protected from traffic, disease and aggressive animals. If you do not wish to do so, make your cat as comfortable as possible. If you constantly interrupt a cat, though, it will look to leave the home for some peace and quiet. Shelter workers can give you tips on getting your pet back home safely. Keeping a cat in heat indoors can be a test of endurance. Cats have contributed to the extinction of 33 known species and continue to adversely impact a wide variety of other species, including those at risk of extinction. I'm experienced in all cat health-related matters, behavioral issues, grooming techniques, and general pet care. But…, Cats can develop a sudden phobia of using a cat flap. How Do Cats Show Dominance To Other Cats. My husband, an engineer, once built one for our gang out of scrap wood and chicken wire. If the cat was ever box trained, she will likely fall right back into the habit. Luckily, cats can find enjoyment from playing with almost anything. If your cat does not venture outside, it will not find itself disoriented and disconnected. Potentially just as dangerous are stings and bites from insects. If your neighbors are bird lovers, they may use tables and seed to attract avian visitors. Indoor cats are less likely to struggle with parasite infestations, though. In addition to hunting, cats are instinctively driven to climb, dig and claim territory. Make sure an adult supervises your kitty’s outdoor time to ensure strays cannot come into contact with her. You need to decide whether your cat should remain indoors or be free to roam. That includes access to multiple rooms, toys and puzzles, and exercise apparatus such as climbing trees. Consider building or purchasing a "catio" or similar enclosure to allow your cat to get a taste of the outside without the risks. But I don't think it is cruel to keep cats indoors. They will not appreciate your cat attacking birds on their property. Fleas, for example, will happily leap from one animal to another. When it's cold outside, help your kitty discover the great indoors, Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity. It may have lost its bearings and found itself stray. Cats do not experience a menopause. Cats are born hunters. Estrus is a challenging time for both feline and owner. More importantly, it will ensure your cat does not start eliminating outside the litter box. Message and data rates may apply. Try to eliminate the factors that are attracting cats in the first place. Keep her on a leash or secured in a cage or other confined space where she can’t get out (and other cats can’t get in). This could be a local pet with owners that cannot cope with kittens. For others, it is an act of love. The female wants to mate, and any intact male will be willing to oblige. The way to resolve this is through play. Introduce new sensations and scents to capture the imagination. Keeping cats indoors permanently can be a great way to keep them healthy. Forget what you may have heard – it is not, “cruel” to keep a cat inside. Your cat will look for, and seize upon, any opportunity to escape. Allow your cat to roam around your back yard. Most cats are already resistant to sharing their home. As with all things, though, a balanced perspective is required. Expect to be scratched, clawed and hunted. Privacy Policy and The scientists concluded that keeping cats indoors could cut the risk of the pets picking up infections, but also passing illnesses on to humans, other pets, and wildlife. There are negatives to keeping cats at home. If this turns physical, bites and scratches are inevitable. My best friend has 7 indoor cats and they are all just fine. Other repellents include eucalyptus, citronella, and … Most of these repellents have strong odors disliked by feral cats. Keeping a cat indoors at all times removes this risk. Since cats have superior smelling abilities, they are extremely sensitive to scent based cat repellents. And your cat may become frightened and make their way outside if strangers come to work on your house or if there is a fire or similar disaster. Get rid of the bird feeder, put a lid on the sandbox and keep tight fitting lids on the garbage cans. It's possible for indoor cats to become bored, which can lead to stress and behavior issues. Such include ground coffee, fresh lemon/orange peels, commercial cat repellents, and lavender. As a result of this, I had many many cats come and go as a child. Get started by taking ABC's Cat's Indoors Pledge today. If your cat is female and unspayed, pregnant is a lifelong possibility. If you have a safe balcony, roof garden or enclosed area, you may be able to cat-proof it adequately so tha… Even the most pampered indoor cat may face tragedy, such as an unexpected and unavoidable illness. This can make the cat particularly territorial within the home. This is one of the easiest ways to keep a cat … Road traffic accidents