No, I'm not referring to the horror movies   Jack Frost   or Cabin Fever ~ I'm talking about keeping your kitty inside. I feel you ...

Stop Jack Frost & Cabin Fever Cat

No, I'm not referring to the horror movies  Jack Frost  or Cabin Fever ~ I'm talking about keeping your kitty inside. I feel you should always keep your cats inside, especially with the cold weather on the way. Why? Because there's lots of dangers to your cat being outside. Some things to consider...

1. Keeping your cat inside assures it can be safe from from diseases and parasites. They can contract feline lukemia, ringworm, rabies, toxoplasmosis, ear mites, and fleas from other cats and the outdoors...just to name a few.

Cat with ringworm.

2. There's lots of poisonous plants and foliage outside. Here's just a list.

3. If your cat is inside, you can to monitor their litter box for any unusual activity, like if they are not peeing or have loose poop. (You can read my blogs about litter boxes and litter for advice on what kind of bathroom to set up for your cat.)

4. You might think your kitty is King of the Jungle, BUT there's bigger wildlife and predators outside that will fight, maim, or kill your sweet cat. And PLEASE ~ for the love of horror movies ~ don't let your cat outside if it's declawed! Ugh. (Side note: I hate that I mean declawing still happens.)

5. Speaking of bigger animals...CARS kill cats a lot more than you think. Sure cats will stick to places they know and roam outside within parameters, but if there's a street, you can't stop your cat from crossing it. Who knows if the driver will see your cat. According to the National Traffic Safety Administration 97% of cats don't make it after they are hit by a car. 5.4 MILLION cats are hit by cars every year in the US. AND if it's cold out, cats will sit on or under the warm hood of your car and can get injured. (I'll spare you the pictures, but I CAN assure you they are disturbing.)

6. If you are forced to have a cat that is an indoor/ outdoor cat, please make sure they have a breakaway collar. Otherwise the buckle collar can get caught and strangle them on fence posts and various things. The breakaways come in a variety of colors and can even be personalized.

Available here.

7. If you think your cat is special and beautiful, there might be another person that thinks the same and steals your cat.

8. If your cat goes outside and is a nuisance to neighbors, i.e. poops in their garden, chances are your neighbor doesn't like your cat. They can call animal control and have your kitty taken away.

9. Some people just suck and might abuse or poison your cat.

10. Cats can freeze to death if the temperature dips below 32 degrees Fahrenheit! They can suffer from frostbite and hypothermia.

Here are some ways to avoid Cabin Fever and keep an indoor kitty happy...

1.Play with your cat. There are so many different cats toys available. You can get balls with bells, wands with feathers, or just plush catnip toys to help your kitty keep entertained. This will give them the chance to pounce, hunt, and chase like they would if they were outside.

2. Make sure your indoor cat has access to a window. Some cats will sit in a window all day long and just stare. It's like kitty TV for them and it allows them to experience the outdoors safely. You can put a cat bed or add a cat perch to a window.

3. Offer them a cat bed. It can be as simple as a box with a towel at the bottom or you can buy a fancy cat bed.

4. You can bring the outdoors inside and plant cat grass.

5. Go vertical and make sure your cat has things to perch on like the tops of furniture or a cat tree.

Some cats you just can't keep inside. Take for example my neighbor's cat Dewey. He's the sweetest cat in the world, (although my Ginger hates him for some reason and anytime she sees him through the window she gets a giant puff tail and makes noises you never thought could come out of a cat.) Dewey is super friendly and I swear he guards our front porch and back deck. I asked our neighbor why Dewey is an outdoor cat. He said they they tried to keep him indoors, but he ripped through and broke three screen doors, and that was the end of keeping him confined. I guess he will only stay inside when it's cold out, but during the summer he refuses to be confined. I look forward to seeing Mr. Dewey, but I do get nervous for him.

This is Dewey aka Guardian of the Back Deck, Keeper of the Front Porch.

If you see any stray cats outside in the cold but you can't bring them in, you can always make a shelter for them. Even if it just keeps out the wind, it's helpful! Here's some ideas on how to make one. Here's some great tips if you do make one.

Bottom line, cats live longer if they are kept inside.