Can I Let My Cat Outdoors?

Q

Can I let my cat outdoors?

 A

Many cats enjoy a little romp outside during this fine weather as much as we do. In fact a little sun can be a very important thing for your cat’s psyche. Many cases of not using the litter box have been traced to not getting enough time outside. It’s important, though, to keep your cat safe during his excursions.

One of the most important things to consider is your cat’s safety. Try to avoid scuffles with neighbor cats if you can. Bite wounds can lead to painful abscesses. These may require medical treatment in the form of lancing and antibiotics.

Also, feline leukemia and FIV (the feline equivalent of HIV), can be spread by contact with infected cats. All cats with the possibility of exposure to unvaccinated cats should be vaccinated against feline leukemia. There is also a vaccine against FIV, but there is no way to tell a vaccinated cat from an infected cat. This is important to keep in mind. If your cat gets loose and is picked up by the humane society, it may be euthanized as a possible carrier of FIV.

Another less intuitive danger is the possibility of sun burn. (Yes, you read right, sun burn.) Cats with white ears or a white nose are prone to getting “solar dermatitis” which can actually become cancerous with time. While using sun screen on a cat’s nose is not recommended, avoiding times of peak sun may be enough to avoid the problem.

For further information or to schedule an appointment, contact Hudson Veterinary Hospital at (330)650-2929.