Ask the Vet | 10 Reasons your cat should be an indoor cat

An indoor cat has several advantages over cats that spend time outdoors too; indoor cats are not exposed to infections, parasites, traffic accidents or poisonous plants and foods. Indoor cats live a longer life, due to the lower incidence of illnesses and accidents.

1. No Parasites

Skin and intestinal parasites such as fleas, tapeworms, hookworms are contracted from the outside, from other animals or the environment (by ingesting infected faeces or soil).

Parasites cause vomiting, diarrhoea, dry skin, dull coat, itchiness and scratching; parasites can be very stressful for a feline.

2. Fewer Infections and Diseases

Common infections and some of the most dangerous feline diseases such as rabies, the leukemia virus and cat AIDS are highly contagious. If your cat spends time outdoors, he may contract these diseases from infected felines or other animals.

Cats like to chase mice and birds, which are carriers of numerous infections.

3. Prevent Accidents

Traffic accidents are often the cause of death or severe damage in many cats. An indoor cat is not exposed to accidents, so he is safer.

4. Prevent Poisoning

Outdoor cats may easily stumble on toxic plants and will chew on these out of curiosity, craving or hunger. Poisoning can be fatal in cats, especially if you don’t get to the vet in time.

You can eliminate the toxic plants, rat poison and other potential dangers from your home, so your cat will not be at risk.

5. Prevent Animal Fights

A cat spending time outdoors can get into fights with other cats, dogs, raccoons or skunks. These fights can result in severe injuries and even rabies, contracted from stray cats.

6. Cleaner Home, Lower Risks for Owner’s Health

If your cat doesn’t wander outside, he won’t bring dirt, dead animals and bacteria in your home, keeping it cleaner. The bacteria brought in by the cat could affect the owner, especially if the cat likes to spend time on couches or in the owner’s bed.

7. Reduce Risks of Inhalant Allergies

Indoor cats that are sensitive will be less exposed to inhalant allergens such as pollens, so they have a lower risk of developing allergy symptoms.

8. Early Detection of Disease Symptoms

If your cat is always at home, you will notice any abnormalities with his skin, coat, urine or faeces as soon as these occur. You can detect any symptoms of possible diseases and get veterinary help so as to avoid any possible complications.

9. Reduced Stress

An indoor cat is less exposed to stress, having a stable environment.

Stress may also be caused by parasites or diseases; being less exposed to these, an indoor cat may live stress-free.

Having a well established routine, cats live a happier life.

10. Longer Lifespan

Indoor cats live more than stray ones, due to the lack of risks. A cat that spends all his life indoors lives up to 16 or 18 years, while feral cats hardly live 4 years. Cats that spend time both indoors and outdoors will live 12 to 14 years on average. By Dr Ruan Du Toit Bester

Hope this info helps 

Till next week 

Dr Ruan

Ask the Vet: Royal Veterinary Centre

Tel: +853 28501099, +853 28523678

Emergency: +853 62662268


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