More and more cat owners are choosing to provide their pet cats with safe access to the outdoors using some type of containment system. ProtectaPet joined forces with International Cat Care to conduct a survey on cat containment. The report has since been published and here are some of the interesting findings that were discovered thanks to the contribution made by the 369 responses that were received.
Who and Where?
- 46% of the respondents lived in a suburban environment, 31% urban and 22% rural.
- 43% had pedigree breeds that included the Norwegian Forest Cat, Bengal, Burmese, Ragdoll and Maine coon.
- 57% had one or more domestic breeds such as the shorthair, longhair or crossbred pedigrees.
- A whopping 73% kept no other pets!
Cat fencing or a similar wall barrier system was the most popular type of cat containment installation, with 78% of the respondents choosing this type of system for their property.
Impact on the Cat’s Lives
Interestingly, 39% of the respondents said that their pet cats had no outdoor access before they installed the cat containment system, while 36% said they allowed their cats some access to the outdoors. These cats now enjoy outside access, with plenty of fresh air and more room to play and explore. With outdoor access, cats receive more chances to exercise naturally and indulge in natural behaviours, helping to keep cats happy and healthy both physically and mentally.
Why Buy a Cat Containment System?
The respondents were asked if there was a specific incident that resulted in them deciding to choose a cat containment system. 58% said that there was indeed an incident, the type of accidents that were recorded include:
- Cat killed by a car on the road
- Cat being targeted to use as bait for dog fighting
- Fighting with neighbourhood cats
- Cats being harmed in the local area
- Deaf cats
- Missing vats
- Dog attacks
- Cat illness
- Cat poisonings including anti-freeze poisonings in local area
- Neighbour disliking cats
- Concerns about the cat killer
- Moving home and living close to main roads
Benefits of the Cat Containment System
Finally, here are some of the most popular points that the cat owners liked most about their chosen cat containment system.
- Peace of mind
- Giving the cat safe access to the outdoors
- Cats being safe from harm from roads, other cats and animals and people
- Being able to have the windows and doors open that lead on to the contained area
- Not worrying about young children in the home leaving doors open
- Discrete design
- Easy to install
- Happier cats
What are your thoughts on cat containment systems such as cat fencing, catios and cat balconies?
It’s that time of year again when we remind all cat owners about the dangers of antifreeze. Once the temperatures fall, many people use antifreeze as a way of combating ice. It’s used in car radiators and found in many screen washes and de-icers too and even ponds and other water features. Inside antifreeze is a chemical that is deadly to cats and causes multiple deaths each year, most are accidental. The chemical is ethylene glycol. It has a very sweet taste and although cats can’t taste sweetness, they do find it to be attractive.
Antifreeze is Deadly to Cats
Cats don’t need to consume a large amount of antifreeze for it to become deadly. In fact, it takes as little as one teaspoon, sometimes less. A couple of licks from a spill or around the top of the container is all it can take. If there’s a spillage on the ground and a cat walks through it they are at risk as they will consume the antifreeze through grooming. Therefore, it’s vital that cats are taken directly to the vets as soon as possible if they’re to have any chance of surviving. The chemical is broken down in the liver, creating other chemicals as a result. These chemicals cause serious harm to the kidneys and the damage is often fatal.
How Can I Tell If My Cat Has Been Poisoned by Antifreeze?
Antifreeze poisoning symptoms can take up to half an hour after ingestion to show. Then your cat might appear weak or even drunk, have sickness and seem tired. As the damage occurs the cat may urinate frequently and drink a lot of fluid. They will then quickly become very poorly and might collapse. Once at the vets, blood and urine samples will be used to establish whether ethylene glycol is the cause.
Preventing Antifreeze Poisoning
- 1.Check to see whether ethylene glycol is an ingredient in your antifreeze products. Unfortunately, almost all antifreeze products contain the chemical. Store these products away securely, just like you would for a small child.
- 2.There are screen washes and de-icers that are ethylene glycol free, so shop around and use the ones that are free from this chemical.
- 3.Clean up any spills immediately, even if it’s first thing in the morning and you’re late for work! Wipe the area clean with a wet rag and wash down with some water before safely disposing of the rag.
- 4.Consider keeping cats indoors or using cat fencing or alternative cat containment system to prevent your cat from being exposed to ethylene glycol and other risks.
- 5.If you have a cat that can wander around the neighbourhood it is worth taking the time to discuss the dangers with your neighbours. This will encourage neighbours to secure their antifreeze away safely and clean up any spills that happen.
Being aware of the dangers of antifreeze and sharing the information with friends and neighbours will help to save the lives of many cats. Be vigilant and take your cat to the vet the moment you notice any symptoms mentioned above.
Many cat owners choose to keep their feline family indoors and the trend is increasing in the UK. Road dangers, risks of disease, cat theft and protecting the wildlife are some of the reasons behind this increasing trend in the UK. One of the downsides of keeping a cat indoors is the risk of obesity, but there are ways you can work to prevent it.
1.Rotate cat toys so they keep your cats interest and stop them from getting bored. Bring out one or two toys at a time and choose toys that will encourage movement. There are plenty on the market but you can also make your own. There are plenty of excellent homemade cat toys ideas found on Pinterest, click the link for some inspiration.
2.Invest in a laser pointer, cats love them. They’re cheap, fun and ideal for getting your cat running and jumping in any direction you choose.
3.Expand the play space by using cat fencing or a catio. Secure cat enclosures provide access to fresh air and increase the amount of space available to your cat but provide you with peace of mind knowing your cat is safe from harm and risks.
4.Make the use of the vertical space in your home and provide your cat with different levels to jump to and from. Cats love getting up high so consider adding some cat friendly tall furniture, shelves and cat towers.
5.Move the food around to different locations, varying in height. Make your cat jump in order to get to their food, every little calorie burnt is a bonus. If your cat is already overweight you should go to the vet and discuss the issue and they will provide you with information on feeding options and the correct amounts of food to feed.