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NCSPCA 8/0/09

One debate that is often heard among cat owners is whether a cat should be allowed to go outside, or spend all of its time indoors. How do you know which choice is right for you and your pet? The environment in which you live: busy street versus rural back road, amount of feral cats in the neighborhood, and other residential factors will probably influence your decision. Here are few more things to consider:

The main arguments that cats should be able to go outdoors are that indoor cats do not get as much exercise and are prone to obesity, and that it is not "fair" to keep a cat away from its natural habitat. Cats clearly enjoy being outside and exercising their curiosity.

However, outdoor cats face greater risk of catching transmitted diseases such as FIV, FLV, and FeLV which are generally fatal. They may bring home fleas, ticks, internal paristies, and ringworm. They are at risk for being hit by cars, attacked by predatory animals, abused by other people, and accidently or intentionally poisoned. They may also get into fights with other cats. Ultimately, the decision is one that involves weighing your own feelings about your cats' freedom and their safety, and their emotional well being. And, if you do allow your cat outside, it is important to take precautions such as making sure your pet wears a collar with an I.D., has current vaccinations, has flea/tick protection, and regular veterinary care.

Our featured pet this week is Coot, a gorgeous grey tabby whose owner left him beside the road along with their old furniture. A wonderful gentleman hiking in the area found him and brought him to us. In fact, Coot's rescuer continues to visit him and would adopt him if he could. Coot is friendly, easygoing, and has such a sweet disposition that this handsome fellow would make an exceptional addition to any home. Come visit him at 23 Lakeshore Ave.; this charmer will melt your heart.

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