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Keeping your cat indoors

More and more cat owners are realising the dangers of allowing their cats to roam freely outdoors.  Cats that are allowed to roam freely outdoors can have a much shorter lifespan than cats which are safely confined by their owners.  Outdoor roaming cats have an average lifespan of just 3 years compared to confined cats that can live to 15 years or more.

Cats at the very least should be kept indoors overnight and some councils have introduced by-laws to enforce a curfew from dusk to dawn.  You can contact your local council to find out if a cat curfew applies in your area.

Keeping your cat indoors means that you get to spend more quality time with your cat.

Indoor cats are safe from:

  • Cars.  Cats can be injured or killed, or cause an accident, if allowed near roads.
  • Cat fight injuries.  The most common injury from cat fights is an abscess.  Abscesses are incredibly painful and can require costly veterinary treatment. Diseases such as FIV can also be transmitted during cat fights.
  • Humans.  To reduce neighbour disputes and any potential harm to your cat it is safer to confine your cat to your property.
  • Wildlife.  Preventing your cat from hunting wildlife and reducing the risk of your cat contracting diseases, fleas, lice, ticks or worms from other animals.
  • Dogs.  Cats can be killed or seriously injured in dog attacks.

Keeping your indoor cat happy

Cats can live happily indoors as long as they have a climbing and scratching pole, food and water, a litter tray, toys and of course your love and attention.

Other ways you can keep your indoor cat entertained include:

  • High resting places.  Cats love to perch up high as it allows them to survey their surroundings and makes them feel secure.
  • Enclosed spaces.  Cats love to hide.  It allows them to get away from people and other animals.
  • Bedding.  Cats like to spend a lot of time sleeping and resting in quiet areas where they feel safe and secure.
  • Additional sights and sounds.  Some cats love to watch birds, insects, fish in aquariums and even nature footage on TV.

More suggestions on creating a safe and interesting environment for your cat are available in the Good Cats Play at Home booklet.