• Posted on July 3, 2013 2:41 pm
    By Chris

    If you are a cat owner and you love your frisky feline then of course you will want to keep them safe when they go outside for the first time. If your kit is still to venture out into the big wide world you may well be a little nervous about it. This is perfectly natural. There are dangers out there such as traffic, other animals and even other people, but don’t let that prevent you from letting your cat enjoy life outside your home.

    Thankfully there are a number of things that you can do to make your kitty as safe as possible when it goes out of that cat flap for the first time. Here are a few measures to consider to keep your cat out of trouble when it goes outside:

    Make sure it has a collar

    First of all if your cat is going outside it absolutely must have a collar on. There are loads and loads of choices of collar available today from companies such as Collars and Tags (www.collarsandtags.co.uk) so you can choose one that you like and one that looks great on your feline friend. There are collars available with space to write your address and contact details and the cat’s name, plus you can buy collars with messages like ‘DO NOT FEED, I HAVE A HOME’, to stop people trying to adopt your pet by giving it treats. A collar will identify your cat as one with an owner and if it gets lost the collar will help people return it to you as quickly as possible.

    Use a harness to begin with

    If you are concerned about your cat doing a runner as soon as it gets outside another option is to use a harness. That’s right you can walk your cat on a lead like a cute little dog, although some cats are happier doing this than others. Your cat might struggle a little to begin with here but it should get used to the harness. You can use it just for a short time too to help your kitty learn where it lives and how to get back to your home, and you can relax and know that while on a harness your cat won’t wander into the road or panic and disappear.

    Have your cat microchipped

    Most cats and dogs are chipped these days and it comes highly recommended. A small microchip can be fitted under your cat’s skin by a vet and when scanned this chip will link back to your home address. This means that if your cat gets loose and someone finds it they should be able to find out that you are the owner, or at least a vet or the RSPCA will if it is handed to them as they can quickly scan it and link it back to you. Even a chipped cat should have a collar though, to indicate to people that it does have an owner.

    Posted in categories: Vet School Diary
  1. Pillster

    I’m microchipped but refuse to wear a collar. It’s impawtant, tho, that any cat collar has an elastic bit which will stretch enough to allow the collar to pull over the cat’s head if it gets caught. Fortunately, this essential safety device also means that we can remove our collars if we don’t like them.

    It’s also a good idea to have a cat microchipped at the same time as neutering or at some other time when it’s sedated – the size of the chip compared to a cat is a bit bigger than most dogs and insertion can be painful. Many vets now offer a “package deal” for neutering, vaccinating and chipping kittens which saves a lot of money. And vaccinations are another major part of keeping us safe when we’re outside!

  2. Ian

    We’ve just had ours chipped but no collar. We needed it for a new microchip cat flap we’ve installed to prevent the local toms coming in stealing food and spraying urine. If we lived somewhere less rural then we would probably pursue a collar but both feel that as ours are out and about most of the day it could prove dangerous for them if it catches when climbing.


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