Cats are hunters by nature. Through evolution, cats have become skilled and successful at hunting, as they are physically and behaviorally adapted to a predator lifestyle. Following these instincts is difficult to accomplish for an indoor cat, but outdoor cats get to live the life of their ancestors.
But all is not safe for the life and experiences of outdoor cats, as they are likely to run into plenty of problems during their adventures. Even with their predatory behavior, outdoor cats are not always the apex predator in the neighborhood. For instance, there are many more creatures that roam around outside besides your cat, and any of them could be dangerous.
Of course, moving vehicles are always a threat to any outdoor animal, but your cat could face a foe in other creatures. Unfriendly dogs might not like a cat entering their yard, and dogs can inflict life-threatening injuries on cats. Wild animals like raccoons or coyotes exist not only in the country, but may also approach cities or suburbs. Predator or not, some of these wild animals still carry diseases.
One thing that your outdoor cat might run into is another outdoor cat. Some cats, especially male cats, are very territorial and will start a fight with other cats that encroach on its space. If your cat gets bitten or scratched, then it could cause the spread of disease that will need immediate veterinary care. Other wild animals can also spread disease or parasites, even rabies. Be sure that your cat has all of its current and recommended vaccinations, which will help against fleas, ticks, or worms.
Homeowners in your area also do their best to protect their house and yard, and some have used pesticides or other poisons to stop pests from invading their home. Your cat can be exposed to these poisons, and may ingest rat poison or slug bait. Mice are exposed to the same threats, and if your cat catches a mouse who has ingested that poison, your cat will be poisoned by that mouse.
The weather is also a threat to your outdoor cat, as well as all outdoor critters. Extreme temperatures are dangerous, as are heavy storms. It may try to look for water sources or shelter while it is out, but may run into territorial creatures who have already taken shelter, and could cause a confrontation.
Help your cat by making the indoors more stimulating to its natural instincts. Provide scratching posts, or have your cat hunt for treats. Even a perch by a window to give it views of the outdoors can satisfy your cat.
Making a safer outdoor environment will also work wonders. A tall fence can keep your cat in your yard, which will still allow it to run and track mice or birds that get too close to the house. Even a pet door to allow your cat to roam freely in and out will give it a quick link to the outdoors.
Having an outdoor cat can be stressful, especially if your cat tends to venture out further than you desire. However, if your cat knows its limits, you can take steps to keep its area safe. For more information on protecting your yard for your outdoor cat, call Van Den Berge Pest Control today at 616-392-7367.
Trust the locally owned, widely renowned experts at Van Den Berge Pest Control for all of your pest needs. With over 100 years of combined experience throughout the Holland, MI-based pest control team, you know you’re in excellent hands with our state-certified experts.