Who Else Wants a Kitty that lives a Long Happy Life ?

English: Female grey tabby and white cat resti...

English: Female grey tabby and white cat resting on a box of cat litter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know I do !

This blog post is going to deal with a topic that I feel I need to speak up about due to the number of clients whom have cats that have in/out access or are kept purely outdoors when using our services.

I’m hoping since I have been raised since I was VERY young around cats I’ve experienced everything you can experience in owning cats….  especially when they have access to the outdoors.

These are all true stories.

Danger #1 – Cars aka The story of Blackie and the white car

I have a very distinct childhood memory that will stick with me for the rest of my life.  My family had just moved to Runaway Bay here on the Gold Coast (and there were only like 3 houses in the street so this was a loooooong time ago!).  We had a new kitty cat named Blackie.  Yes, she was black.  Anyway, as a family we were making the trek from the house to the “bush” at the end of the street across the road.   Thinking nothing of it we let Blackie follow us (because it was just after dusk (early evening) and being an under-developed area at the time hardly any traffic).  Blackie followed us across the road. Time came for us to stop exploring and go back home.  I had already crossed the road from the bush back to the start of our street.   I was waiting on the other side.

A white car goes past and I hear a CRACK

Even now I need the kleenex as the memory is still potent. That night I ran home crying. She died instantly. The car run her over.

DANGER #2  Other cats

Seriously, do I need to say anything more about this danger ?  Should I elaborate into the story of when one of my cats was literally backed into a corner, got into such a nasty fight it meant she broke her tail ?  Or about the time when my younger brother’s cat got into a fight and nearly lost an eye ?

DANGER #3 Other People or The story of the neighbour’s missing cat

If you have a pure-bred cat of any type, it can possibly be stolen to be on-sold to pet stores (another reason to adopt before shopping) or other people.  If you have a “moggie”, then other people will harm it.  If you think these people do not exist, think again.

This story happened in Ashmore. Thankfully not one of my own cats… it happened to the neighbour “behind” us.  Their cat went missing…  a couple of days later the cat’s body turns up. It’s obvious someone had decided to do harm to this cat.  I won’t mention exactly what had been done to the cat however let’s say that it was bad enough for me to remember this incident.

Danger #4  It goes missing never to return

I’ve had two separate incidents of this happening to cats when I was younger.  The first one was when I was young (around 6-8 yo)… Tiddles. She went missing. I was distraught for weeks.  The story my parents told me to help me deal with my grief is that she had decided to enter a trademan’s car to go for a nap only for the trademan to leave.  Whilst I don’t believe the story is true it could happen.  Do you REALLY know where your cat goes when it is outside ?  Another time was when my mother had picked me up from school. The bird’s cage (holding two birds) had been knocked over and no sight of the cats to be seen.  They never returned (neither did the birds of course).

Danger #5 Other Animals aka The before school surprise

Whilst dogs, ticks and other animals can be dangerous to outdoor cats (or cats that have outdoor access)… my personal story isn’t about them.  My personal story highlights the risk for those of us whom are “lucky” to live on or near water (which is a lot of the Gold Coast) – Toadfish.  Or at least that is what I think it was…  none the less, I received a not so pleasant surprise when I got into the car before school one morning.

There on the floor of the car was a cat with its tongue out and looking like it had been poisoned. There was evidence elsewhere that it had ingested or done something with the toadfish (as the Toadfish was all puffed up).  Yes, I cried. It traumatized me for awhile remembering that image of the cat ‘dead’ in the car. Not something I wish on any of my cats.

Danger #6 The cat itself  aka “The UTI”

If the cat is allowed in/out or completely outside then it obviously doesn’t have a kitty litter.  If there is no kitty litter and a way for us (your hired PROFESSIONAL pet sitter) to monitor what is going “in” (food and water) and “out” (poop and urine)…..  then there is no way we can diagnose any possible problems.

Urinary Tract Blockages Can Be Deadly, Laddie’s Story (click here to read)

In the end I know we can’t protect them from the inevitable – death – however we can do our best by ensuring they’re inside your home. Cats can live long, happy, healthy lives being 100% indoors. They don’t “need” to go outside.  Even if all they have is one room to reside within – as long as they have companionship, food, water, access to a ledge or window to look out as well as toys or other things to provide stimulation (scratching posts or a cat tree) …. Generally speaking they will be happy.

Oh.. yes I know there are dangers for our cats inside our homes however I can assure you that the majority of the dangers I’ve listed above will either be eliminated or greatly reduced.  Let’s not even get into the benefit for the environment and community.

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