Outdoor Safety for Cats

Outdoor Safety for Cats

Letting your cat benefit from the nice open air this spring can enrich his life and improve his well-being — so long as you make his security your primary precedence

When it involves cats, the necessity for environmental enrichment is underestimated. Just like canine, cats want stimulation to forestall boredom and habits issues. One means to supply this stimulation and enrichment is to offer your cat a chance to enjoy the outdoors this spring and summer time. While many cats are fairly joyful to remain inside, others recognize with the ability to get out every now and then. Allowing your cat to roam freely just isn’t inspired, however there are a number of methods to let him expertise the outside in a protected and pleasing method.


An straightforward place to begin is to take your cat exterior in a “strolling jacket”, which is a safer, safer various to a collar and leash. Our cat Sofiya has a strolling jacket thathas served her nicely from kittenhood onward, because the Velcro straps make it simply adjustable. A fast web search brings up lots of feline strolling jacket picks on Amazon and Etsy. They can vary from one thing so simple as a determine eight harness and leash, to a comfortable heat jacket for the winter. Whatever you select, be sure that it’s an excellent match on your cat — not so unfastened that she will worm her means out of it, and never so tight that it’s uncomfortable.

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Getting her used to it

The secret’s getting your cat to simply accept the jacket earlier than venturing exterior. Some cats may lie down or stagger round awkwardly when first fitted with a harness or jacket.

  • Be affected person and make the expertise a optimistic one by giving your cat treats and reward whereas acclimatizing her to the jacket.
  • When she’s used to the jacket and able to be taken exterior, begin with quick visits and step by step lengthen the time (and distance) as she turns into extra snug.
  • Watch for any indicators of stress or concern. After 4 years, Sofiya nonetheless acts like one thing alien is hooked up to her, so she prefers to simply sit or lie on the deck and watch the birds.
  • Some experimentation could also be wanted: for instance, I discovered that Sofiya strikes about extra simply in a determine eight harness.


While your cat received’t get train when using in a pet stroller, he’ll get the recent air. There are a number of choices, together with strollers you may jog with and people for a number of cats, and all appear to surround the cat securely inside the inside. Make certain the stroller is sturdy and well-made, offers your cat correct air flow and safety from the weather, together with the solar, and that mesh supplies aren’t so flimsy that your cat may escape.

Walking your cat in a stroller lets you go additional afield than you’d with a jacket or harness. Keep in thoughts, although, that not all kitties get pleasure from a change of scene and may be careworn by strangers, canine, site visitors, and loud noises. As all the time, watch your cat for any indicators of stress or concern and head house if he appears nervous or anxious.


With some carpentry abilities and/or resourcefulness, you may create an enclosure on your cat through which she will get pleasure from the perfect of each worlds — freedom to maneuver round as she pleases whereas staying safely contained.

Russian Blue breeder, Maartje Schoenmaker, is placing the ending touches on her second outside cat enclosure. “Right now, the cats go within the backyard below supervision,” she says. “I nonetheless must do closing touches on the partitions to make them 100% cat-proof, and make a barrier on prime of the stud runs.”

When planning an out of doors enclosure, take into consideration the way it will match into your panorama, how lengthy you intend to remain at your property (together with any house owner affiliation limitations), the variety of cats you have got, your degree of development experience, and, in fact, your finances.

  • Catios may be so simple as a window unit or elaborate as a multi-level enclosure that attaches to the facet of the home. Sizes and levels of complexity fluctuate.
  • Free-standing enclosures or “pet play pens” are available in horizontal and vertical configurations. Many may be simply moved across the yard or deck. Some can be found as tunnels that may be snaked by means of the yard, and there are additionally teepee-style fashions. The vital factor right here is to oversee your cat, ensuring she doesn’t get upset at being confined and attempt to escape.
  • The Purrfect Fence works with present fencing or comes as a standalone fencing system. What makes it escape-proof is that the fabric is versatile and curves overhead to discourage climbing.
  • Companies also can create customized enclosures based mostly in your specs and variety of cats. Both vertical and horizontal designs can accommodate nearly any model of home. As nicely, many kits and DIY plans can be found on-line; simply be sure that while you’re shopping for supplies for a DIY undertaking, the wire fencing you select will stop little furry our bodies from squeezing by means of. A corrugated plastic roof permits for all-weather entry.


Once your enclosure is in place, you may create a feline playground on your cat. Shelves and beds permit her to survey her area in consolation. Tree trunks will help hone her scratching abilities and a fountain is a diverting addition that may additionally encourage ample water consumption when your cat is exterior. Include cat-safe vegetation and grass for snacking, and don’t overlook a few cozy chairs and a desk for you, so you may spend high quality time open air together with your cat.

As you may see, there are a number of nice methods you may introduce your cat to the outside this spring, whereas additionally making certain he stays protected and sound and out of bother!

Sally E. Bahner focuses on cat-related points, particularly diet, holistic care and habits. She has supplied her providers as a feline habits and care marketing consultant and provides lessons on cat care. Sally is the resident cat habits knowledgeable on Tracie Hotchner’s Cat Chat radio program, and a member of the Cat Writers’ Association and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

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