Care Information for Cats – Housing –
Cats are generally known for being hardy and having independent natures. They do, however, have some basic care requirements common to all animals. One of these is the need for shelter. Some people choose to keep their cats indoors and other people choose to keep their cats outdoors. Often, people will keep their cats both indoors and outdoors; some cats spend the majority of the day outside and come inside at night to sleep or to shelter from inclement weather. The issue of which system is better is extremely controversial. While many people believe it is cruel to keep cats exclusively indoors, especially cats who have been raised as outdoor cats, the outside can hold great dangers for felines. Cars, other people, and other animals that may be vicious or diseased are just a few of these problems.
Many times neighbors, especially those who garden or raise small animals, may consider cats to be a nuisance or even an economic threat. It has been estimated that cats kept indoors may usually live for ten years longer than outdoor cats. The argument may also be made, however, then an outdoor cat knows how to take care of itself if it is out of the house. If an indoor cat escapes, it may not know to stay away from roads or how to find food. Although the chance that an indoor cat will escape is unlikely, you should always keep a collar on your cat with a tag attached.
The tag should include your phone number at the very least, and your address. You may want to include your name and your cat’s name. Many people worry that their cats will choke if their collar catches on something while the cat is jumping. In order to prevent this, breakaway collars are sold at many pet supply stores which will detach their clasps if a weight pulls on them. Microchip implantation is another method of marking your cat and it may be done by your veterinarian. This method is achieved by implanting a microchip just below the cat’s skin. When an animal is found by a shelter or taken to a veterinarian, it can be scanned for a microchip. If a chip is present, the animal can usually be identified quickly and easily regardless of whether or not it is wearing a collar or tag.
If you choose to keep your cat outside, it will need some sort of shelter from the elements. In some rural areas, people might keep their cats in barns to control pests. This will satisfy the cat’s requirement for shelter; it provides protection from wind and precipitation, and more likely than not has small hiding areas in which the cat can curl up to conserve body heat. In many areas, a carport or other sheltered area can be fine. You may wish to provide a box lined with a blanket or towel or even a small doghouse for your cat to shelter in. Like any mammal, cats should probably be kept inside in extremely cold climates.
Indoors, many cats should have a quiet place they can retreat to in the event that they feel stressed or tired. Some people will purchase elaborate cathouses, but the cat may simply seek out a chair or pillow in a quiet room that can suit it just as well. You may even wish to build your own cat house or kitty gym from carpet covered wood. If you do this, you should make absolutely sure that there are no nails poking out and that all rough edges are completely eliminated.
The lighting and temperature needs of your cat are much the same as your own. Of course, in breeds of cats with very long or thick coats, or thin-haired and hairless breeds, these requirements will vary. While some cats can become quickly overheated, others may need to be kept warmer than most, depending on the sort of coat they have. Hairless cats breeds are especially susceptible to sunburn, so you may not wish to allow them outdoors frequently if at all.