One of the things I enjoy the most about having a house cat is seeing her in the garden every day. I love watching her run, climb a tree, or just laze in the sun watching the world go by. In our house, it is part of our life, our companion. In the garden, I enjoy her bold and resourceful free spirit.
Although I know there are dangers outdoors, the benefits of letting cats out far outweigh the risks. Do not forget that there are also dangers inside our homes. the vast majority of “strictly indoor” cats often die from the same diseases of old age … kidney failure and cancer. Meanwhile, the cats that have enjoyed the streets have had full and interesting lives, and the opportunity to be cats free from human rules and the roller coasters their lives turn into when they stay home day after day.
As you will be able to read many articles about the dangers of letting cats out, I am going to focus on the advantages of letting your cat out in the field and garden . If you live in a house that has a garden or the countryside is very close, I encourage you to let it out so that it can enjoy the benefits of a little fresh air and sunlight without being filtered through the windows.
Why you should let your cat out of the house
These are the six reasons why you should let your cats out.
- Health:numerous studies show that house catsare more likely than outdoor cats to suffer from stress-related illnesses such as bladder stones and crystals, allergies and irritable bowel disease. As long as they are contained, supervised, and safely protected from the elements, time outside is one of the best health benefits you can provide your cat.
- Less shedding:Cats that go outside shed hair in the spring and fall to prepare for the next season. But house cats lose year-round due to more constant temperatures and indoor lighting. Unfiltered sunlight and changing temperatures help your pet’s coat cycle through more shedding outside. normal and, as a result, healthier and more complete. Sunlight also has great healing powers and helps the body convert and use several important vitamins.
- Prevents boredom, depression, and obesity: Providing a stimulating and engaging environment that encourages activity for house catscan be difficult. That is one of the reasons why so many indoor cats sleep and eat too much. Instinct tells cats to run, hunt, and explore. Without these psychological needs being met, they eventually become depressed. In the ever-changing world of the outdoors, there is always something new and interesting to explore.
- Relieves stress and increases their tolerance: Cats that stay indoors live in a static environment and always the same. So the smallest change can be stressful and create behavior problems. Cats that come out tend to be more flexible and able to cope with change. They also tend to be more tolerant of humans they don’t know well.
- It gives them security against changes in their life:cats that are used to being outside know what to do in case they are faced with any contingency. And they can move to living completely outside if a family member becomes allergic or other circumstances change. Two of the main reasons cats die in shelters are allergies, and litter box problems.
- Encourage their free spirit: Many behaviorists claim that cats are very close to their wild ancestors. Some believe that they are not domesticated. Letting cats out allows them to breathe fresh air, run, hunt, and do whatever instinct tells them to do. And they can get away from our human rules, moods, and emotions, even if only for a couple of hours.
How to prevent my cat from escaping from the garden
Leaving your cat in the field or garden doesn’t necessarily mean just opening the door and letting it go. You must adopt a series of measures to keep your cat safe outside the home.
Train your cat to accompany you on your walks in the garden. Most cats love hanging out with their human companions outside, and if you’re in the garden, your cat will probably stay with you. Take a walk in the garden together, work in the garden, or just sit on the grass and enjoy the sun and fresh air. If your cat wanders further than you want him to go, don’t run after him. A cat can escape from a human at any time. Walk a few steps behind him and pick him up when he stops to eat some grass or watch a bird fly by. When you come back inside, give him some treats or a reward for coming in whenever you want.
Try to walk your cat with a harness , especially if you venture far from its “territorial limits”. It takes time, but it will reward you for the effort, getting it used to wearing a harness will allow you to drive, take it to the vet etc …
Another possibility to purchase or build a catio for your cats . It doesn’t have to be complicated, just big enough that the cats have room to run around and chase the bugs that fly by. The so-called catios or patios for cats are protected outdoor areas enabled for them.
There is also a kind of “invisible fence”; It has a cable with which you establish a perimeter for your cat and create a magnetic field. The cat wears a collar, so that when it approaches the wire at a selected distance, it first whistles; then, if you keep going, it gives you a “correction signal” in the form of a small electric shock.
Get the cats to come out when you decide
Cats are creatures of habit , and if you establish a routine for letting your cat out, it will probably be there waiting when you want it to come in. First, establish that routine. Decide when you are going to let him out and back and try to make this around the same time every day.
For most cats, food is a powerful motivator. If you give your cat wet food the moment he enters the house, the door is most likely waiting for mealtime. If he doesn’t eat wet food, give him some treats as a reward for showing up whenever you want.
Try to establish a regular dismissal time. Will it be out every day when you get home from work? Or will it only go out on the weekends, after you’ve finished doing your weekend assignments? Use the same words every time you go out. He will learn your orders and get used to your schedule and will not ask to leave at another time.
Your cat needs identification
Even if your cat never goes outside, it should be microchipped and try to wear a tag collar . If your cat is wearing a collar, no one will mistake it for a stray cat if it goes outside. And if it gets lost, the person who finds it will know how to contact you.
Microchipping in cats is not without controversy. Complications are rare, but they can happen. It is possible, although very rare, for cats to develop tumors at the site where the chip was inserted. Microchips can also be moved away from where they were inserted. While this will not cause health problems, it can make the chip difficult to find.
Still, the benefits of a cat’s microchip outweigh the drawbacks. A microchip will never be dropped or lost on the street, and it will always be legible. Most shelters and vets scan stray cats to see who owns them. If your cat gets lost, that microchip could be his salvation.
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