An Outdoor Cat Raises Pest Risk
For people who choose to keep a cat as a pet, there are a lot of joys—and irritations—that come with living with a feline companion. Cats can be very loyal, intelligent and affectionate companions, albeit moody at times as well. However, unlike dogs, cats have one interesting option in terms of home care. It’s perfectly feasible to let them spend their entire lives indoors.
Some cat owners, appreciating the fact that their feline family member is a natural predator, choose to let their cat out of the home to “patrol” his or her outside territory. However, we have a few unavoidable reservations about the choice to do this. Some center on the safety of the pet itself, while others are about what this kind of uncontrolled exposure can bring to your home.
Cats Are In More Danger
Some pet owners simply accept this as the risk of having a territorial animal that wants to wander. An unsuper-vised cat may get hit by car, may encounter another animal, such as a dog or raccoon, or, in the worst case scenarios, may simply encounter a bad person who likes to hurt animals.
It’s a tough choice to make because of course, when we love our pets, we’d like them to enjoy their time with us as much as possible. But in the same way that excessive drinking and smoking might be fun, but not neces-sarily good for us, the same can be said about letting a cat out at the start of the day, and only letting it back in as the day draws to a close.
The Pest Problem
More relevant to us as a pest control team in Maryland, any animal, whether it is a dog or cat, that is let out-doors dramatically increases its chances of exposure to a pest. Once exposed, there’s always a chance that those pests will “hitch a ride” and be brought back home. In the case of dogs, this is normally not quite as high, since dog owners will usually go out with their dogs for toilet duties, or for walks, and then bring them back in.
For cat owners, who simply leave their cats out and unsupervised for the better part of a day, there’s much more risk involved. You simply don’t know exactly where your cat is going, what your cat is doing, or what your cat is making contact with.
If your cat catches a mouse or other rodent out in the wild, it’s possible for that rodent contact to pass on a virus to your cat. If your cat gets into a tussle with another rabid mammal, rabies, which can be contracted even by humans, can be the end result. Of course, while it’s not a winter concern, if your cat goes through some tall grass in your area, there’s always a likelihood that something may have hopped aboard, like fleas, or a deer tick that can pass on Lyme disease to anything, including people.
Ultimately, as a pet owner, only you can decide if it is worth the risk, but be aware, the risks are always there.