How to Safely Let Your Cat Out

Last week, I told you why cats should stay indoors, and they really should. We should all be indoor kitties. But that doesn’t mean we can’t take a walk out in nature. Leashes are for more than just dogs and humans.

Tasty

The gear

The proverbial cat is out of the bag. With a leash and a harness (find a size that fits your kitty properly), we can enjoy the outdoors while staying safe. Look at these happy fellows. I took to the leash right away, while Butterscotch hated the harness at first. If your cat flops down as soon as you put it on, you can still carry your owner—I mean cat—outside and let him or her get used to that strange restraining device.

Stalking my brother, as one does

Ticks and fleas, again

Being outside is not completely without risks. First of all, if the harness is loose or ill-fitting, the feline might get free and make a run for it. We don’t want that. Also, bugs are a problem. There are flea-control solutions out there that you put on your cat and have them spread it all over the house. If you don’t want to use those all of the time, signs of flea infestation in cats are red and bumpy skin, excessive scratching, and hair loss. Also, they might be chewing you up, so chances are you’ll notice.

Ticks also cause irritation of the skin. You should be able to spot them by parting the poor kitty’s fur. They swell as they feed, which is gross. Don’t just pull them out! Refer to the instructions at the end of this article by VCA Animal Hospital, which will tell you to protect your hands, use tweezers or tick-specific tools, grab the tick as close to the cat’s skin as possible, and apply steady pressure. You don’t want the tick’s head to separate and stay behind. Again, yuck. Prevention seems preferable, and there are products for ticks and fleas both. Never use one meant for dogs on a cat, as they are toxic.

Yummy grass. Please be tick-free

Lastly, we tend to like to eat grass and other plants. Don’t let us eat anything with chemicals on it. Dying of poisoning is a poor way to enjoy nature, let me tell you.

Enjoy the great outdoors

As an indoor cat. You’ll have fun, spend quality time with your human, and live to be eighty. In cat years.

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