Sanford, North Carolina
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Sanford, NC 27330
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What Are the Health Risks Associated With Letting Cats Outdoors? February 4, 2020

Sanford, Lee
What Are the Health Risks Associated With Letting Cats Outdoors?, Sanford, North Carolina

While you may want to give your cat the liberty to roam your property, the outdoors present a variety of health risks. Here’s why many veterinarians urge cat owners to keep their felines indoors. Even if your cat doesn’t like feeling confined at first, they’ll get used to it, especially if you provide plenty of indoor entertainment.

Why Veterinarians Recommend Keeping Cats Indoors

Encounters With Wildlife, Dogs, & Other Cats

veterinarianAllowing your cat outside not only endangers the birds in your area, but it risks encounters with other cats, including stray felines. Feral cats may carry Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV), feline AIDS (FIV), feline distemper (panleukopenia), and FIP (feline infectious peritonitis) among other infections, which they can spread to your cat through bites and other saliva-based contact.

Time outdoors also increases the chance of encounters with aggressive dogs and other wildlife. Raccoons and possums, for example, can pass rabies on to your cat if they’re infected.

Exposure to Toxic Chemicals & Parasites

Cats become vulnerable to parasites and toxic chemical exposure when they spend part or all of their time outdoors. Fleas, ticks, and ear mites are always looking for a new host, as are intestinal parasites and ringworm. Depending on the parasite affecting your cat, they may develop serious skin irritations and infections, or vomiting and diarrhea.

Toxic chemicals present yet another danger veterinarians warn cat owners about. Felines also like the taste of some chemicals, such as antifreeze, which can make them seriously ill. Antifreeze poisoning can cause kidney damage without immediate care.

Injuries From Other Outdoor Hazards

Outdoor cats can also be injured if a heavy object falls on them or a sharp metal piece punctures their skin. Your cat may accidentally run into something sharp or heavy while escaping a predator, or sustain injuries due to natural curiosity. Keeping a cat indoors eliminates every outdoor risk to help the animal live a longer, healthier life. 


Keep your cat indoors and bring the feline to Carolina Veterinary Hospital in Sanford, NC, for regular checkups. Having served the community for over 40 years, you can count on compassionate care from experienced veterinarians who provide routine services as well as surgery and emergency pet care. Call (919) 258-3349 today to make an appointment or visit the veterinarians online for more information.