are arguably the biggest danger to roaming cats. Part of the appeal of roaming outside for cats is expanding claimed territory. Under some circumstances, I accept that there are strong arguments for keeping cats indoors permanently. You may not know this until it is too late. 2. It may have designs on territory outside the four walls of a home, though. If you're starting your cat's retraining during the winter, a warm, dry bed to snuggle in may be just the ticket to convince them to stay inside. While few people shed tears over dead mice, eating rodents can be dangerous for cats. Do not allow any anxiety to show. If your cat seems desperate to get outside, consider whether this is the case. Equally, do not let your cat grow actively hostile to visitors or family members. Sharing your home with a cat is a very rewarding experience. You just need to provide an appropriate lifestyle. You just need to help the cat understand that you are in charge. If your cat does survive a car accident, they usually have severe injuries that will require surgery or … Outdoor cats, meanwhile, can become grizzled veterans, learning how to survive over time. This is preferable to attempting to track down a lost cat and fearing the worst. Our Cats Indoors program educates the public and policy makers about the many benefits to birds, cats, and people when cats are maintained indoors or under an owner's direct control. To prevent roaming and limit predation, keep dogs on a leash or behind a fence and keep cats indoors. You should still supervise this. Indoor cats are pampered pets, with their every need met. Richard earned his degree in journalism in 2008. This can lead to health and behavioral problems. The cat may not have intended to flee permanently. For some people, keeping a cat indoors permanently is considered cruel. You should also ensure your cat is not alone for too long. Although only about 10% of pet cats in the UK are believed to live permanently indoors, this figure is increasing, and is already much higher in the USA, where keeping cats indoors is encouraged. This is especially common if you have a strong bond. Lack of stimulation and exercise can lead to obesity and behavioral issues, including over grooming, over eating, picking on companion pets, and self-mutilation. Indoor cats can still develop parasites, especially fleas. This keeps your cat healthy, reducing the risk of bacterial urinary tract infections. The Journal of Zoology explains how cats reduced the sparrow population of an English village by 30%. 1. This suggests that older cats understand the danger of traffic and moderate their behavior accordingly. Be sure to switch the toys from time to time so that they seem "new" and more interesting to your cat. Of greater concern are conditions like ringworm and even rabies. Indoor cats are at lower risk for injuries associated with the outdoor environment (cars, trains, dogs, predators, humans, etc.) He is the proud owner of 5 adult cats (all adopted strays), including a senior cat who is now 20. Factor this into your decision. All being well, you will meet these needs in the home for an indoor cat. For the former indoor/outdoor cat, a two-box system filled with fine-grain, clumping litter works best. Few animals are more determined than a feline in heat. With the cold weather upon us, here are some tips for making the great indoors an interesting, feline-friendly environment that meets all of your cat's needs. There are many circumstances in which keeping a cat indoors may be safer for a cat and therefore, arguably, better for the cat. As per Veterinary Record, the likelihood decreases by 16% for every year of age. Terms of Service apply. Good fences = happy kitties Provide a screened porch for your cat to experience the outdoors safely. By keeping a cat inside, it is less likely to fall foul to aggressive insects. If the cat has somewhere it can cool off without being disturbed, it will remain happy. This can become problematic in indoor felines. Your cat wants to make sure you are not visiting other felines. I don't know if she will ever stop meowing at the door. Cars. In addition, indoor cats are less likely to develop worms. Cats are actually safer indoors because they aren't running into other animals or diseases. A cat will not act like a dog on a leash. For extra insurance, consider having your cat microchipped and keep your contact information with the microchip registry up to date. It provides great climbing opportunities and, in multi-cat households, creates more play and rest areas by taking advantage of vertical space. I'm Richard, the lead writer for Senior Cat Wellness. You could also work to satisfy your cat’s wild instincts in the yard. With indoor cats, a common spray target is either at the window where the outdoor cat was seen or on the wall opposite the window.

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