How to Keep An Outdoor Cat Safe
Here are some tips on how to keep an outdoor cat safe and some steps to take to protect and provide a safer environment for your cat while outdoors.
Keeping your cat safe is a serious concern when you allow your cat to move freely outdoors, as a cat that goes outdoors freely is at risk of many more dangers than a cat that is always indoors.
This is why indoor cats tend to live much longer than outdoor cats.
While you cannot spend the entire time with your cat, there are other ways in which you can track your cat’s activities as a means of keeping them safe.
BREAKAWAY COLLARS FOR CAT SAFETY
The first way is by putting on a collar with identification.
This is an essential first step you should take with a cat who’s going outdoors You should make sure the cat has a collar with an ID tag.
The ID tag should have information such as the cat’s name and your phone number.
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You should also consider a second tag with information that shows your cat is up to date on vaccinations provided by your vet.
The type of collars known as breakaway collars is best because they keep your cat from getting hung up on things which could strangle them.
However, cats are more likely to lose this type of collar since they do breakaway so you may wish to consider a harness instead.
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Another good option is a harness, which has a two-part collar.
The first part is meant to be placed around the neck of the cat and the second part is to be connected under the arms.
All of them have a piece that attaches the two circles together along the back and most have a piece that goes along the chest as well.
This is to keep the collar from choking the cat.
Therefore if you go for this option, ensure the part that is meant to be used on the chest is available.
Cats are less likely to strangle themselves with this type of collar but they can still get snagged by things in the yard.
How to find a good harness
You can find various good harnesses here or at your local pet store.
Once you find a good harness, you need to start acclimatizing the cat to the harness.
You would need to have treats on hand so the cat associates the harness with good feelings.
Also, put it on for a few minutes several times a day until the cat stops paying attention to it then put it on when the cat goes outside.
MICRO-CHIPPING YOUR CAT
You should also consider microchipping your cat.
This is another good option in addition to a collar or harness.
Microchips are small pink rice sized chips that are implanted under your cat’s skin by your vet.
These chips provide your information when scanned but you must keep it up to date online.
In a situation where pets are picked up off the streets, most shelters and vets will check for a microchip so your pet can be returned to you.
LEASH TRAINING YOUR CAT
Another good way to ensure your cat stays safe outdoors is by leash training her.
Leash training provides another option for safety as it prevents your cat from running away to danger when they are with you.
In this case, you would simply go walking with them on a leash just like dogs.
Start Least Training Early
Some cats can be walked on the leash with the help of a harness if the harness is introduced earlier on when the cat is still a kitten.
It is important to start early as when the cat is a kitten, it will make the training process easier for both you and the kitten.
However, you can still do this with an adult cat but it will take more time.
It is worth it though as harnesses are much harder for cats to get out of than regular collars making them more appropriate for walking.
How To Use The Leash On A Cat Properly
Once a cat is acclimated to a harness and a leash, let the leash drag behind the cat around the house while staying nearby to the cat in case the leash gets caught.
Next step is to pick up the leash and follow the cat around.
After this move to the next step which is to tug from time to time and guide the cat’s movements.
Moving Around With A Cat On A Leash
When your cat gets used to it you can start going outside with the cat for short periods.
It is important to always be observant once you are out, so as to quickly prevent any dangers and hazards to your cat for example cars, trucks and dogs.
Finally when moving around with your cat on a leash, avoid being near any object your cat can or would like to climb for example tree stubs, otherwise, you end up in a funny position with the leash in your hand and the cat up there.
USE A METAL CAT FENCE
Adding a good metal fence is another option that can keep your cat safe while outdoors.
A metal fence will help a lot as it is effective in keeping your cat in the yard.
A wooden fence doesn’t work well for cats as they like to climb over it or dig their claws into it.
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This, of course, that means it has to be tall enough so your cat can’t simply leap to the top and over the fence.
Also, don’t buy a chain-link fence as chain-link fence won’t work because your cat can hook their claws or paws over it to climb up the fence.
Block Exits And Remove Items Close To The Fence
You should also look into and block other ways your cat can escape the yard.
The first most likely way is if you have a tree that is very close to the fence. Your cat would use it as a springboard to climb and leap outside.
Aside from trees, you also need to check the area for anything close to the fence that could act as a step for the cat, like chairs, machinery, pieces of wood and more.
Cats are master escape artists and can squeeze through tinier spaces than you would think. Check for those kinds of places and block them off to ensure your cat stays indoors.
Relocate Items Close To The Fence
It may become necessary to relocate items completely from the yard or to other places in the yard if they could allow the cat to escape due to being too close to the fence.
Finally, if the cat keeps escaping, you may have to resort to the cutting of branches or any trees if they are within reach of the fence. You may also need to permanently board up any escape route close to the floor.
Use A screen
Using screen dinner to block a specific area is another option which is used for creating an area where your cats can enjoy the outside air but not be able to leave.
An example will be a screened-in porch or even a small screened-in area just for your cats.
This is a perfect way to give your cats that taste to be outside while still protecting them from dangers.
Normal window screening is not suitable for this purpose as it can be scratched and pulled apart by the cat.
You would need something stronger like “wire mesh hardware cloth” or “Chicken wire chain link”.
All of these can be used to create an enclosure when they are nailed around a wooden frame.
You will also need a solid escape-proof roof to ensure your cat remains within the structure.
Build A Cat Tunnel or Door
A final option here would be to build a cat tunnel or door that can be opened freely. This will allow your cat to use it to move in and out as desired.
SUPERVISE YOUR CAT
If you have the time and energy, you can just stay outside with your cat and monitor her activities.
While you may not be able to keep the cat from escaping out to the road with this method, you can shoo away any other cats or dangers that might enter the yard.
USE A READY MADE CAT CAGE
A ready-made cat cage provides another good option as a cage or kennel.
It can be a serious challenge for some busy individuals with some of the other options provided here.
You can easily order a good cat cage here or buy from a store.
Characteristics of Good Cat Cages
These cages are specifically made to keep cats inside them so you don’t have to worry about strength.
Some of them also come with additional options such as slings that your cat can have fun with or lie in.
To use them, you would simply just pop your cat inside and carry the cage outside.
I hope you enjoyed this article on how to keep an outdoor cat safe.
This article has presented you with many options such as using pet fences, staying right there with your cat to supervise them.
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In addition, you can also obtain the right type of collars, use pet harnesses, fix up a cat cage and more to ensure your cat stays safe.
Go now and keep your cat safe and healthy.
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