EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Cats are up to a lot these days online, whether it’s going on hikes, or lounging on a screened-in “catio”, but what do veterinarians think about the great outdoors for our feline friends?
Cats make up about 30 to 40 of Easthampton Animal Hospital‘s patients but when it comes to outdoor-related injuries that can actually play a huge factor for them.
“Both hit by cars as well as certain predatory things. We have seen cats who’ve been attacked by coyotes.” Kirsten Losert Easthampton Animal Hospital
Doctor Kirsten Losert said she recommends owners keep their cats indoors especially because indoor cats tend to live longer. She said cats are also an invasive species and because they’re predators, the songbird population is on the decline.
She said keeping cats indoors does not negatively impact the quality of life for your cat especially if you take steps to keep them from getting bored.
“I actually have bird feeders on my second-floor windows and my cats really enjoy watching the birds but yet my birds are safe.” Kirsten Losert Easthampton Animal Hospital
Doctor Losert said “catios” or screened-in spaces for your cat can be a great alternative that’s growing in popularity. Another trend online, taking your cat for a walk. Losert said walks can be an option as well but you want to make sure the harness fits your cat.
“If you can train your cat to do it, the younger you start, the better. Some cats are really great and are out there with their people. Other cats are like absolutely I do not want anything to do with this. It really depends on their personality.” Kirsten Losert Easthampton Animal Hospital
Doctor Losert said if you are going to let your car outside one thing you can make sure you do is to have your cat spayed or neutered.
“They’re more at risk for getting things like feline leukemia, feline aids if they’re outdoors and exposed to other cats. So vaccination would be really important.” Kirsten Losert Easthampton Animal Hospital
Your cat should also have a collar with a tag on it and you can also get them microchipped in case they get lost.