Kittens are a bundle of energy, joy and mischief and it’s our job to keep them safe. Curious creatures that they are, kittens will want to explore the outdoors at some point. For those who choose to let their cats and kittens outside, how do you keep them safe?
There are several things you can do, from good kitten insurance to catproofing your garden. Here are our top tips.
Make sure they’re vaccinated
Before letting a kitten outdoors at all, they will need to be fully vaccinated. The first vaccination can be given from 8 weeks old, with the second dose approximately 4 weeks later. You’ll then need to wait 3-4 weeks until the vaccination is in full effect before letting them outside.
Your kitten will need two vaccinations if they’re to be let outdoors. The first is a mix of 2 vaccines that protect against cat flu and feline enteritis. The second is the feline leukemia vaccination, which is only needed for outdoor cats. They can both be administered at the same time.
Make sure they’re neutered
As well as not wanting to contribute to the large overpopulation of cats, there are other reasons it’s better to get your cats neutered before giving them access to the great outdoors. For female kittens, pregnancy can be dangerous and carries several risks. Male kittens can become aggressive with other cats and animals, ending up in fights.
Letting cats roam the outdoors is common here in the UK, but letting them out alone when they’re too young can be dangerous. A very young kitten doesn’t have fully developed claws or adult teeth and cannot jump as far or as masterfully as older cats and kittens.
It’s advisable that you wait until your kitten is big enough, strong enough and developed enough to be able to defend themselves before you let them outside on their own. This can be anytime from 6 months onwards.
Remove toxic plants
Certain plants are toxic to cats, so must be identified and removed from the area they will be in. Check out this list of plants that are toxic to cats.
You can’t always control all the dangers your cat will face. They may fall from a fence, get into a fight with another cat or encounter a toxic substance. Kitten insurance for outdoor cats gives you peace of mind that, should they get injured or sick, they will be properly cared for.
Catproof the garden
The best way to keep them safe is to ensure that they can’t roam freely. You can’t control the plants, chemicals and other dangers that may be outside of your garden, so catproofing is an excellent way to give them outdoor time while keeping them safe.
With several options available, such as wire fence toppers, silicone spikes, ‘cattios’ or playpens for younger kittens, there’s an option for every garden.