SAFETY TIPS FOR CAT OWNERS
Responsible cat owners not only look after their pet’s health and wellness, they also make sure their pet is a positive addition to the community.
There are a few responsibilities you have as a cat owner to be considerate of your neighbours and protect your pet.
TAKING YOUR CAT OUTDOORS
If you plan on having your cat outdoors, here are just a few things to consider.
Provide a Screened Porch or "Catio"
A screened porch is a great way for your cat to experience the outdoors safely while staying in your yard. Consider building or purchasing a "catio" or similar enclosure to allow your cat to get a taste of the outside without the risks. A regular fence may not prevent other animals from entering your yard, so you should always be present when you allow your cat outside in your yard.
Offer an Enriching Environment
Provide a perch in a sunny spot and a shelter to get out of the rain or in the shade on hot days. Offer an outdoor litter box and plant some catnip will also provide additional comfort. Finally, consider adding a water fountain or large pot where your cat can lie down.
Be sure to cat-proof the yard by checking that your fence has no escape routes and by making toxic plants, garden chemicals and other dangerous objects inaccessible.
Teach your Cat to Walk on a Leash
If you live in a peaceful neighborhood in which you can walk without encountering loose dogs, consider buying a harness and training your cat to walk on a leash. This training takes time and patience, for both you and the cat, and it's easiest when your cat is young. Some cats can even be harnessed and tied to a stationary object to enjoy the outdoors while you are gardening nearby (but be sure to never leave your cat alone while they are tethered)
A CAT LICENSE IS A TICKET HOME
Majority of cats brought to the SPCA have no form of identification making it extremely difficult to reunite them with their families. In 2016, only 7% of cats brought to the SPCA were reclaimed by their owners.
A valid cat license can greatly increase the chances of being contacted if your cat is missing. Yearly pet licenses should be worn at all times. Even an indoor cat can easily slip out of open windows or doors.
Microchipping and tattooing your pet are also good ways to make sure we can reach you, but they are not a substitute for a license.
Yearly pet licenses can be purchased at the Lloydminster and District SPCA, Lloydminster Animal Hospital, Southside Veterinary Clinic and Weir Veterinarian Services. Click Pet Licensing to learn more about licensing your pet in the City of Lloydminster.
SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR CAT
“Fixing” your pet prevents not only prevents unwanted litters, but it also healthier for your cat. Spaying or neutering your cat reduces or eliminated howling, crying and spraying by males. Spay or neuter surgery also greatly reduces the risk of disease, infection and cancer of reproductive systems.
Lloydminster and District SPCA
Lloydminster, AB T9V 3A6
Phone: 780 875-2809
CRA Charitable No. 107998775RR0001
CATS ARE SAFEST INDOORS
Cats can live healthy, happy lives indoors.
Indoor cat tends to live longer, healthier lives. While indoor cats can live up to 20 years, the average life span for an outdoor cat is two to five years.
Allowing your cat to freely roam is dangerous for them and can lead to conflict with your neighbours. A cat roaming on private property can also be trapped and taken to the Lloydminster and District SPCA. If you choose to let your cat roam, attach something to its collar that indicates it is an outdoor cat.
GUIDELINES FOR HAPPY INDOOR CATS
Start them Young
Kittens who are kept indoors are usually happy to stay there as they grow up.
Install a perch indoors near a sunny window; padded perches can be purchased at pet supply stores, through catalogue retailers or at our online store. Another option is an enclosure that sits in a window frame (much like an air conditioning unit) and provides a secure space in which your kitty can hang out.
Buy a ready-made cat tree (often called a "kitty condo"), or make your own. A cat tree can be short, or may stretch from floor to ceiling. It provides great climbing opportunities and, in multi-cat households, creates more play and rest areas by taking advantage of vertical space. If you can, locate the cat tree next to a window so your cat can watch the action outdoors.
Play with your cat each day. Try different types of toys that allow your cat to stalk, chase, pounce and kick. When you've tired out your cat, store toys that could harm them (such as toys with strings attached) out of reach. When you can't be there to supervise, leave out "toys" such as paper bags (with the handles removed) or cardboard boxes. Be sure to switch the toys from time to time so that they seem "new" and more interesting to your cat.
Bring the Outdoors in
Plant cat grass (available from pet supply stores) in indoor pots so your feline can graze.
Cats can be neat freaks, so clean the litter box regularly. Here are some tips for preventing and solving litter box problems.