Cats Kill Billions…! Why Your Cat Should be an Indoor Cat

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The cat’s prowess is creating quite a buzz due to a recent study.  Nature Communications, who publishes biological, physical and chemical science research articles, reported that cats kill billions of birds and small mammals each year – estimated to be as much as 20 billion.  As you can imagine, that is having a big impact on wildlife.  That may be reason enough to make sure your cat stays in-doors but an increasing number of animal shelters are requiring that you keep your adopted cat indoors, not allowing him outdoors. There are many dangers outdoors that await cats. These perils can be avoided simply by keeping your cat indoors:

Disease:

There are two major diseases that are passed from cat to cat: feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus. Feline leukemia is much like human leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus (or FIV) is the equivalent to human HIV. Both of these diseases will eventually kill the cat. If your cat is outdoors, he will be more likely to catch one of these diseases from other cats in the neighborhood. However, if your cat is an indoor cat, it would be next to impossible for him to catch either one of these feline diseases.

Parasites:

Outdoors cats are exposed to ticks, fleas, worms, and ear mites. They can avoid these completely if kept indoors. Plus, you can save some money on preventative medicine, vet visits, or treatments for these parasites.

Poisoning:

There are a few poisons cats often come in contact with outdoors. This includes antifreeze, which tastes sweet but is deadly, as well as rat or insect baits or poisons, and lawn chemicals.

Cruel People:

There are some mean people out there who find it amusing to torture cats. It’s horrible what these sick people will do to cats: burn them, chase them, trap them, and even kill them. Some people will actually steal an outdoor cat and sell the cat to research facilities.

Other Animals:

Cats are very territorial. If they are resting at their favorite spot in the woods, and another animal comes along, a fight is sure to ensue. They will fight with other cats, dogs, raccoons, foxes, and other wildlife. They can get injured or worse.

Traps:

Cats get caught in hunting traps all too often. Those who are not found right away or killed by the trap right away will suffer until they eventually die from their injuries. Some will be released only to lose a limb.

Traffic:

Too many cats are killed by cars alone, especially as kittens. Cats are fast and alert animals, but they are unfortunately no match for a speeding vehicle.

If your cat is already an outdoor cat, you can still make the change to have your cat indoors full-time. Reduce the amount of time your cat goes outside each day, and make the indoors more fun for him. Set aside at least 30 minutes a day for play time with your cat. Get some exciting toys for him to play with indoors, and invest in a cat condo so he has somewhere high to rest. It can take a couple of weeks or longer for your cat to get used to the change. If he remains stubborn, you can also invest in an outdoor enclosure so he can go outside without being exposed to the many threats.

Keep your cat indoors and enjoy your cat for up to 25 years or longer. He will be healthier and happier as an indoor cat.

Photo: Courtesy of opethpainter via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

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Nicky LaMarco has been a freelance writer since 2001. Nicky is an experienced ghostwriter and copywriter. She also writes for a variety of magazines. Nicky lives in Maine with her husband, two daughters, and two cats. Learn more about her at www.nickylamarco.com.

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