Ark Animal Sanctuary – Week of September 21, 2020
Lately a lot of kitties have gone missing. It seems like we get messages or phone calls daily. There are so many predators out there and they are coming closer and closer to town. At the sanctuary alone we have seen bobcats, lynx and yes even bear.
All of these predators have no problem taking down a cat or small dog. It is sad, but it is a reality. Its nature and it is instinct for these animals. They are hungry and they need to eat. In a perfect world we would let our cats out and they would come back inside when we call them. As we all know the world is not so perfect these days. I also know that every cat needs fresh air and sunshine.
I believe that there is a way to have both so that your indoor kitty can still have access to sunshine and fresh air. If you have a window leave it open a tiny crack and put a window seat in it for your cat. That gives them access to sunshine and fresh air in a safer way. Still not convinced that is enough? How about a “catio,” a fenced area for your cat to enjoy fresh air and sunshine in an enclosed safe area. Catios are fairly inexpensive to buy online or if you are handy with tools you can build your own. Have a deck? You could easily screen it in. How about a garage? You could build screened in doors for the summer months. These are all safe, cost effective and easy ways to give your cat access to the outdoors without jeopardizing their health or life.
I know there are pros and cons to every situation. Here a few questions you can ask yourself. If a cat has never been outside will it really miss not going out? Will keeping your cat inside be a quality life for them? If a cat has never been outside how can they miss something they have never had?
By not letting your cat go outside, your cat will be safe from predators. They will not risk the chance of getting hit by a car. They will not get lost. They will not get into anything that could possibly harm them. By keeping them inside they will not be exposed to diseases from any other cats they come in contact with such as feline aids, FIP, feline distemper, leukemia and upper respiratory. By not letting your cat go outside you can rest easy that when you go to bed you know where your cat is and that it is inside safe and sound from everything out there that could cause it harm.
Some cats are very smart and can survive almost anything, even predators, but sadly there are so many that can’t. Statistics show that cats who live indoors live longer than their outdoor counterparts. Cats who are kept indoor can reach the ripe old age of 17 or more years, whereas outdoor cats live an average of just 2-5 years.
This article is not meant to criticize people who have outdoor kitties, it is simply meant to give alternatives to insure that your cat will live a long and healthy life. At the end of the day it is all in what you feel comfortable with. We just want you to have all the necessary information before you let your kitty outside.
Thank you for your continued support and as always thank you for reading our column.
The Ark Animal Sanctuary is located on 101 Old Woodstock Road. To contact Lorraine Monfils call 532-7387 or check out their Facebook page.