How To Keep Your Kitten Safe Outside
The five steps that you should take before letting your kitten go outside are:
Getting all their vaccinations — Wait for at least a week after they get their last vaccination
before you take your kitten outside.
The best way to keep your kitten safe outside
Getting microchipped — This is very important as your kitten would be able to be returned to you in the event that they do get lost by accident (for instance getting outside by themselves) and they are not wearing their collar.
Spay or neuter your kitten — Kittens from shelters and rescue centres are usually spayed or neutered (desexed) as early as possible before adoption takes place. If your kitten has not yet been desexed by the time you get them, it’s best to have the operation done before they are six months old. This should ensure that they are desexed before going into heat, for instance. It will also limit unwanted males roaming around your property when they sense that your kitten is there.
Get a leash or harness — these days you can quite easily get a cat leash and harness and it’s quite easy to teach a kitten to use it when they go outside with you. By using a leash and harness, you can ensure that they don’t run away from you (and, wow, can kittens be fast!) and slip through a gate into the road, for instance. You can then also use the harness to walk them to their outdoor enclosure where they can play and frolic for hours on end. Get your kitten used to wearing the harness and leash inside your home first before venturing outside. This will ensure that you don’t cause unnecessary stress when you take them out for the first time.
Make sure the garden is toxin-free — This is especially important for those plants around the doors and windows of the home and on the inside and outside of the outside cat enclosure. Here is an article to explain which plants are safe and which are toxic. As you never quite know what your kitten will take a fancy to nibble on when they’re outside, rather err on the side of caution!
In our opinion, the best way to keep your kitten safe outside is by giving them a backyard cat enclosure
to play (and catnap) in. Not only is there a wide variety of sizes to choose from — even some perfect for apartment living — but there are also a number of accessories you can use to personalise it and make it perfect for your kitten(s).
Not only will a cat enclosure give them the option of staying outside without your supervision, it will also ensure that they are safe from:
- Other, roaming cats — including those carrying illnesses like Feline AIDS
- Toxic plants or any vermin which may have been poisoned on an adjoining property and has died on your property
- Roaming into other people’s yards where there might be other pets
- Roaming into the street where they could be hit by a car
It’s a good idea to stay with your kitten for a time when you first start to put them into the enclosure, just to put them at ease. For instance, put them in the enclosure while you’re watering the garden or doing some weeding (or just sitting outside enjoying some me-time).
Slowly start to leave them alone for longer periods, leaving them to play and sleep to their heart’s content. Just be sure to add some toys, etc. to their enclosure to keep them busy. You can have some “indoor” and some “outdoor” toys, making it even more fun for them to be outside with other toys.
Photo by Manki Kim on Unsplash
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