While vets might recommend that cats primarily stay indoors, some cats have had access to the backyard too long to take this perk away. But if your cat is an outdoor cat, it is important that you are ready for medical problems that can come with this. Here are four common medical conditions that outdoor cats might run into.
1. Thorns in Ears and Nose
Depending on where you live, your cat might get into fields or tall grasses that come with thorns that can wreak havoc. While getting thorns out of your cat's fur can be annoying, if these are embedded in your cat's ears or nose, your cat might need help with removal. If your cat is sneezing excessively, has watery eyes, or seems to have a sore ear, get them into the veterinary hospital for an examination.
2. Fleas, Ticks, and Worms
If your cat spends time outdoors, they might be more susceptible to outdoor pests as well. Treating your cat for fleas and ticks ahead of the summer season can help. It is a good idea to examine your cat on a weekly basis to ensure they don't have any fleas or ticks that have come in from the outdoors. If so, fleas can lead to worms and will need to be treated with prescription medications from your vet.
3. Physical Trauma
Outdoor cats can be far more susceptible to physical trauma because there are greater risks and dangers outdoors. Do what you can to get your cat to stay nearby your home and only go out during the day if you can. Accidents can happen if your cat is too near streets or if they get trapped and panic. Other cats can be an issue as well and can lead to fighting. If your cat comes home with physical ailments such as cuts, swollen areas, or limping, a trip to the veterinary hospital should be in order.
4. Ingesting Things not Meant for Cats
Sometimes cats cannot resist snacking on things that are actually bad for them. This can include common plants that are found in landscaping, such as oleanders or azaleas. Cats might find alternate food sources or get into garbage or food meant for other types of pets. If your outdoor cat is showing signs of illness or isn't eating, be sure to let the vet know if there is any chance they ingested something they shouldn't have.
Letting your cat outside can be a riskier lifestyle overall than keeping them indoors. If you have adopted a cat that has always spent time outdoors, try to look out for their best interests during their time outside. Be ready for medical problems that might crop up as a result of outdoor activities so that your cat can enjoy their time outside as safely as possible.