Before we get into why keeping your cat indoors is mutually beneficial for you and your feline friend, understand that keeping outdoor cats is prohibited. In Calgary, the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw states that cats must not be "at large". This means they must be confined to their owner's property. The easiest way to comply with this bylaw is to keep cats indoors.
As the weather has been warming up since the arrival of Spring, I have noticed that there are many more cats wondering the streets at night. Allowing your cat to leave the property unsupervised is not only dangerous for the cat, but can also distress other cats in the neighborhood, as well as be destructive. Below are just some of the reasons why you should keep your cat(s) indoors.
They Could be Struck By A Vehicle
This is the first thought that came to mind seeing all these cats roaming free. Obviously, an outdoor cat has a substantially larger chance of being killed by a moving vehicle than an indoor cat. Do not assume that your cat will be aware enough to get out of the way in time, and the same can be said for the driver of the vehicle. Just because you do not live off of a major road does not mean your cat is not at risk. Cats can also tend to hide under vehicles if spooked or frightened by something outside. All it takes is the owner of that car to get it and drive off right at that time to potentially end your cats life.
They Can Get Stuck or Lost
Now, I have personally rescued a cat in the middle of the night with a 24' ladder that had climbed up on a roof in the freezing winter and could get not down. Cats are curious creatures by nature and love to explore new areas, and it's not uncommon for cats to paint themselves into a corner from which they cannot get back themselves. Not every cat has amazing directional and instinctive skills to get home, especially young cats. I have fed and given shelter to stray cats before, and always call the owners if the cat has a tag. I recommend always having a tag on your cat, at the off chance an accident happens and your cat escapes.
Wild Animals Can Hurt Your Cat
Wherever you are, there are always wild animals that could potential hunt, harm or kill your cat. Calgary is home to wild coyotes, bobcats, skunks and raccoons, all of which can cause injury or death to a wandering cat. Larger predators are more bound to the ends of the city limits, where you should ESPECIALLY not have your cat outside, but i have personally seen a coyote off the bow river in downtown Calgary. They find their way in, and are usually very hungry. This is not only limited to animals, some people HATE cats. If your cat has dug up someones garden or pooped in a sandbox, they might not be too happy. It pains me to say that there are some people out there that may harm your cat, so i would never take the risk.
Poisoning & Illness
When your cat stays inside, you have a pretty good idea of what is going in to your cats body. Out of supervision, your cat could be indulging in god knows what. It is definitely harder to monitor your cats eating habits with a cat roaming around outside freely. If your cat falls ill, this will make it much much harder to pinpoint why your cat may be sick. If you would like to provide your cat with outdoor fun, PLEASE make sure it is supervised, and within your property. A kitty harness is an excellent way to provide your cat with safe, outdoor fun in your yard. Pisces recommends: rcpets adventure kitty harness.
Keep Your Cat Happy Indoors
The best way to not feel like you need to let your cat outside is to keep your cat happy inside. A bored kitty can be destructive, be naughty and annoy your for attention. Play with your cat regular, keep them entertained and groom your cat to establish loving bonds (Pisces recommends: Le Salon 2-in-1 Groomer). Provide lots of toys to keep your cat entertained while you are out of the house. If keeping your cat entertained is too time consuming for your lifestyle, you may want to consider bringing home the companionship of a 2nd cat. For more information about fighting feline boredom, please click here to read our blog!