Top Tips for Feline Safety and Fineness this International Cat Day
We have partnered up with 11 local Cat Day councils. In the coming three years, we will work closely alongside veterinarians, wildlife groups, animal welfare organisations, and other professionals to help pet owners keep their cats at home. The project will change community attitudes and behaviours about being responsible cat owners and protecting our native wildlife.
“We understand that roaming is dangerous for cats. “We see this everyday through our RSPCA NSW shelters.
The initial research by the project showed that at most 50% of cats are kept indoors. However, we still have a lot to do.
“A cat left alone at home will live an average of 10 years longer than one allowed to roam.” Dr. Ma stated that it was vital that people keep their cats contained to help improve the lives of our wildlife and cats.
The following tips and tricks can help you make the right decision about whether to keep your cat inside or outside.
Timing matters – The transition from staying at home to being with your cat will take time. Take it slow and be patient. It is important to give your cat enough time to adapt to the new routine. This will reduce frustration and improve your chances of success. Start by keeping your cat home at night and slowly increasing their time at the house during the day. You can make your transition easier by taking advantage of times when your cat naturally prefers to be indoors, such as when you move house, feed time, or when it is cold outside.
Microchip your cat. No matter if you have a cat or are starting the transition, it is important to register your cat. Because there is no way for them to be contacted, cats can sometimes go unclaimed at shelters and pounds.
Responsible outdoor activity – Your indoor cat doesn’t have to stay inside all the time. Cat enclosures or catproof fencing can allow your pet to enjoy outdoor time. They can also get sun and fresh air while they are protected from disease and danger. A harness can be used to allow cats to explore the outdoors.
Cats love to scratch. If you do not provide scratching surfaces for your cat, they will likely find their own. Some cats prefer horizontal scratching surfaces while others prefer vertical.
Offer hiding places and opportunities to explore. Cats fall under the category of middle-order predators. They can both be predators and prey. This explains much of their behavior – they hunt, but they also need safety and must feel safe.
Create opportunities for predatory playing – Cats are wired to hunt small prey, so eating a few large meals can leave them feeling empty. By hiding or scattering food and using puzzle feeder toys to feed small amounts throughout the day, you can enrich your hunting experience.
Avoid excessive cuddling – Cat skin can be more sensitive than humans’, so gentle pats may prove overwhelming. Felines love gentle interactions, so you should allow them to have control over physical contact. Cat cuddles are acceptable only with your consent!
Get your cat desexed. As temperatures rise, RSPCA NSW sees an eight-fold increase in feline intake. This means that up to 500 kittens a week can pass through our doors. Two years can make it possible to have 20,000 kittens from a couple of unsexed cats. You can prevent unwanted pregnancies by desexing your feline friend.