Cats Can Enjoy The Great Outdoors Too!

Cat parents can provide enrichment to their indoor cats by allowing them to spend time outdoors.

Many people do not feel comfortable letting their cats go outside on their own, as dangers exist for the free-roaming cat.  As a result, there are cats that spend all their time indoors; this can lead to other issues such as behavioral problems and obesity.  There are safe ways to introduce your cats to the outdoors and improve their quality of life.

HERE ARE 5 WAYS YOUR CAT CAN SAFELY SPEND TIME OUTSIDE:

  1. Harness and leash walks:

    Cats like to go on walks too. It is a good idea to introduce your cat to wearing a harness as a kitten, however cats can learn how to tolerate a harness at any age.  Cats can learn how to walk on a leash just like dogs do, although cats are more likely to want to go slowly and just sniff and explore. That’s ok – walking a cat is not so much about exercise, and more about letting the cat experience different smells and sights.  Some cats even enjoy the snow!  Let them test it out when there is fresh snow and see if your cat happens to be a snow cat like Gary the Cat, @greatgramsofgary, of Instagram fame.

  2. Harness and long lead:

    If you have a yard that can entertain your cat, you can also use a staked-in lead and let your cat roam around on its own, under your supervision. Do not leave a leashed cat unattended for too long, as you do not want the cat getting tangled up in its lead and injuring itself.

  3. Supervised time in your yard:

    If you have a fenced-in yard and your cat will not tolerate being tied up, you can let your cats explore on their own while being supervised. This is appropriate for cats that will readily come to you when called – they get to sniff around and explore in a safe space while you are watching them and able to retrieve them if necessary.

  4. “Catios”:
    If you live in an area where there are many feral animals, or your cat is prone to escaping your yard, these outdoor enclosures are a perfect way to let your cat be outside while being protected from predators. The catios are usually built as extensions from a window or door of your house, where the cat can go in and out as it pleases through a cat door.  There are many companies that build catios, or you can do-it-yourself if you’re inspired. https://hellascustomcatios.com ; https://spca.bc.ca/news/how-to-build-a-catio/

  5. Backpacks:
    There are many cats that actually enjoy going on adventures with their owner in these carrier backpacks. For cats that are not as good as balancing on top of their owner’s shoulder like Bob the Cat was (@streetcatnamedbob on Instagram), these backpacks are a great alternative to let your cat see the sights along with you.  You can watch Gary the Cat using one if you want to see how it works: @greatgramsofgary on Instagram. https://catexplorer.co/stories-posts/cat-backpacks-for-adventuring-with-your-cat


No matter how your cat ends up enjoying the great outdoors, speak to your veterinary team to make sure your cat is up to date on vaccinations, and is also on parasite prevention to protect them from fleas, ticks, gastrointestinal parasites, and heartworm disease.  It is also recommended to have your cats microchipped and wearing a tear-away collar bearing their rabies and ID tags.

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