Cat outside at night.

Cats prefer early evening and morning hours for hunting and exploring, but the great outside welcomes kitties with lots of risk. If your cats are outside cats, there are things you can do to minimize their risk of injury or disease. Before you let your cat outside to roam, weigh the risks.

Should I Let My Cat Outside at Night?

Cats are predator animals who like to hunt at night. There are other night time predators out and about as well. Nighttime roaming has its risks like:

  • Other predators include coyotes, snakes, owls, and cougars
  • Skunks, porcupines, and raccoons. Skunks will spray if threatened. Porcupines and raccoons have sharp claws and teeth that can seriously injure your cat if they tangle. Plus, many wild mammals carry diseases that can easily be transmitted to your pet.
  • Sniffing animal droppings—there could be any number of parasites in animal feces. A good whiff from your cat and larvae or bacteria could enter through their nasal passages.
  • Eating their prey—we may be pleased when kitty kills a mouse or vole. Those mammals are carrying diseases and parasites that can cause serious illness, even death for your cat. When your cat comes back into the house, it may bring infection to other pets and even humans.

Make sure cat collars are detachable in case the kitty gets caught in a branch or fence.

Why Has My Cat Started Staying Outside All Night?

Cats are most active in the early morning and evening hours. They are predators, and nighttime hunting is good hunting. They may also be on the prowl for a mate or ready to brawl in a territorial dispute. Once your cat has had a taste of being out at night, you might not be able to keep him inside. Cats can be extremely annoying when they want something, and you may not want to put up with their complaining.

Where Do Outdoor Cats Sleep?

Cats want to feel secure, so they look for places that provide shelter and make good hiding spots like:

  • Bushes
  • Under steps
  • Sheds
  • Crawl spaces
  • Barns
  • Under vehicles

My Cat is Spending More Time Outside. How Can I Keep My Pet Safe?

If your cat loves spending time outside, there are a few ways you can give him or her a little extra protection for their prowling time:

  • Cat doors make it possible for kitties to escape bad weather and larger predators. 
  • Keep vaccinations and preventives up to date. Tick and flea medications, along with regularly scheduled vaccinations, can help to protect your cat from catastrophic disease.
  • Regular wellness checks are also important for outside cats. Wounds and scratches could be entryways for infection.

Cautionary Cat Tales–If You Can, Keep Your Cat Indoors.

The cushy comfort of your home is the best place for your cat. Cat’s that roam outside get into all kinds of trouble and may eat and drink poisonous or disease-infected substances. They are at great risk for injury from predators and fights. They can step on, roll in, and get caught in all the wrong things that put their health and wellbeing in jeopardy.

Contact Us With Your Pet Care Questions

At Long Animal Hospital and Emergency Center, we’re here to help you and your pet family stay well and happy. Schedule an appointment for a wellness examination and to talk more about outdoor cat safety. In an emergency, call us right away at (704) 523-2996.