7 Tips for Your Cat to Safely Explore the Neighborhood

7 Tips for Your Cat to Safely Explore the Neighborhood
7 Tips for Your Cat to Safely Explore the Neighborhood (Photo: Tiaan Nell/Unsplash)

Cats are curious creatures who enjoy taking in all that life has to offer, including the sun, concrete, and grass. However, you still want to be responsible and keep your cats safe outdoors.

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There’s nothing wrong with allowing your cat to venture outside, as long as you are a responsible owner and follow certain guidelines. With plenty of caution and training, spending some time outside with your cat can be a fantastic experience.

Read on to discover some tips for your cat to explore the neighborhood without taking risks:

1. Don’t Leave Them Alone

Not letting your cat roam outdoors on its own is the first crucial tip to keep them safe. This is especially true if you live in an urban area, if your cat has never lived outdoors in the past, or if your cat is still a kitten.

Think of your cat as if they were a child: no one would let their child out of sight while playing in the yard. Use the same thought process when dealing with your cat.

Even though it may seem inconvenient, you should ensure that your cat remains not only within your line of sight but also within your reach.

If your cat starts to get into something they shouldn’t or tries to escape, you should be ready to protect them and safely guide them back inside.

2. Train Them to Enjoy Walks

How about training your cat to walk on a leash? Many people don’t consider this because it seems unusual. In reality, though, this is a great way to spend time giving your cat the exercise they need while allowing them to explore places they couldn’t in the past.

3. Make Sure They’re Vaccinated

An important step when you want to keep cats safe outdoors is to ensure they are up to date on all vaccinations. There are many more types of outdoor bacteria, and some can cause deadly viruses in cats. So, to ensure safety, make sure your cat is fully vaccinated before allowing them to explore.

It’s also helpful to ensure they are spayed or neutered, especially if you think they will be out for more than a few minutes. Stray cats are much more common than you might think and can show up when you least expect it.

4. Try to Train Them to Come When Called

Some people think that training cats is impossible. This is because, unlike dogs, cats have nothing to prove. They don’t seek your approval; they want some kind of incentive. There needs to be mutual and solid respect between a cat and its owner for any type of training to work.

And perhaps the most important type of training is getting your cat to recognize their name. When your cat begins to understand that you are calling their attention, they are more likely to listen to what else you have to say.

5. Don’t Let Them Out at Night

Regardless of whether it’s for two minutes or two hours, letting your cat out at night is never a good idea. Cats have great night vision, unlike humans. This means that in a situation where your cat wanders a bit, it will be nearly impossible to locate them while they move.

While this is a bit less threatening, there can also be nocturnal predators in your area. This depends on your location, but it’s not something you can dismiss. Because whenever they act as predators, cats themselves can easily become prey when caught off guard.

6. Ensure There Are Ways to Identify Them

Don’t make the mistake of letting your cat go out without any form of identification. Even if your cat doesn’t have a collar, an indispensable thing is a microchip.

With a microchip, anyone who comes across your cat thinking they are lost (or if your cat does get lost) can easily scan the chip to locate them. This is especially important to remember if you have a particularly special or expensive breed of cat.

As regrettable as it is, some people are selfish. If they find your cat and assume it’s a stray, and the cat has no identification suggesting otherwise, there’s always a risk they’ll keep the cat as their own or, worse, sell it.

7. Let Them Adjust Slowly

Finally, allow your cat to slowly adjust to the outdoors. If you want to keep your cat safe outdoors, make sure they feel comfortable first. If your cat is easily scared and runs away, this can quickly become a problem.

Assuming your cat trusts you implicitly, there will still be the additional stress of external factors. If you have a

cat that is already used to the outdoors but has moved to a new home, give them time. Don’t let them out immediately, no matter how loudly they protest.

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