Jennifer Nelson of I Heart Cats has an excellent article on why pet owners should keep their cats indoors. The piece begins with the heart-wrenching statistics on life span for outdoor versus indoor cats which we have often written about on the Custom Catios blog. According to Jennifer, outdoor cats live 2-5 years, while indoor cats survive 15-20 years. While those stats alone should convince humans to stop letting their feline children outside, Jennifer provides five more reasons:
5 Reasons to Keep Your Cat Indoors
- Disease and Parasites. Deadly diseases including feline leukemia (FeLV), feline AIDS (FIV), feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), and feline distemper (panleukopenia), all are highly contagious and potentially fatal.
- Dogs, Wildlife, and Other Cats. We often mention the threat of coyotes and raccoons on this website, but Jennifer adds that other cats pose grave danger to house cats. “While usually not fatal originally, [they] can cause deadly infections, not to mention life-changing injuries.”
- Cars. This one is a no-brainer. Cats do not survive run-ins with cars which happen more often than people think.
- People. People are not surprisingly a huge threat to animals. From leaving out dangerous/poisonous items, to stealing pets, and animal cruelty — all serve as reminders of the perilous conditions caused by humans.
- Toll on Wildlife. “Have you ever stopped to think about the toll on wildlife wrought by the roughly 60 million cats in the US that spend time outside.” Well, yes, we have and it is not pretty.
Jennifer ultimately recommends keeping cats indoors, walking them on a leash or “a screened in porch (catio).” We favor the catio solution!