Cats are independent creatures. In fact, many cat owners cite that independence as a primary reason to love felines. By that same token, a cat’s free spirited curiosity can lead to trouble if left to roam free. Why should you consider an enclosure for your cat?
1. Enclosures prevent roadway injuries. Even if you do not live on a city street, there is still the likelihood that your beloved pet can become victim to even the most cautious driver.
2. Neighborhood poisons abound. Lawn and household chemicals and even garden plants can pose a serious poisoning risk to pets. If a wandering pet returns home ill, the owner often has no clue of the source to aid in medical treatment.
3. Wandering cats have more territorial disputes. Even the most docile kitty can be drawn into a fight with another cat. Aside from visible injuries that may require treatment, there is also the risk of an “invisible”, fur covered wound becoming infected.
4. Wildlife contact is more likely for “free roamers”. In addition to neighborhood cats, dogs and wild animals such as raccoons, coyotes and skunks pose similar dangers. More and more urban areas have problems with wildlife attacking domestic pets as natural environments are altered by construction activities.
5. Wanderers may be mistaken for strays. Some people consider a wandering cat a stray–especially one without identification. Break away collars are a must for roaming cats to prevent entanglement, making even cats from loving home appear to be homeless if his collar has been lost. Even well meaning cat lovers may be guilty of “kidnapping” a family pet if it is believed to be homeless.
6. Roaming cats may get lost. Wandering cats can really wander-sometimes much farther from home than an owner realizes. If his safety collar is lost and something frightens him, kitty may not be able to find his way home to you.
7. Enclosed cats are less likely to meet human harm. Horrible people do horrible things to the innocent. Cats are not immune from being caught and used for a number of inhumane purposes.
8. Enclosing eases dietary management. It is far easier to provide a safe and healthy diet for your cat when you know exactly what he’s eating and who is feeding him.
9. The health of free roaming cats is harder to manage. Many kitties find themselves with medical ailments requiring special diets or medications. If kitty is allowed to roam at will, owners have a difficult time properly administering such prescriptions.
10. Enclosures help owners be good neighbors. Aside from all of the health and safety risks posed to free roaming cats, owners should also consider the animal’s impact on others. Is your well fed kitty attacking the neighbor’s bird feeder for the thrill of the kill? Such things can lead to poor neighborhood relations.
Keeping your pets healthy and safe from harm is one of the most important tasks of a pet owner. Even with a free spirit, cats can adapt well to life in an enclosed, safer environment, creating a positive experience for both cat and owner.