Cats are an inescapable part of life. They’re adorable, they provide companionship, and they love to hunt bugs. But in some cases cats can be more trouble than they’re worth — especially if you live with other people! Here are ten reasons why this vet keeps her cats indoors!.

The “reasons to keep cats indoors” is a post by the author, who has 10 reasons why she keeps her cats inside. They include: they’re not allowed outside, it’s too hot outside for them, and they’re not allowed to roam around the house.

Dr. Justine Lee’s article was published on November 18, 2021.

DVM, DACVECC, DABT Justine Lee

I opt to keep my cats inside as an emergency critical care veterinary physician and pet mom. Why? Because allowing cats outdoors exposes them to a variety of threats. It may also be harmful to other creatures, including you!

I keep my pets inside for ten reasons.

1. Being misplaced or stolen

To begin with, if you allow your cat outdoors, they may not be able to find their way back home and may get lost for ever. Any loud sounds, such as a vehicle horn or a barking dog, might startle your feline family member, causing them to run away or be pursued up a tree. 

I also don’t want my kitties to be kidnapped (or “adopted”) by strangers. Your neighbor may mistakenly believe your cat is missing and adopt them as their own. If your cat spends any time outside, you may easily prevent this by wearing a breakaway collar with an ID tag; I usually advocate having your cat microchipped as well, since breakaway collars sometimes come off!

2. Trauma risks

Being outdoors might cause trauma. Your cat might be struck by a vehicle, attacked by a dog or coyote, harmed by a bully in the area, or beaten up by a tomcat in the neighborhood. This is the most common problem I encounter in the veterinary emergency room with indoor/outdoor cats. Trauma may result in fractures, bruising of the lungs, internal bleeding, and even death. In addition, therapy might cost tens of thousands of dollars. 

3. The hazards of poisoning

Next, being outdoors may lead to poisoning. This is particularly true if your cat eats your neighbor’s tiger lilies or daylilies, crawls around and discovers mouse poison, or gets antifreeze from your neighbor’s driveway. (Did you know that 1 tablespoon of cat poison may kill a cat?) It’s not worth taking the chance!

4. Transmission of infection or sickness

The outdoors may expose your cat to infection or disease transmission, which can be lethal. Fighting with other cats may easily lead to your cat contracting feline leukemia (FeLV) or kitten AIDS/FIV, which is a blood illness. Also, taking your cat outdoors increases the danger of tapeworms, fleas, ticks, and other parasites. If your cat goes outdoors at all, it’s critical that they be fully vaccinated against FeLV and rabies, as well as on year-round flea, tick, and heartworm medicine. We’re not attempting to overcharge you here; it’s because you don’t want a flea infestation in your home or your cat transmitting the bubonic plague to you via fleas. Seriously. It occurs all the time, particularly around the Four Corners.

5. Pet overcrowding

If your cat is still healthy, letting it outdoors helps to pet overpopulation (not spayed or neutered). Thousands of cats are slaughtered each year as a result of pet overpopulation. You may help save a cat’s life by keeping your cat indoors—at least until they are fixed or spayed!

6. The spread of zoonotic diseases

Yes, disease dissemination has increased. Toxoplasma gondii, the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, may be carried by cats. It may spread to humans if your cat defecates in your garden or your neighbor’s sandbox. This may cause serious complications in humans, such as miscarriage and neurologic disorders, especially in immunocompromised people. 

7. Disputed neighbors

Your neighbors will be pleased if you keep your cats indoors. Having your cat spray on your neighbor’s landscaping or the foundation of their home, or feces in their garden, will not win them over. It may sometimes lead to animosity against you and your pet!

8. A shorter life expectancy

Indoor cats are more likely to live longer. While there aren’t many peer-reviewed articles comparing the average lifespan of indoor and outdoor cats, I’ve found that indoor cats live longer. 

Saving money on veterinarian costs is number nine.

You will save money on veterinary expenses if you keep your cats inside. If you allow one of your cats out, they are more likely to carry FeLV, FIV, or other infectious illnesses home with them. Even if they only spend time inside, your other cats should be vaccinated and maintained up to date on FeLV and rabies vaccinations, as well as flea and tick treatments.

10. Wildlife and birds

Finally, cats, both indoor and outdoor, are the leading killers of songbirds. Each year, almost 3 billion birds are expected to be murdered in North America. I’m a novice birder who enjoys all kinds of animals. I have a lot of bird feeders, and I’m the crunchy/granola sort that also feeds squirrels. I hate seeing animals murdered by house cats since I know how effectively our feline family members can unleash their inner predator. (If you do allow your cat outdoors, don’t have any bird feeders in your yard, or you’ll have negative future pet karma.) 

So, why do I confine my cats to the house? In the end, cats that go outdoors are more vulnerable to damage or injury. I’ll explain strategies to keep your cats happy inside in a future article, as well as guidelines to follow if you decide to allow your cats outdoors!

Dr. Justine Lee cuddling her black cat - 10 reasons why this vet keeps her cats indoors

The “indoor cats” are the main reason why this vet keeps her cats indoors. The other nine reasons are listed below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do vets recommend keeping cats indoors?

A: A veterinarian or a veterinary technician generally recommends keeping cats indoors for the safety of their pet and owner. However, many people keep their cat outdoors for various reasons such as they enjoy spending time outside with their cat, it is legal to do so in your location, etc. It is important that you research local laws where you live before making this decision.

Why cats should be kept indoors?

A: Cats should be kept indoors to avoid them from running away and getting lost, especially in a city.

Is it unfair to keep a cat indoors?

 

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