The secret life of ‘indoor only’ cats

indoor only cats

Today is International Cat Day and to mark the occasion, the ‘Have we seen your cat lately?’ program  is shining a spotlight on the hidden health risks Australian cat owners may not be aware of.

Australians may think their indoor cats are safe and protected inside their homes, but research reveals that the majority of Australian cats have some level of outdoor access, which increases their risk of traumatic injuries and their exposure to infectious and parasitic diseases.

According to a study published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 66 per cent of cat owners said their cats had outdoor access, while 34 per cent said their cats were indoor only. However, further questioning revealed that more than half of these ‘indoor only’ cats actually had outdoor access. In total, 83 per cent of pet cats had some form of outdoor access during their lives.

Bondi Vet’s Dr Lisa Chimes said this study shows us that many cat owners may be underestimating their cat’s risk of infectious and parasitic diseases.

“Many owners think their indoor cat is safe from disease, but even if you’re just letting your cat go outside to the toilet or to have a quick breath of fresh air, they may be at risk of some diseases,” she said.

“A proper understanding of a cat’s lifestyle is essential to ensure that appropriate measures, like vaccination and flea and worming treatments can be given to those animals at risk.”

Australia’s love for cats shows no signs of waning, with a total estimated pet cat population of almost 3.9 million.

“Our cat population has actually increased by six per cent since 2013, with a pet cat being found in almost a third of Australian households. International Cat Day is the perfect time to celebrate our loyal and loving companions, but it is also a timely reminder that we need to be vigilant about their health,” Dr Chimes added.

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1 Comment

  1. In regards to the all-too-fleeting International Cat Day ….

    THAT BLACK CAT SHE INVADED HIS DREAMS … She laid by his bared feet / at the foot of his bed / though in his dream they’d meet / which they did in his head. // For this sleek black feline / she’d been in there before / such she’d never decline / as that cat he’d adore. // A myth it couldn’t be / that her claws touched his toes / as the dreaming did he / was about that she knows. // The dream she boldly caught / that night she did invade / was the dream she had sought / the dream she’d long delayed. // Within she placed her claws / upon his sleep-bound feet / all performed with no flaws / then and there they did meet. // Though not feeling abused / by prickling on his toes / he still looked down confused / at each of five toes, two rows. // Naught of her did he find / in his dream created / though back to wakened mind / he saw her and stated // ‘Mimi, it’s you—you rascal!’ / yet he still adored her / while finding comical / her response a smooth ‘murr’. // From the thick mattress down / she landed without woes / as he said ‘You little clown— / you leave alone my toes.’ // Thought she, ‘Again we’ll meet / as you dream fast asleep / when the toes on your feet / from my paws you cannot keep.’

    Ode To SIMON’s DRINKING PROBLEM … It’s clear dear cat you’ve had a water drink / For it hangs thick and low from your thin chin / As a large drop through which light rays glisten / Then a flicker of your tongue’s tip quite pink / Comes with a sway of your tail, its kink / So noticed like that water drop again / (And you without a little silk napkin) / Your habit’s one endearingly distinct. // Plus your drinking problem leaves us no stink / Like old food stuff or hard liquor like gin / And into a bad thing you didn’t sink / You’ve committed naught resembling a sin / Habits can still be dropped in an eye’s blink / While having you near’s my mind’s medicine.

    THAT YOUNG BLACK CAT—SHE NEEDED SOMETHING … ‘If only I had something new,’ / she thought, ‘something adventurous / to do, like when the fields grew tall, fields from which wild fowl fed and flew’; / she, feline feisty and precious, / needed something or to climb the wall. // She walked over to the window pane / and looked out to the neighbouring homes /
    to where she hoped to find something / —something new, beyond the back lane, / rocky road, where she’d often roam, / to where her eyes would be wandering. // And when her attention was caught / by the towering shingled roof / sheltering the large corner store, / she at once decided she ought / to climb to its black peak as proof / of her worth to those who did her adore. // Through the yards one by one she went, / glancing around this and that corner, / over then under fences tall / till she stood at the wall she’d meant / to conquer, as a foreigner, / without any fear that she’d fall. // She looked to the two garbage cans / leaning against the wooden shed, / right next to the store that was so pink; / up she jumped, her feet and hands / reached the top by but a thread, / of no better place could she think. // Having achieved her noteworthy climb, / she gazed over to the swaying trees, / unaware that her hostess stood near; / at the bus stop, as passed the time, / the woman looked up, into the breeze, / and saw her pet feline who knew no fear. // Thus the feline had done something new / and not seeing her hostess’s stare, / she returned home fulfilled and content, / for from this day excitement she drew / and she thought again she’d climb and dare / those high places worthy of her scent.

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