How to Keep Your Outdoor Cats Safe

a kitten with gray eyes in a tree

If you have outdoor kitties that are left free to roam the neighborhood, you’ve probably worried about their safety on more than one occasion. And you have every right to do so! The outdoor world is full of potential dangers like predators, poisons, cars, and of course, the bully cat who has already staked a claim on the town.

With spring finally coming into full bloom, you need to be ready for emergencies and capable of keeping your feline friend safe.

It’s a fact that indoor cats live significantly longer than outdoor cats. If you can’t bring yourself to convert your outdoor cats to living an indoor life, use this guide to make yourself knowledgeable so you can properly take care of them.


Microchipping your cat (or any pet) is a great way to keep track of them, especially if they wander off. It’s a relatively inexpensive process you can have done at your local vet’s office. When you get one, make sure your contact info is up to date on the chip!

Get a collar

Having your pet wear a collar with identification tags is also a good idea so you can list their name and your phone number or any information you want on it, really. Choose one that properly fits and is “cat safe.”

If you do lose your pet despite following these steps, contact your local animal shelters and animal control agencies. File a lost pet report and provide a description so they know what to look for. Also, search your neighborhood and put up posters notifying your community of your missing animal. If someone claims they found your pet, have them completely describe the animal to make sure they truly have and aren’t trying to scam you.

Don’t declaw

Definitely don't allow your cat to be outside if it doesn’t have claws! They can’t defend themselves from dogs, other cats, or predators, and they can’t climb trees to escape from danger.


In order to protect your cat from diseases it might contract from exploring outdoors all the time, vaccinate them. (Outdoor cats need more vaccinations than indoor cats.) Let your vet know your pet goes outside so they can make sure to give them the proper shots and keep them healthy.

Spay or neuter

Cats who aren’t fixed are more likely to roam away from home, searching for a mate. That raises the risk of them getting hit by a car or coming in contact with another threat.

Plus, neutering will prevent your female cat from becoming pregnant, and your tomcat from getting into a territorial catfight. Be certain to have this procedure done for them by the time they get to be 5 months of age.

Keep food and water outside

Although cats are capable of hunting for themselves outside and finding their own water, it’s a good thing to keep stores of fresh food and water on your porch or somewhere else they can easily access it, just in case.

Have a livable space inside

Even if your cats primarily live outside, it’s important to have a space for them in your own home, too. They need food, water, and a litter box so they can be comfortable when it’s time for them to spend time indoors.

Keep an eye out for poisons

There are a plethora of outdoor toxins your cat could potentially ingest, from trash can scraps, to pesticides, to poisonous plants. Do your best to keep you and your cat’s environment clean, and be prepared for any emergencies by creating a First-Aid kit for your pet.

Mind the weather

Make a conscious effort to check the weather forecasts. We don’t want Fluffy getting caught in a rainstorm, or stuck outside overnight when the temperature is chilly. Cats can still get frostbite and hypothermia just like people, so the best thing to do is just bring them inside to enjoy curling up in some cozy blankets when you know it’s going to be cold. If you can’t, set up a little safe-house for them in your yard with materials to help them stay warm. Providing shelter is a great way to keep your outdoor cat safe!

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