The BC SPCA is issuing a warning and offering up some helpful tips after several indoor cats have escaped from homes during the summer months. Additionally, cat guardians in high rise buildings need to be on alert to safeguard their pets after a number of cats have suffered injury or death after falling from balconies. With the warmer weather, it’s understandable that some pet guardians might forget to close windows and doors, making it easy for cats to slip out.
The BC SPCA recommends that cats live indoors. Indoor cats have a longer life span than those that go outside, and keeping them indoors reduces many risks, including busy streets and traffic, predators, poisoning, among others.
Here are some simple tips to help keep your cats indoors:
- Ensure all screenless windows and doors are closed at all times of the day.
- Repair any holes in screen doors and windows.
- Consider self-closing screen doors and/or storm doors.
- Create a barrier (ie. A tall baby gate) to block your cat’s preferred escape route.
- Place some aluminum foil along any doorways. Many cats find the feeling of walking on it unpleasant and will steer clear.
- Post a note by your door that warns visitors to watch out for the cat before opening the door.
- Distract your cat whenever someone is leaving for the house by giving them some treats or by playing with them for some positive reinforcement.
- Consider purchasing or building a catio or cat enclosure to help satisfy your cat’s curiosity for the outdoors.
- Keep your indoor cat happy with a rotation of toys that are safe and stimulating.
- Spend time every day interacting with your cat. Cats need at least 15 to 30 minutes of play broken into short five-minute sessions throughout the day.
- Position cat benches and trees near secure windows to increase their fascination to stay put.
- Make sure your cat always wears a collar and identification and is registered with the B.C. Pet Registry.