Dear VetBabble: Is it Safe to Let My Previously Injured Cat Roam Outside Again?
My cat was involved in a bad accident about 18 months ago and suffered severe injuries. Since then, I have kept her indoors, but I think she is going stir-crazy from being inside all day while I’m at work. Is it safe for me to let her out again, and do you have any advice on keeping her close to home, or is she likely to roam again?
Thank you for reaching out about your concern for your cat’s well-being — it’s clear that you care deeply for her safety and happiness. In light of her history and tendency to roam, we wouldn’t recommend letting her outside unsupervised. Instead, consider the following options to provide her with controlled outdoor time and mental stimulation to help curb her restlessness.
Training Your Cat to Walk on a Harness and Leash
It may seem unconventional for some, but walking your cat on a harness and leash can be an excellent way to give her the outdoor exposure she craves, while also ensuring her safety. This approach allows you to maintain control over her environment, limit her encounters with potential dangers, and provide her with a fun, new activity to look forward to. To learn more about how to successfully walk your cat, check out our article on Walking Your Cat (Yes, it can be done!).
Traveling with Your Cat
If your cat enjoys riding in the car, consider taking her on trips to cat-friendly destinations like pet stores, parks, or even visits to friends’ homes. This will expose her to new environments and experiences, providing valuable mental stimulation. Just be sure to secure her in a carrier or harness for her safety while traveling. Discover more tips on how to have a pleasant adventure with your feline friend in our article on Traveling with Your Cat.
Enriching Your Cat’s Indoor Environment
Creating an engaging and dynamic indoor environment for your cat can help combat her feelings of restlessness and boredom. Some ways to enhance her playtime and environmental enrichment include providing scratching posts, tunnels, towers, and toys. For a more comprehensive guide on how to create a fun and exciting area for your feline friend, check out our detailed article on Playtime With Your Cat.
If you have the space and finances, a “catio” can be a fantastic way to allow your cat to enjoy the outdoors safely. A catio is an enclosed outdoor space that protects your cat from other animals and prevents her from wandering off and finding herself in dangerous situations. To learn more about creating a safe environment for your cat, both indoors and out, refer to our article on Bringing A Cat Home To A Safe Environment.
In summary, while we don’t recommend allowing your previously injured cat to roam free outside, there are numerous ways to provide her with controlled outdoor exposure and indoor enrichment to help satisfy her need for mental stimulation and curb her feelings of restlessness. We wish you and your beloved cat all the best!