Some of my own cats enjoying the view
This modern house had a covered patio, all it required was a mesh panel fitted to the front
This pen houses rescues but would be a great outdoor playroom for any cat
my own catio viewed from the outside
OUTDOOR SPACES FOR CATS
I read recently that a quarter of a million cats are killed on our roads each year, & that got me thinking.
I started to look for other statistics regarding cats that go missing & there was very little information to be found.
But 250,000 cats killed on roads must just be the tip of the iceberg. How many more are injured by cars and survive?
How many more die or nearly die from poisoning, either deliberate or accidental?
How many are stolen for any one of a dozen different horrific purposes?
What about those who simply loose their way home, never to be reunited with their owners.
Does anyone count the amount of cats that are killed or maimed by dogs, foxes, badgers & the like?
How many are shot or dispatched by cat hating neighbours or farmers?
Many cats die outside from natural causes, some never to be found.
And finally how many decide to move into a different home, for no reason other than they want to?
The total annual number of cats that die, disappear or who come home sick & injured every year, as a direct result of going out, must be astronomical.
It's no wonder more owners are choosing to keep their cats safely indoors.
Yet unbelievably many local and national animal charities will not home a cat to an indoor home unless there's a physical reason a cat should be kept inside such as blindness, deafness or the cat is carrying a communicable disease.
We at MART prefer to be more open minded about these things & take each case on it's own merit. Kittens & young cats that have had little experience of the great outdoors adjust well to indoor living but some older cats do too.
I myself have several ex feral cats, 2 are so happy to be indoors that they don't even venture downstairs into the cat run to sun themselves!
Keeping house cats is not without it's down sides but the benefits far outweigh them
• They stay safe
• Fewer vets bills
• You always know where they are
• Unlikely to Pick up fleas, worms & ticks.
• Less likely to fight with other cats
• Signs of illness can be detected earlier, especially from the contents of the littler tray.
• Fewer prey items brought into house
• Prevents transmission of disease between cats.
• Stops cats toileting in neighbours gardens
• Doors & windows need to be kept closed even in summer.
• Children, work men & visitors need to be supervised so as not to let a cat out
• Litter trays need cleaning twice daily
• Owners need to provide stimulation for cats
• Increased chance of cats developing behavioural issues
Keeping cats indoors does mean that owners need to think about how their cats can be kept happy, here are some things to consider.
• If you know from the outset that your cat is to stay in then taking on a pair of cats is a good option as they will have a pal to play & socialize with.
• Cats love to be up high & to be able to see what's going on around them, so a full height activity centre located by a window is ideal.
• Cats need to exercise both their bodies & their minds. Toys that stimulate their pray drive are essential, so the fishing rod type that requires owners to join in are great. Please do not let your cat play alone with them though as the long cords can wrap around cats & strangle them.
• Access to fresh air can be achieved by using well made & secure mesh frames that fit over an open door or window
• Some gardens can be made safe by "cat proofing" the fencing. Many types are available but professional advice should taken. Overhangs are popular but some smaller gardens can be made escape proof by completely covering with mesh
• Cat runs can be tacked onto the back or side of a property, allowing cats to gain direct access from the house via an open door/window/cat flap
• Cat pens can be situated anywhere in a garden. The cats either need to be carried to their outdoor accommodation or a tunnel provided so that cats can walk to the pen themselves without fear of them escaping.
We know that not all people believe in keeping cats as house pets but please bare in mind that cats have about as much road sense as a 2 year old child, would you let your 2 year old child cross the road on it's own? If this has given you pause for thought then please think carefully about how best to keep your cats safe & if you do let them outside please, please make sure they are inside over night.
Please take a look at some of the ingenious solutions our team members & followers have come up with to keep their beloved cats safe & happy. If you have done something for your cats along the same theme then please send us photos so that we can show others what can be achieved.