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If you have a cat or are thinking about adopting one, you may have heard a variety of opinions about letting them outside alone. Many people claim to have “perfectly healthy” indoor/outdoor cats, while others swear by keeping them inside at all times.

At Bowman Veterinary Hospital, we strongly believe a cat should stay indoors at all times. You can take them for walks or build screened “catios” for them, but they should not be outside unattended.

Here’s why.

There Are a Lot of Dangers For Cats

Today’s domesticated cats are not prepared for life in the wild the way their ancestors were. Even if they were, the dangers today are completely different and there’s no real way for a cat to protect itself.

Yes, there’s a good chance that a cat outside alone will be carried off by a hawk, attacked by a dog, or hurt by another human being. However, there’s an even better chance that they will get electrocuted, stuck in a fence, or hit by a car.

They may also get poisoned, from something as common as antifreeze to rat bait and other common neighborhood toxins. Finally, an indoor-outdoor cat is a lot more likely to get parasites and need urgent treatment.

At Bowman Veterinary Hospital, we see many of these sad cases every day, and we can’t urge you enough to keep your pet safely inside your home.

Outdoor Cats Do Not Stay Close to Home

If you assume that your indoor/outdoor cat stays close to home when you let her out, think again. A study found that suburban cats outside cover an area of 20 acres – even more than farm cats!

This means you really have no idea what your cat is exposed to outside. Maybe there aren’t key predators on your neighborhood street, but are you confident there aren’t any within 20 acres? The same goes for the dangers of dogs, mean and intolerant humans, and dozens of other perils.

You might think everything is fine, because your fuzzy friend comes home every night. I’m glad they do so far. But you never know when they won’t – or if they’ll come back badly injured and in need of an emergency trip to the Bowman Veterinary Hospital.

Cat Bites Are No Small Thing

You might realize that cats are territorial creatures, but you probably don’t know how bad a cat fight can be when it comes to your furry friend. Bite wounds can develop into abscesses when they get infected, causing significant pain and a fever.

Beyond the wounds themselves, cats can get viral diseases from other cat bites. Illnesses like feline leukemia virus (FeLV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and even rabies can come from fighting with another cat.

We love it when you bring your cat for care, but we never want to see your feline pal facing a preventable life-threatening situation at the Bowman Veterinary Hospital.

Keep Your Cat Healthy at Bowman Veterinary Hospital

If you keep your cat indoors, you’ll significantly increase their lifespan. In fact, outdoor cats live an average of three to five years while indoor-only cats average 13 – 17 years.

We hope to see your cat at Bowman Veterinary Hospital only for regular checkups and exams. Of course, we’re available for more serious needs as well. Does your cat need an appointment? Contact us today!