Cats are explorers and hunters, so it can be a difficult conundrum for a pet parent to decide whether to let their cats roam or to keep them cooped up indoors. While allowing a cat to walk and climb will help them to stay healthy and in shape, it can also pose many dangers to them. Read on to learn four of the main major threats to your cat's health if you allow them to wander freely.
Even if you live in an urban area, wild animals may be more common than you think. Raccoons, squirrels, possums, rats, and other wild creatures frequently appear in urban neighborhoods. These animals can potentially be a threat to your cat. Although your cat might think it stands a chance in hunting or fighting these types of animals, all of them can carry harmful diseases, including rabies. In addition, several of them are big and strong enough to cause serious damage if they get into a fight with your cat.
Even if your cat is fixed, feral cats can still pose a problem. Feral cats may decide that your cat is a threat to their breeding grounds or food supply. In this case, your cat may end up in a fight with a feral cat. Other cats can carry cat-specific diseases like FIV, which can be lethal for infected cats. In addition, if your cat is injured or scared, it might flee the area in an attempt to avoid the feral cat. Your cat could end up missing for days, or worse.
When cats roam freely, they can come across all kinds of plants that you don't know about. Many plants are poisonous to cats, including attractive flowers that are frequently found in gardens like orchids and lilies. In addition, some plants can pose a physical threat to your cat, like foxtails. Foxtails can be ingested or get stuck in skin and muscle tissue, causing damage wherever they stick.
Lastly, it's not unheard of for cats to be stolen. Strangers may simply want to have a cat of their own or want to try and return the cat back to you for reward money after you notice it goes missing, or they're interested in selling the cat if it appears to be a rare or popular breed.
Keeping your cat indoors all the time may mean your cat is safer, but it may not be happy about it. Consider using cat fencing supplies around your property to allow your kitty to walk and climb in your own yard, but to not be able to escape and enter other areas that could contain hazards.