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Posted on Monday, September 24th, 2012

Should your cat be kept indoors or outside?

indoor cat

If you’ve recently adopted a cat, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make for your pet’s well-being is deciding whether or not your cat can go outdoors. While you may think that letting your cat outside is a wonderful way for him or her to get exercise and mental stimulation, it will also put your pet at risk for a wide range of feline health concerns that could shorten your pet’s lifespan and put your animal at risk for a wide range of potential health problems. If you’re still on the fence about your decision, the following hazards could convince you to keep your kitty indoors.

1. Wildlife. Whether you live in a heavily wooded area or in the suburbs, there’s a good chance that your cat will run into another animal while outdoors. Unleashed dogs, feral cats, raccoons, and other animals could all spell trouble for your cat, who may not be able to defend him or herself when the situation arises.

2. Parasites. While you may be doing all you can to protect your cat from fleas and ticks, allowing your pet to roam outdoors could expose your cat to a wide variety of parasites that your flea control ¬†products simply can’t handle, reports Catster.com. Worms, viruses and other maladies are a constant concern when your cat is wandering around outside, but they can be easily avoided if you keep your cat indoors.

3. Passing traffic. According to PetPlace.com, one of the biggest worries for cat owners is errant drivers who aren’t paying attention to what’s in front of them. Having a pet injured or killed by passing traffic is a major concern for those who live next to busy roadways, and it could prove to be an unnecessary risk for your cat.

4. Getting lost. Even if you have the proper ID tags or a microchip, your cat may wander off and get picked up by animal control, which could prove to be a major hassle. Worse yet, if your cat doesn’t have proper identification, there may not be a way for animal shelters or fellow residents to get in contact with you.

5. Lifespan. Last but not least, it’s estimated that cats live approximately four years longer when kept indoors, and generally live a much happier and healthier life. When you weigh the pros and cons, there’s really no better choice for your cat’s quality of life.

Do you have an outdoor cat who you want to make indoor one? Catster.com has 7 great tips for helping your cat ease through the transition.

This content is provided by the pet wellness experts at Hartz. We know that adopting a dog or cat is a huge commitment, so we’re here to help you feel confident and become the best pet parent you can be.