There’s a lot of debate about outdoor cats – not ferals living in colonies, but about pets who spend time outside. Though various studies and opinions range in their estimates, it is clear that domestic cats pose a serious threat to native birds and other wildlife.
Fortunately, there are a few options available that can keep both cats – and the wildlife nearby – safe.
- Keep cats indoors. It isn’t necessarily popular, and a lot of people will likely disagree. But the outdoors can be a dangerous place not just for animals that cats prey on, but the cats themselves. Disease, larger animals, vehicular collisions, and other dangers are constant for cats allowed outside.
- Disruption and distraction. If you are going to let your cat outside, there are several utilities available that will disrupt a cat’s attempts to prey on animals and potentially give birds or critters a better chance at getting away. Some of these include collars with bells, bibs, and collar covers.
- Try a harness. Not all cats enjoy being on a leash and harness, but for some, it’s absolute paradise. It’s also a fun way to get outside with your feline friend for a bit of exercise!
- The Catio. The absolutely ultimate in cat lover accessories is the catio. These outdoor enclosurescome in all types of shapes, sizes, designs, and price points. From professionally and custom-installed ones that are the size of a large room to one that’s a mid-sized deck attached to a window, there’s all kinds of options – and cats LOVE them. Check out the catio that our friend Barbara King-Halliday made in her spare time for inspiration!
We love all animals at The Fur-Bearers, including cats, and would love to hear if any of our members have developed their own solutions (or built their own catios)! Send your pictures and stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.