Keep Cats Inside
Cats are domestic animals and have been so for over 6,000 years.
Although often described as “independent”, cats depend on humans to protect and provide for them. Cats cannot fend for themselves any better than small children can. You would not let a child wander free, so please don’t let your cats outside either.
What are common threats to outdoor cats?
- Traffic: Most cats allowed to go outside will eventually die from being hit by cars. It is a myth that cats are “streetwise” about cars. Cats are intelligent and alert, but they stand very little chance against fast-moving vehicles.
- Your Local Animal Control: Most municipalities have animal control departments that routinely set traps to catch free roaming cats, whether stray, owned or feral. They are not doing this to be intentionally cruel, but because it is their job as prescribed by the local government. However, These cats are then brought to the local animal shelters or pounds. Many of these cats are free-roaming pets, not just strays or ferals. Only a fraction of these pet cats trapped by animal control will ever be reclaimed by their owners. The vast majority of these pet cats will die in pounds and shelters.
- Outdoor Disease: The worst feline diseases can be prevented by keeping your cat indoors only!
- Rabies and other zoonotic (animal to people transmission) diseases. Rabies is fatal.
- Feline Leukemia, (cat to cat transmission): the vaccine is not 100% effective, and can be carcinogenic to some cats as well. An indoor-only cat does not have to be vaccinated for FeLV. FeLV is fatal.
- FIV, (cat to cat transmission): The feline immunodeficiency virus caught from other outside cats. Similar to human AIDS. FIV is fatal.
- FIP, (cat to cat transmission): feline infectious peritonitis– no reliable vaccine is available. FIP is fatal.
- Parasites: Outside cats are at risk of contracting fleas, ticks, intestinal protozoa, scabies, ear mites and other parasites.
- Poisoning: Unintentional or Intentional poisoning of cats.
- Other animals: Cats, dogs, and wildlife are potential enemies of cats and often engage in fights that leave a cat injured. Outdoor cats can be killed, or can suffer torn ears, cut eyes, abscesses, and other injuries requiring expensive veterinary treatment.
- Cruel People: There are horror stories about cats that come in tarred and feathered, burned, or tortured in some other way by cruel kids or disturbed adults.
- Traps: The HSUS speculates that over 100,000 cats are caught in traps, such as the steel jaw leghold trap, each year. Those who aren’t killed may suffer for days before being released and often lose limbs from the injuries.