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Letting Cats Outdoors (Without Letting Them Out)

Our cats love the great outdoors and while it’s not safe to let them out unattended, there are safe ways we can indulge their wild side and take them outdoors for some fresh air.

Cat Strollers

Strollers are some of the best ways to let your cats experience the great outdoors without fear of them getting hurt. These days, strollers are specifically designed for cats with specially closing tops and padded, easily cleaned sitting areas. Pet strollers make it safe and easy to take your cat anywhere.

Your cat will love the panoramic view that the mesh window allows your pet and you’ll love knowing your feline friend is safe and secure.

Harnesses

Almost every cat has the potential to be trained to walk on a harness, but it’s important to choose the correct harness. There are jacket harnesses designed specifically for cats (our favorite is the Kitty Holster) and they are generally the safer way to take your cat out for a walk in the yard or around a neighborhood.

Petsafe also offers a harness called “Come with Me Kitty” and it’s designed to naturally apply gentle pressure to your cat’s shoulders for safe restraint. The bungee leash helps accommodate a cat’s sudden movements. Remember that you will need to train your cat to feel comfortable with these types of restraints before you venture outside with them.

Enclosures

Enclosures are those that attach to the home via cat door and open onto a totally enclosed cat area. Often, the enclosures are modified from outdoor dog kennels and they are great ways to let your cats outdoors, particularly in areas that are rife with predators (like coyotes or birds of prey).

Their large size gives cats plenty of room to roam and you can easily add shade and fun features like perches and outdoor cat furniture that helps protect from the elements.

Catios

For those who have dreamed of enclosing their entire patio or making a sunroom, there are hundreds of ways to do so. These days, you can find almost every piece of equipment you will need to transform that empty patio into a glorious catio that your cats can safely enjoy.

In most cases, chicken wire or invisible fencing can be used to enclose a patio safely. Remember that cats are escape artists so be extra careful to reinforce corners and the top lines of patios where cats are most likely to escape.

Pop-up Enclosures

There are lots of ways to keep a cat contained outdoors. Mesh popups like this Kritter Kondo, this one by ABO Gear Happy or this one from KittyWalk are specially designed to keep cats contained outdoors for short periods of time. They even allow the ease of moving the enclosure around. If you live in a warm area, remember to keep an eye on the sunshine and provide plenty of shade.

On a side note, if you have a cat rescue where you need to have cats contained but still visible for adoption at an outdoor event, these types of enclosures are the way to go!

Cats need exposure to fresh air and sunshine, but it’s dangerous to let them out to roam. Whatever method you choose, be sure you keep a watchful eye on them and make sure your cats are microchipped, protected against fleas and ticks, and vaccinated!

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  1. Pingback: Training Your Cat to Walk on a Leash - The Catington Post

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Just when this dog-eat-dog world has handed you all the poop you can take, it's time to walk the dog. Or wash the dog. Or feed the dog. You get the idea. So welcome to the world of easy-to-care-for cats. Entertainment comes bundled in a furry, huggable, self-cleaning cat who won't beg for your food. In his eyes, you don't eat well enough anyway. Just keep a laser pen handy, sit back and wait for the fun to begin! Cats...ya gotta love 'em.

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