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, diarrhea, 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.
Hope this info helps
Till next week
Dr Ruan Bester
Ask the Vet:
Royal Veterinary Centre
Tel: +853 28501099, +853 28523678
Emergency: +853 62662268