Cats love to go outside. As roaming animals, they appreciate a stimulating environment where they can practice natural behaviours that may otherwise be prohibited indoors. These can include: hunting, spraying and scratching.

Before letting your cat outside

Health concerns

There are a few recommended precautions to take before letting your cat wander alone in the outside world. Naturally, cats who roam free are likely to come into contact with other felines. This increases the risk of contracting diseases and producing unwanted litters.

To avoid this, consider having your cat spayed or neutered. You can read more information on female feline sterilisation here.

Secondly, you will need to consider what you would do if your cat went missing. A collar that displays your contact details is an important pet accessory, but for true reassurance many cat owners opt for microchipping. This is a quick, common procedure that will vastly increase your chances of being reunited with a lost pet.

When your cat is found, he or she can be taken to a local vet who will then check for microchipping and contact you directly. In the UK, dogs must be microchipped by law, which shows how important the procedure is for domestic animals.

Cat-friendly gardens

Your garden may not be perfectly suited to cats at the moment, but there are a few easy ways to modify the space. This will help your cat get the most out of their environment.

Most importantly, the following plants are poisonous to cats and should be avoided at all costs:

Lilies

Iris

Yucca

Leeks

Tomatoes

Potatoes

You could then consider assigning a specific ‘toilet area’ in your garden. By sprinkling a little cat litter where you want them to do their business, you can avoid unwanted faeces being buried in either your soil….or the neighbour’s flowerbeds.

Finally, you can encourage your cat to stay in the garden by installing a gapless fence that is two-meters high and covered with a hedge. Although cats are great climbers, this will at least act as a deterrent if you wish them to stay in close proximity to the house.

cat-walking-on-fence

How to let your cat out

The traditional cat flap

Cat flaps allow your cat come and go with no hassle for the owner. You don’t have to open the door for them throughout the day, and most can be also be locked, allowing you to take charge of when they should stay indoors.

However, there is one main drawback to this method; stray or unwanted animals can make use of the little door, which puts your house at risk.

Microchip cat flaps

A useful solution to this problem is a microchip cat flap, as recommended by the RSPCA. These high-tech cat flaps read your cat’s microchip and open only for them, avoiding the problem completely. We particularly recommend the PetSafe® Microchip Cat Flap as it can be programmed for multiple cats and has the additional manual lock feature.

Additionally, another issue to bear in mind is energy efficiency. Many cat flaps let in drafts that can be particularly troublesome in winter. The PetSafe® model includes a draft excluder to eliminate the problem, and can be fitted into a variety of surfaces.

Because we rate this model so highly, we are giving you the opportunity to win one! Simply submit your favourite photo of your cat exploring the great outdoors to be in with a chance of winning your very own PetSafe® Microchip Cat Flap. Good luck!

Do you have an outdoor cat?

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