Wednesday, March 9, 2016

City Kitties Outside

With more high rise building sprouting up all over Seattle these days, I fear "kitty high rise syndrome" may increase as well. Cats can get bored inside and being outside, even on a small balcony, can add interest and excitement to their lives. But just like humans, savvy felines make errors of judgement or have accidents that can end up being painful and disabling or worse, fatal. Here's a story about one lucky kitten  who survived an incredibly long fall and will make an excellent recovery. Being young likely helped his survival, as older and overweight cats may not fare so well in a fall.

So how can you safely give your kitty the fresh air and enrichment he needs? With outdoor enclosures, cats can have "outdoor time" when the weather permits. For kitty guardians living in apartments or condos where no structural changes are allowed, the Kitty Walk systems are ideal. You can also easily take these with you when you move. Your cat will quickly learn the routine and when it's time for him to go back inside, a few treats should help as a reward for his cooperation. No matter what type of enclosure you choose it's always best to allow for "outdoor time" only when you are home and can monitor your kitty to make sure he is comfortable. If you can install a cat door or leave your own door open enough for kitty to come and go then you can be sure he is able to come back inside if he gets cold, wet or overheated. (Just like people, some cats enjoy the cold or heat and others don't.) Put a kitty condo or chairs with cushions out so your cat has a soft spot to doze and a bowl of water. Spring is just around the corner, we'll all soon be able to appreciate the outdoors again!

This is a DON'T!