All of the cats adopted through furry friends are intended to be indoor-only companion animals, with the exception of cats in our Rodent Rangers program. Indoor cats have an average lifespan of 10-15 years compared with just 2-5 for outdoor cats, due to the many hazards and risks of even partial time outdoors. Some of the dangers outside cats face include:
– Being hit by cars
– Injury from wild predators, other cats, or dogs
– Pregnancy or impregnating other cats
– Diseases including FeLV, FIV, Lyme, FIP, distemper, parasites or worms, and infection from injuries
– Accidental or intentional poisoning from pest control or household chemicals like antifreeze.
– Getting trapped in garages, outbuildings, trees, car engines or wheels, across busy roads, or in unfamiliar areas.
– Human intervention resulting in theft, injury, or death
Properly cared-for, indoor cats live long and happy lives free from unnecessary stress and risk. There are many ways to ensure your furry friend gets the proper exercise and enrichment, many of which are a great opportunity to bond and communicate with your cat. We recommend the use of interactive toys, cat wheels, scratching posts, catnip, cat trees, outdoor “catios” or enclosed play areas, training to walk on a harness & leash, learning games or tricks, and videos of birds and animals.
Another important reason to keep cats as indoor pets is to protect wildlife and ecosystems. Outdoor cats kill hundreds as many as 4 billion birds and 22 billion mammals annually and have contributed significantly to the extinction of at least 63 animal species. They disrupt the food chain by killing animals that control flea, tick, and mosquito populations as well as competing for food with valuable wildlife like owls, hawks, opossums, foxes, coyotes, and raccoons that naturally keep rodent populations in check.
For more information, please visit any of the great resources below:
UC Davis Study of Veterinary Medicine