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Should Cats Be Kept Indoors Or Outdoors?

Should you allow your cat to go outside, or should you keep him as an indoor only pet? This is a topic that many owners disagree about. Some cat lovers insist on keeping their cats inside all the time, while others feel that they are depriving their pets of the fun of roaming free after being trapped inside the house all day.

The major disadvantage to keeping your cat indoors is safety. Cats who wander outdoors often get into serious trouble or may even be killed. If your pet is roaming on his own, you have no control over whom or what he encounters. The outside world is a big place with many hazards, and your cat could run into trouble.

An indoor only cat will not have to face the dangers of the outside world, such as poisonous fertilizers and pesticides, antifreeze, motor vehicles, threatening people (who could steal or injure him), dogs, wild animals (such as skunks, raccoons, snakes, bees and wasps), weathers hazards (frostbite or heatstroke), and even other cats.

A cat who is allowed to stray can come into contact with another sick cat (or other animal) and pick up parasites (such as fleas and ticks) or diseases (such as feline leukemia or rabies). If an outdoor cat is not spayed or neutered, he or she will likely contribute to the cat overpopulation problem.

Meanwhile, ID tags could save your cat's life. If he gets lost, the collar and tag will let someone know where he belongs. Most pets who have IDs find their way home after a brief separation. The ID tag should have your name and phone number on it, along with your cat's name. You can order them from pet supply catalogs or from pet supply sites on the Internet. Some pet supply stores and department stores have automated machines that make engraved ID tags in a few minutes.

Cats that are kept indoors do not have to worry about any of these hazards. As a result of their safe, controlled living conditions, they live much longer. As a responsible owner, you owe it to your pet to do what is best for him, and the best way to know that your cat is safe is to keep him inside.

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