Nina Nandy

Gastroenterologist at The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center

Indoor vs. Outdoor Cats: Pros and Cons

Indoor vs. Outdoor Cats: Pros and Cons

A common debate between cat owners is whether they should keep their cats outdoors, indoors, or a combination of the two. Before you make you make a decision, it is important to both sides into consideration to ensure the best life for your cat as possible. Below you will find the pros and cons of both indoor and outdoor cats.

Indoor Cats

Pros

Keeping your cat indoors ensures that your furry friend stays safe. Allowing your cats to roam the outdoors increases their chance of getting in fights with animals, encountering fast moving cars, and contracting diseases or illnesses like Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) or Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV). Generally, indoor cats have a longer life expectancy since the dangers inside your house are not as threatening.

Cons

Although keeping your cats indoors does create a safer environment, it is not as mentally stimulating. Your cat can become frustrated and bored easily. This restless behavior may encourage your cat to pick up some undesirable behaviors like clawing up your personal belongings.

Additionally, indoor cats won’t get as much exercise as an outdoor cat. Without adequate exercise, your cat can become overweight which in turn will lead to a a number of health complications.

If you do choose to keep your cat indoors, make sure to keep them stimulates. Play with your indoor cat often and provide them with places to climb and plenty of toys.

Outdoor Cats

Pros

The outdoors allows your cat to be in an stimulating environment which means your cat will get proper exercise and even connect with their natural instincts. With the freedom to roam, your cat will never be bored or turn to bad behavior.

Cons

As mentioned before, allowing your cat to go outside does affect their safety and health. Going outside means that your cat is more susceptible to contracting disease or parasites like fleas. Fleas are not only a concern for your cat, but for your home. If you cat is both indoor and outdoor, it can be difficult to keep fleas out of your house and off of your cat- even with a flea collar.

Whether your cat goes outside on occasion or everyday, make sure they are up to date on their vaccinations. Additionally, if your cat is declawed, do not let them outside. Claws are the main way cats defend themselves. A declawed has a higher chance of getting hurt in a fight.

Consider both the pros and cons of an indoor and outdoor cat, once you do you will be able to make an informed decision on which lifestyle is best for your cat.

Cat-Proofing Your Home for the Holidays

Cat-Proofing Your Home for the Holidays

As we enter the month of December, many people are decorating their homes with festive knick knacks and decor. The holidays are not only an exciting time for, but for your cat too! Decorations that shimmer and shine are very tempting for your fluffy friend to play with, break, or even eat. To prevent your cat from breaking your ornament (and your Christmas spirit), here are a few tips to cat-proof your home for the holiday season.

Think smart when it comes to your tree. 

Although artificial trees don’t have the same smell and look as a real one does, they are safer for your cat. Some trees have sharp needles that are so sharp that they can puncture the skin. In addition, pine needles can also be toxic to your cat if they are ingested.

If you can’t pass up on a real tree, make sure your cat does not drink the tree water. Tree water is often treated with additives like fertilizer and aspirin, that can make your cat sick. Even if the water is not fertilized, the water can easily accumulate bacteria. Cover your tree with a tree skirt to prevent your cat from drinking from it.

Whether your tree is artificial or real, ensure that it is anchored. Chances are your cat will try to climb the tree. To prevent the entire tree falling over, along with your cat, use a solid base. For more stability see if you can attach it to the celling or wall with  eye-bolts and fishing line.

Choose your decorations wisely. 

Shiny glass ornaments are very intriguing for cats. If you see your cat pawing at your ornaments on the tree, replace fragile ones with more durable material like plastic, wood, felt, yarn, or paper. With softer decorations you won’t have to worry about glass shattering.

Tinsel is one of the most harmful holiday decorations for cats. If a cat ingests tinsel, it can cause intestinal problems and may even lead to surgery. If you can’t let glass ornaments or the tinsel go, place them high enough where it not as easily accessible.

Do your research on poisons plants. 

Mistletoe, lilies, holly, and poinsettias are essental for festive decorations. While these plants add to the holiday spirit, they are toxic to cats. Lilies can cause kidney failure, and holly and mistletoe can lead to gastrointestinal problems. While poinsettias are not as toxic as once believed, they can still cause an upset stomach. Settle for artificial silk flowers instead, that way you can use them year after year without the fear of harming your cat.

If your cat is a troublemaker, use a repellant smell.  

There are a few smells that are unpleasant to cats and will discourage your cat from investigating.  Spray your decorations (select decorations that you can wash or throw out later) with Apple bitter, citronella, or Vicks to keep your cat away. Orange peels or citrus potpourri also better smelling alternatives that work just as well.

5 Signs Your Cat Needs Your Attention

5 Signs Your Cat Needs Your Attention

It’s no secret that cats are very independent and that’s one of the major reasons people pick them as pets. But cats can also need a lot of attention. It’s more common in cats that are left by themselves for long periods of time or cats who do not receive enough stimulation in their living environment. It’s important to remember that cats wanting our attention is simply their way of communicating with us. Your cat might show the following 5 signs if they are seeking out additional attention.

Pawing at your arm or leg
This is one of the most obvious signs that your cat needs more attention. It might happen at an inconvenient time of you, but to your cat, there is never an inconvenient time. Simply petting them and engaging them with a little conversation will go a long way with your little guy or girl.

Jumping up
Sometimes a cat likes to be above it all and observe things from a higher vantage point. But has your cat started jumping up onto places they are not allowed to be such as the kitchen counter while you’re cooking or the dinner table while you’re eating? This can be a sign that your cat would like you to pay more attention to them. Spending time with your feline before starting to cook dinner will give them the extra attention they might be craving.

Excessive meowing
Meowing is a healthy and normal behavior unless its becoming excessive. Your cat may be trying to get your attention if they are meowing more than normal or the meows sound desperate. Cats who need more attention sometimes develop habits of meowing late at night or very early in the morning while you’re asleep for extra attention!

Excessive Scratching
Scratching is a natural cat behavior. It allows them to stretch, release energy, and shed any loose layers from their claws. Clawing can be destructive if it’s not done on scratching posts. A cat will claw things like furniture or carpet if they do not have the appropriate scratching posts, but they will also do it to get your attention.

Medical
You cat may seek your comfort if they are in pain, stressed or have anxiety. If this is unusual behavior for your cat, or you’ve noticed a change in your cat’s behavior, make an appointment with your local veterinarian to make sure your cat is completely healthy.

 

A Word From Nina Nandy’s Cat


Hi, my name is Lionel and I am a long haired tuxedo likely Maine Coon mix with giant kitten mittens and a big fluffy tail. I was a stray roaming the mean streets of Albuquerque until the age of one and a half when I was picked up by Animal Humane and neutered. My Nina Nandy Photohuman mommy, Nina Nandy, came in to meet me and though she was very sweet I was scared. Nina took me home and I was nervous because I had never lived inside before. She gave me lots of love and treats and toys but I would hide and one day I saw a way out and I ran away! I know she was very worried about me and put up flyers all over town and even went door to door looking for me. It took a few months and animal control picked me up and put me in the west side shelter and because I was microchipped Nina was able to find me again. Now I know to never run away again because I have the best life ever! I have all the cuddles, snuggles and treats a kitty could ever have and all the best toys! I particularly enjoy my giant black and white cat tree because it matches my colors, my window seat where I can catch all the sun I want, getting hair all over everything particularly clean laundry and generally being naughty. =^.^= Check out pictures, videos  and the latest antics of me, Lionel the snugglisest, most mischievous kitty in the world !