Four easy ways you can keep cats – and local wildlife – safe

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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

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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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