Many people who would never consider allowing their dogs to run loose have no similar compunction when it comes to the felines in their lives. Even though many of us grew up with the image of the old tomcat roaming the neighborhood, there are many good reasons for keeping those cats in the house.
The number one reason for keeping a cat indoors, of course, is safety. The safety of the cat itself and the safety of other neighborhood pets and wildlife depend on keeping that cat indoors. Roaming cats can do a great deal of damage to local wildlife, and of course dogs, cars and mean people can do lots of damage to the cat. Cats who live indoors tend to be much healthier, and to live much longer lives, than their outdoor counterparts.
Outdoor cats may also come into contact with all sorts of diseases to which indoor cats are never exposed. Even if the cat is vaccinated, infection can occur, and an infected cat may pass illness on to other household pets, or even to the family. In addition, cats that stay indoors can be more easily monitored for early signs of illness.
And of course keeping that cat indoors makes it that much more a part of the family. Cats are wonderful pets, and allowing them to share our homes, our lives and our hearts, allows us to get the most from the relationship. Even cats that are at first difficult to keep indoors can learn to enjoy the easy life on the couch, so do your favorite feline a favor and keep him on your side of the front door.
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