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Protect your outdoor cat

We often call an outdoor cat a cat that can come and go as it pleases in the home, sometimes indoors and sometimes outdoors. If you have an outdoor cat there are a lot of things you need to think about, here we tell you more!

When you first bring home a cat that you plan to have both indoors and outdoors, it's wise to let the cat spend the first time in its new home indoors, to give it a chance to get used to its new environment. Once the cat has become accustomed to its new home, an appropriate next step might be to start walking the cat in a harness to help it learn to find its way home.

It is important to consider the environment in which the cat will be moving when outdoors as the dangers may differ between densely populated areas and rural areas. Traffic, snake bites and rat poison are some examples of common outdoor hazards for cats.

Sometimes cats come into conflict with each other and injuries such as scratches and bite wounds can occur. You can learn more about what to do if your cat suffers from tear and bite wounds here. To keep track of your cat's movements outdoors, you can use a GPS in the collar, which sends information about your cat's location via satellite directly to you.

Keep in mind that your outdoor cat is affected by the weather. During the warm days of the year, it's important to keep your cat hydrated to avoid dehydration. Cats, like humans, can get heat stroke and if your cat suffers from this it is important that you contact a vet. During the winter and the cold days of the year, it is important that your cat is brought indoors and warmed up regularly to avoid frostbite. When it is dark outside, a reflective collar is useful to make your cat more visible.

To protect your outdoor cat, you should also neuter, vaccinate and ID tag your cat. A suitable age for neutering is 4 to 6 months. Vaccination is regular, adult cats should be vaccinated annually against feline distemper and every three years against feline plague. ID tagging is important in case your cat gets lost, and don't forget to register the ID tag with SVERAK.

Outdoor cats like to eat mice and voles, so it is a good idea to deworm your cat regularly, a couple of times a year. You can learn more about deworming here. To avoid ticks and vermin, and to detect sores, swellings and boils, feel and brush your cat's coat daily. Learn more about how to feel your cat here.

Having good insurance is also important. If damage does occur, you can get help from a vet and the cost won't be as high. Lassie is there to help you and your cat before and after the injury.

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