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Should I Let My Cat Go Outside?

Ahh — the great indoor/outdoor debate! Many folks are under the assumption that all cats can be trained as either indoor or outdoor, but that might not be the case. There are several factors that determine whether or not your cat will thrive outdoors and a boat load of dangers that should be considered before sending fluffy out into the world unsupervised.

What are the dangers of letting your cat outside?

  • Disease: While your pet might be in good health, there are plenty of feral cats and stray dogs out there that are not — especially on the streets of Manhattan. It’s not uncommon for wild cats to carry diseases like feline leukemia, AIDS, or distemper and upper respiratory infections. Not to mention the risk of exposure to fleas, ticks, ear mites, and worms.
  • Cat Fights: Speaking of those stray cats and dogs, unlike Fluffy they’re probably not trained. As you know, wild animals can be unpredictable, making it difficult for Fluffy to determine friend from foe. The last thing you want as a pet parent is to have your beloved cat waltz back into the house with cuts and bruises from an animal altercation.
  • Unpredictable Poisons: Cats will be cats, always getting into things they’re not supposed to. At home, you can keep the chemicals and unsafe ingestibles out of reach, but out in “the wild” there’s no telling what your pet might get into.
  • Traffic: We live in Manhattan, where cars abound and traffic is a fact of life. You wouldn’t throw your pet in the middle of the West Side Highway, would you? We didn’t think so. Remember, the area where you live and how congested it is can have a huge effect on whether or not you let Fluffy out to play on his or her own.

At the end of the day, it’s your choice whether or not you want to train your cat to frolic in the great outdoors alone or not. But, if you do, we urge you to make sure he/she has been spayed or neutered, and is up to date on all his/her shots. If your cat takes leisurely strolls along the streets of Manhattan, scheduling regular check-ups is the best way to make sure he/she remains in good health and lives a long, happy life.

Has it been awhile since you last brought Fluffy to the vet? No problem! Just call 212-396-3020 or fill out our appointment request form online to secure your veterinary appointment at Upper East Side Animal Hospital today.

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