Green Mountain Animal Defenders*Working to Protect the Well-Being of All Animals Since 1983
Telling a cat guardian that his or her cat should stay indoors often invokes responses such as, "But it's natural for a cat to go outside" and "Cats aren't like dogs they can take care of themselves."
Cats allowed to roam freely often pay with their lives. The average outdoor or indoor / outdoor cat lives for only 2 - 3 years. The average lifespan of an indoor-only cat is 12 - 15 years.
The threats outside are many, so before you let your cat venture outside, please consider all that may be encountered.
Traffic: Most outdoor cats die from being hit by a car. Cats are not "streetwise" they are intelligent, but stand little chance against a motor vehicle.
Disease: Two diseases that kill many cats each year are feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus. Both are highly contagious.
Other Animals: Other cats, dogs and wildlife can be dangerous and can kill or seriously injure a cat.
Poisoning: Poison can be found on chemically treated lawns, bait left out to kill other animals and antifreeze.
Disturbed People: Outdoor cats have been captured, tortured, and killed by cruel individuals. In addition, outdoor cats are targets for people who steal animals to sell to research laboratories.
Leghold Traps: An estimated 100,000 cats are caught in traps each year.
Outdoor cats can also cause problems.
Pet Overpopulation: Unaltered pets can exacerbate the domestic animal overpopulation problem.
Wildlife: Outdoor and indoor / outdoor cats kill millions of birds, mice, chipmunks, and squirrels each year.
Indoor cats can be very happy.
Most cats love to play and doing so helps to keep them healthy. Provide plenty of safe toys to help keep your cat occupied. Many cats enjoy chasing things nontoxic soap bubbles or light spots created with a flashlight or reflective object can be used.
Cats need to scratch and climb. A sisal scratching post at least two feet high is essential. If provided with appropriate things to scratch, most cats will leave other furniture alone.
Declawing is unnecessary, painful, and above all else inhumane.
Most cats thrive when living with with other pets.