To Be An Indoor Cat
“Is Your Cat in the In-Crowd?”
By Jeff Hawley, for Vashon Island Pet Protectors
Cats are better off when they are in the “in-crowd”, meaning when they are kept indoors. Of course, barring cats from roaming outdoors is sometimes as hard as…well, as hard as making cats do just about anything else under the sun. But keeping them indoors is worth the effort. Consider the following valuable benefits when cats remain indoors:
• Indoor Cats Protect Wildlife
Outdoor cats destroy birds and small wildlife. Cats are not part of the natural eco-system and are impacting the songbird population of the U.S. During nesting season, a cat can kill several birds in one nest. And if you think your sweet little kitty is incapable of these acts, think again. All cats are born predators.
• Indoor Cats Are Protected against Diseases
…such as FeLV (Feline Leukemia), FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis), URIs (Upper Respiratory Diseases), FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus), and parasites like fleas and ringworm. All are transmitted by contact with other cats. As a bonus, indoor cats stay cleaner than cats that roam outdoors, and do not bring extra dirt into the house.
• Indoor Cats Are Not Struck by Cars
• Indoor Cats Don’t Fall Prey
… to owls, raptors, or loose dogs.
• Indoor Cats Do Not Get War Wounds
Outdoor cats staunchly defend their territory, often resulting in the pain of wounds ranging from minor to lethal, as well as infection and the transmission of disease.
• Indoor Cats Are Not Couch Potatoes
Indoor cats get adequate and safe exercise using scratching posts, climbing towers, and other indoor toys. Another idea is to build an enclosed outdoor “cat run” or play area.
• Indoor Cats Are Not Abused
Outdoor cats sometimes experience abuse and harm at the hands of uncaring persons who target them for pranks, or worse.
• Indoor Cats Avoid Getting Lost
Outdoor cats who become lost (no, they do not have an infallible ability to find their way home) may end up suffering illness, malnourishment, injuries, or death, or they may be caught, sent to a shelter, and adopted by someone else (if they are lucky).
• Indoor Cats Don’t Get Cat-Napped
Outdoor cats are subject to capture by unscrupulous individuals who sell them for animal experimentation or use them as bait to train fighting dogs.
• Indoor Cats Make Good Neighbors
Indoor cats do not use neighboring yards as litter boxes, and they don’t yowl, howl, and fight outside your bedroom window at night.
Clearly, cats deserve to be in the “In-Crowd” rather than the “Out-Crowd”. But what about cats who are in neither category and are simply unwanted? At times, and for many reasons, people find they cannot care for their cats adequately and become tempted to release them into the wild to fend for themselves. If you find yourself in this position and you have read the foregoing, you will understand why releasing those cats is exactly the wrong idea. Fortunately for island pet owners, there is a perfect alternative. Simply call Vashon Island Pet Protectors! The VIPP phone number is 206-389-1085. VIPP is a non-profit all-volunteer organization that takes in and cares for hundreds of pets every year.