It is time for cat caretakers to seriously restrict the movement of cats by keeping them inside the house or in a “catio” enclosure.
To allow cats to freely roam outside increases their chance for premature death. Every day, free-roaming cats are being killed by automobiles, dogs, people and predators (foxes, coyotes and raccoons). Keeping your cat inside will prevent an accidental poisoning by ingestion of antifreeze, rodenticides or other chemicals. Fighting free-roaming cats are more likely to develop abscesses. A cat kept from roaming can’t spread disease and will not bring one home to you or your family. A cat that is bitten by wildlife has an increased chance of developing rabies or another zoonotic disease.
Finally, a very important reason for keeping your cat from roaming outside is to decrease the domestic cats’ impact upon the environment. Cats kill billions of songbirds every year, have been responsible for a number of bird extinctions around the world and have placed many more species on the endangered species list.
It is important for cat owners to become environmentally conscious of the effect that their free-roaming cat is having on the environment and take steps to restrict their freedom. Keep them safe, keep them inside.
J. Wyatt Frampton, DVM, West Jordan