Thursday, August 28, 2014

Indoor Cats




A quick update before I get to the gist of today's post.  All six kittens were delivered back to my house last evening.  They are the CUTEST little things EVER!!!  But all still sick, two or three very.  A very kind person who runs a rescue offered to take them off my hands and get them all better!  She is a Godsend!!!  She came and got them (temporarily!) and left me with three of them.  They are ADORABLE.  One is so rambunctious!  She is a helion!  The other two are both males, and on the shy side, although coming out of their shells at each time I visit.  Above are a few pictures I was able to get.  Will keep you posted!

I am stealing this article written by a veterinarian (Dr. Stuart Gluckman) who writes for Pet Pride of New York, Inc.'s newsletter. Anyone who knows me knows that I am totally against letting cats outdoors, but a lot of my friends, and family, believe otherwise, and thats ok, but I stick to my guns when adopting cats out.

"In 1999, one of our largest studies on cat longevity determined that 20% of America's cat population was greater than 10 years of age - and 5% had reached the 15 year mark.  Compare this with the feral cat that, sadly, has an average life span of only 4 years.  Our so-called indoor/outdoor cat certainly far exceeds the feral's time on this planet; however, they still live 3-5 years less than their totally indoor cousins.

What accounts for this dramatic difference?  Other cats are perhaps your friend's greatest enemy.  The feline world is highly territorial and your cat must fight for his or her portion of the neighborhood.  Even when victorius in battle, there are often wounds to attend to.  At the very best, we have an abscess to treat with the appropriate antibiotic.  At the very worse, we have acquired a life threatening infection of leukemia or feline immunodeficiency virus from the bite of an infected cat.  The list continues with a host of parasites - roundworms and tapeworms from making a meal out of a rodent, lungworms from ingesting a snail, heartworms from the bite of a mosquito, and hookworms by merely stepping on a contaminated area of soil. Vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, asthma and even sudden death are among the many disorders that can result from these parasitic infections.

If you are in a more urban area, we have to realize that rarely has a cat won its battle with an SUV.  Most of these unfortunate felines never make it home.  The ones that do require extensive help are often left with a major handicap for the remainder of their lives.  If you are in a rural setting, we have to deal with predators such as coyotes and free roaming dogs.  These poor cats just get listed as missing, for they never make it back to your door.

Poisoning is another serious hazard that awaits the outdoor cat.  Many plants are on this list - those of the lily family probably posing the most serious threat.  Often other animals are falling ill to an intentional toxin (e.g. rat poison), only to be ingested by our cat as an easy but possibly toxic meal.  Sadly, our cats, in an effort to maintain their incredibly clean appearance, often ingest a variety of chemicals that they have come in contact with.  Antifreeze is perhaps the most classic example of this as are fertilizers and chemicals that are used on lawns.

If I were to account for all the reasons one brings their cat to an animal hospital - other than routine vaccinations and the ailments associated with old age - 90% of these patients would have no reason to be seen had they just remained happily within the confines of their home.  This statistic alone should serve to convince any cat owner to 'just say no' when Mittens is meowing at the door."

In my years of rescuing animals from the street, and keeping many for my own, they have never ever wanted to go back out doors again.  In the winter, especially, they avoid an open door due to the cold - they never want to experience another homeless night again.  They are allowed to sit in windows, watch the birds, chirp at the birds, watch the squirrells, all from the protection of being behind a window in a warm, safe home. There is no reason to ever let them back out again.  It is not depriving them of their 'natural instincts.'  My cats do just fine with the endless supply of food on the floor, the many toys on the floor that the humans have to dodge in order to not break them, and the furniture that their little claws love to rip to shreds.  Speaking of, I think its time for nail trimming in my house!

Have a great day!

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment."

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post, Janine. Thank you! ~Mary