Cats that live safely contained to their own property lead longer and healthier lives compared to their free-roaming counterparts. Cats are highly territorial and they are pretty particular about the environment they live in. If things don’t go well according to their needs, they can find it stressful and affect their well-being. Felines can be a handful, but of course as a responsible cat-parent, you’ll do everything in your control to make them happy and healthy.
The age-old question has long been 'should I let my cat roam?' or 'should I keep them safe indoors?' Both options have their pros and cons.
Sure, a free roaming cat gets to adventure beyond their property and see, touch, hear and smell new and exciting things, BUT! There are so many dangers that lurk beyond the safety of the backyard fence, is it really worth risking your cats health and safety when it's not necessary? Getting hit by a car, fighting with other cats, getting attacked by a dog, being stolen.. These are just a few of the risks free-roaming cats face on a daily basis.
A cat contained safely within the four walls of their home is a much safer and potentially much healthier, longer-living feline. But there is the concern that house-bound cats may be missing out on the joys that come from fulfilling a cats natural instinct to wander, explore and enjoy all of the lovely experiences the outdoors has to offer.
Well there is a middle-ground, and the solution may be easier than most people realise!
There is Oscillot, which we're obviously a big fan of. It's a safe, simple, effective cat containment system designed for easy DIY installation to existing fences. Installing Oscillot along the perimeter of your fence line gives your cat the option to explore the whole backyard freely and safely, without any obtrusive structures.
If your fence doesn't suit Oscillot, or it doesn't take your fancy, there's more options available on the market, even larger cat runs, netting enclosures and cat tunnels are a safe and relatively easy way to keep your cat safe at home in their own yard.
When adding a cat to the family, the first step is to ensure that they are well adapted to their environment. You can do this by making some changes to your home and garden to make it a comfortable and secured haven for your new feline friend. Here are some tips on how to create a cat-friendly property.
Keep their litter tray in a secluded location
Apart from being territorial, cats are notorious for being private especially when doing their business. Make sure to place your cat’s litter tray away from areas where people constantly walk in and out to. They will find such places too stressful to relieve themselves. Also, if you have multiple cats in your household, it’s best to provide more than one litter tray per cat to avoid problems.
Create more vertical spaces
Cats love vertical spaces. They seem to have that instinctual need to be in high places to observe their environment from on high. Creating more vertical spaces allows them to have a stronger sense of security, and of course, more space to play and explore. Adding wall-mounted shelves or getting a cat condo can give your feline friend a safe sanctuary to retreat to whenever they feel stressed.
Invest in scratching posts and pads - or have a nice, solid tree trunk accessible in the backyard.
It can be frustrating and not to mention, expensive, to live with a feline friend that constantly scratches your furniture. Unless you want your couch, tables, and carpet all scratched up, it’s recommended to have several scratching posts around the house. Put it in places where your cat spends most of his or her time and let it work its magic. Having a sturdy trunked tree in the backyard will give kitty an outdoor, made-by-nature scratching option.
Avoid poisonous plants
Cats love to chew on everything, and that includes plants. Common house and garden plants such as Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane), Philodendron, Poinsettia, Mistletoe, and Lilies are deadly to cats. As a safety precaution, you must keep these dangerous plants well out of reach, or better yet, completely avoid putting these plants in your house or garden.
Keep all toxic household and gardening products out of reach
Most products you use to clean your home contain dangerous chemicals that are toxic to cats, so it’s important to keep them locked in a secure location to prevent your cat from licking them. Pest control products, potpourri, fragrances, and even human medicines could also pose a risk to your cat’s health, so better place them somewhere your cat cannot access. Keep your outdoor shed closed and locked if it contains gardening chemicals, so curious kitties can't get their paws on something that might harm them if ingested.
Keep your prized fragile items away from your cat’s reach
Cats are naturally inquisitive. They love to jump around and investigate objects by sniffing, licking, and touching them. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to tell which item is expensive and what’s not, so it’s best to keep your prized fragile possessions away from their reach.
Don’t leave appliance doors open
Cats find dark and enclosed places irresistible, so make sure to keep your oven, refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, and washing machine doors closed when not in use. To prevent untoward accidents, do a quick check to see if your cat’s inside before starting the machine or closing the appliance door.
Secure all your doors and windows
Keeping your pet cat indoors minimizes its risk of contracting diseases and infections. It also eliminates the chances of your cat getting hit by a car, getting lost, or getting knocked up by some stray cat. Make sure to keep all windows and doors secure to prevent your cat from escaping the house.
Give them their own space
Most cats, especially those that are still adjusting to a new home, prefer to be left alone. Make sure to give your cat a special space at home to hide away and relax on its own. If you have other cats or dogs at home, provide a space that will allow your new feline friend to get their distance and have their privacy.
Provide for your cat’s basic needs
Make sure to feed your cat regularly and provide constant access to water and a clean litter box at all times. If you have other cats or dogs in the family, place their bowl where they can eat privately without being bothered by other pets at home.
Alex Morrison has been an digital marketer in Melbourne for over 10 years. In this time he has worked with a range of businesses giving him an in depth understanding of many different industries including home improvement, financial support and health care. As the owner of Integral Media he is now utilising his knowledge and experience with his rapidly increasing client portfolio to help them achieve their business goals.