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Is your cat ready to go outside?
Cats love having outside space to explore. However, some cats will prefer to stay indoors and some cats will need to remain indoor-only cats because of health conditions (see below for more information).
It helps to be aware of potential dangers to your cat outside, such as busy roads, especially at rush hour. It may be a good idea to keep your cat in over night and during rush hour.
See also: Keeping cats safe outside
Microchips are the best way to permanently identify your cat. Microchips are quick and safe to fit, and your cat will not be aware of the implanted chip. The chip will help reunite you and your cat if they have been found after wandering off or have been in an accident.
If you choose to fit a collar, we recommend quick-release collars that come off easily when they get snagged. This reduces the chances of your cat getting trapped by a snagged collar. Cats can catch their leg or jaw in elasticated or loose-fitting collars, which can result in serious injury.
See also - Microchipping
If you have a new cat, or have moved to a new place, do not let your cat outside until they have adjusted to their new home and had time to spread their scent within the home. This will help them find their way back. This usually takes three to four weeks.
When you let your cat out for the first time, let them out before meal time so they will be more likely to return when you call them to eat.
If your cat has not been neutered, it is advised that you don't let them go outside.
You may not be able to confine your cat to your garden, but you can discourage them from straying by creating a cat-friendly garden.
Some cats need to stay indoors for health reasons. Blind and deaf cats are vulnerable to traffic. Cats with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) should no be allowed outside because they can spread the virus to other cats and are at greater risk of catching other diseases.
Cats kept indoors will need extra care to ensure their environment is stimulating and enriching while allowing them to exhibit their natural behaviours like scratching, hunting and playing.
See also - Indoor cats
Has your cat gone missing? We know how stressful this can be, and have lots of advice about how to search for your cat and improve your chances of getting them back safely.
See also - Lost a cat?
Keeping your cat safe - Topic
Banner image - Carol Hu - unsplash.com
Cat on fence - Mitchell Orr - unsplash.com
Kitten on a chair - Alexey Ruban - unsplash.com