Cats are naturally drawn to the outdoors, and there is no doubt that your four-legged friend will be asking you to go out someday. So, if you decide to give him free access to your garden or to a larger area, how to make his excursions as safe as possible?
Here are our 10 tips for letting your cat out, avoiding problems as much as possible and preserving the life of your furball.
N ° 1 – have it identified
This is much more than advice, since the identification of the cat is mandatory. This is what allows the cat to be found easily if it gets lost, since the vet who will identify it in case of loss will have your contact details.
In addition, identification is the only option to prove that you are the owner of the feline, which prevents another family from adopting it without you being able to oppose it. In addition to the microchip identification, you can ask your veterinarian to put a tattoo on the ear, to let anyone know that your cat has a home.
# 2 – wait a few weeks after adoption
When your cat arrives home, he needs to get used to his new surroundings. It takes an average of four weeks to get its bearings. If you let him out too soon, he might get lost and try to find his old home.
So, be vigilant, and don’t let it escape during this time. He will take the opportunity to mark his territory inside and thus deposit his pheromones in order to better find his way in a few weeks.
N ° 3 – get your cat used to the harness
If an old cat who has not been used to the harness or the leash will be difficult to convert, it is however possible to supervise your cat’s outings from an early age.
Indeed, a kitten will support the harness and will be delighted to go out with you. This will prevent him from going too far or being left alone by keeping an eye on him at all times, as you could with a dog.
# 4 – let it go out during the day
As a first step, you can let your cat go out during the day only, so that he can get used to his new outdoor environment while avoiding nocturnal dangers, especially cars.
Indeed, at night, it is more difficult for a motorist to see an animal and the risk of an accident is higher. In addition, the cat, dazzled by the headlights of cars, unfortunately does not always choose the right option to escape.
N ° 5 – provide easy access to housing
During his first outings, be sure to give him quick access to the house so that he can come back and get to safety whenever he wants. A cat flap is ideal, but if you don’t have one, you can leave a door ajar while it is walking. You can also set up a small refuge outside.
In any case, be present during his first outings, to be able to reassure him, congratulate him when he comes home, and not let him panic alone outside in the event of a bad meeting.
N ° 6 – have it sterilized
Having your cat sterilized is not an obligation, but it is strongly recommended. Indeed, an unsterilized cat will be more prone to runaways. Females in heat will look for a male and vice versa.
This will also prevent unwanted litters which will swell the ranks of stray cats, representing a real ecological disaster for biodiversity and more particularly birds.
Finally, by having your cat sterilized, you prevent him from catching sexually transmitted diseases during his various outings.
N ° 7 – up-to-date vaccines and antiparasitic treatments
Cats that have access to the outdoors are more prone to pests and diseases. In contact with other animals or their droppings, unvaccinated and unwormed cats can catch many infections.
This is why it is important to treat them regularly against parasites, but also to have them vaccinated. Do not hesitate to seek advice from your veterinarian.
N ° 8 – limit outings in the spring
The domestic cat is a real predator. Indeed, the LPO estimates that it kills around 324 million prey per year and is concerned about the drop in the population of nesting birds.
However, spring coincides with the birth of the chicks, so it is advisable to keep your four-legged friend at home from May to early July, the time necessary for the breeding season of the birds to have passed.
Even if it is not for the safety of your cat, biodiversity will thank you for it, and you can compensate for this lack of outings with games and cuddles.
N ° 9 – ban the collar
If your cat is going out alone, consider removing his collar. The easiest way is not to put a collar on it, to spare it any risk of domestic accident by strangulation, especially since the identification of the feline is sufficient.
Be aware that a cat can end up hanging from its collar, climbing an obstacle, such as a fence for example, to which it would get stuck. If the collar does not break, it is unfortunately the death of your insured animal in a few minutes.
N ° 10 – secure your garden
Swimming pools represent a real danger for your four-legged friend. In the event of a fall, if you are not present, drowning is guaranteed. Indeed, the edge of the pool will be too high for him to come up and, although your feline can swim very well, he will eventually become exhausted.
Remember to put the cover back after each swim, ensuring that there is no access to water on the edges. Do not hesitate to provide him with a bowl of water available outside so that he is not tempted to approach the swimming pool.
Drownings are also reported in water tanks, when they are not closed by a cover. So, think about it before choosing yours, and don’t hesitate to educate your neighbors.