Perhaps the biggest risk for outdoor cats is the transmission of infectious diseases primarily through cat-to-cat contact. These diseases include Feline Leukemia (FELV), Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) also known as Feline AIDS and Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (FVRCP). Vaccines are divided into two categories. Core vaccines are recommended for all cats regardless of lifestyle, and non core vaccines are discretionary based on your cats lifestyle. Because most kittens only receive core vaccines, it's important to let your vet know if your cat starts to spend some time outdoors so they can be appropriately vaccinated.
We recommend all cats stay on flea and intestinal parasites preventative year round but this is especially important for cats who venture outside. Mammals spread parasites so if you have squirrels, rabbits and other furry creatures in your yard, you likely also have fleas, ticks and other parasites. When cats hunt, they can ingest intestinal parasites such as roundworms. These intestinal parasites can inadvertently be passed to humans and cause a greater health concern. Many prescription flea and tick preventatives also contain a broad spectrum dewormer.
Did you know that some lilies are relatively benign, where others are HIGHLY TOXIC to cats? Peace, Peruvian and Calla lilies are relatively benign, causing minor symptoms such as tissue irritation to the mouth resulting in minor drooling. Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter and Japanese Show lilies are highly toxic to cats and can cause severe kidney failure. Other toxicities include insecticides, chemicals and pesticides. If you suspect your pet has ingested a poison, make sure to bring them to your vet immediately.
For a full list of toxins, visit https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com
Many cats will want to go out especially once they have experienced a taste of the great outdoors. If your once indoor kitty has now been venturing out, its important to contact your vet and talk about additional precautions to take to keep your cat stay their healthiest!