Whether it be traffic, people, garden hazards, predators or poisons there are lots of things that are dangerous for your cat. These dangers exist when they are outside for any reason whether they be indoor cats going out in the garden or outdoor cats that roam.
Indoor cats are particularly susceptible to hazards because they are not used to being outside so much. This means they have not learnt over the years what is good and bad. While some hazards are equally dangerous to both in and outdoor cats.
Top 20 Outdoor Hazards that Can Harm Your Indoor Cat
If your indoor cat has managed to get outside these are the following hazards may harm them.
1. Traffic: Cars, Lorries and Tractors
Traffic is one of the biggest hazards to any cat regardless of whether it’s an inside or outside cat. Lots of cats are killed every year in road traffic accidents. Surprisingly which isn’t often said it’s actually the intermittent traffic that’s the most dangerous for a cat. this more so than the main traffic which a cat would get used to.
Indoor cats are not used to traffic and don’t understand cars, therefore, they are like young kittens and more likely to get run over. This can be a very serious hazard for your cat if it goes outside for any length of time or escapes.
Traffic at night is particularly dangerous for your cat because the cat will freeze when it sees the headlights. They do this because they confuse the cat’s senses. They may also think it’s safe to cross the road once the headlights have gone. Unfortunately when the car is actually there.
Sadly while most people are caring or harmless some people may want to injure or kill your cat. Others may try to steal it. If you have a cat that is really trusting this can be a serious issue.
Sheds can hold dangers such as dangerous substances & poisons or sharp objects. Sheds may also have rat poison down and uncontained. Or your cat may simply accidentally get locked in.
4. Dangerous Substances & Poisons
Lots of things outside that could be dangerous for your cat to eat or drink some of these can be natural like plants, while others can be chemical substances left around. Antifreeze is also a hazard.
5. Water Butts
Water butts can be really dangerous for your cat. My sister’s cat has fallen in one before and returned home completely soaking wet. Not all cats are so lucky. Many people do not put lids the water butts or they are not secure enough. When a cat falls into one it’s very difficult for it to get out.
Some dogs roam free and some dogs delight chasing cats while some cats can defend themselves dogs can sometimes be a hazard to cats.
7. Other Cats
This is one most people probably don’t think about. Yet it is a big issue whether your cat in an inside cat that only goes in the garden or is an outside cat. The other cats in the area especially in a built-up area where there are many different cats can be a hazard. Some people prefer cats like but Bengals which are much more aggressive. Unneutered tomcats are naturally more territorial these can be dangerous for your cat.
While most cats display a lot of crying, hissing and posturing, violence can occur and injuries do happen. I’ve seen several cats with quite bad injuries due to fights.
8. Poisonous Plants
Poisonous plants are a hazard. Which pants you need to look out for will vary depending on your area. Some of the common ones include but are not limited to foxgloves, lilies and Lily of the Valley. Some of these can be deadly to your cat. They don’t actually have to eat the plant some plants like the Lily all they have to do is to brush against it.
9. Plant allergies
Cats can have lots of different allergies so if your cat is sneezing or coughing or has a runny nose or eyes and it’s consistent with going outside then it’s a good chance that it’s some form of plant allergy. It’s best to take your cat to the vet’s to check up they will probably do some form of blood works.
10. Slug Pellets
Slug pellets can be really dangerous for your cat. The normal ones that you get in the supermarkets or local DIY stores contain metaldehyde. This is really dangerous for cats and highly toxic. If you have cats or there are local cats around the best thing to do is to buy an alternative that does not contain metaldehyde. It should say on the container if it’s safe for your cats and other pets or not.
Most of the time cats enjoy eating grass and it’s perfectly safe. Sometimes it isn’t. The grass may have been treated for weeds or it may have weed killer on it. Both of which is harmful to your cat. Also, there is the possibility of some grasses causing problems. When it gets stuck in a cat’s mouth or if the cat vomits and the grass only comes part of the way up. If your cat suddenly has coughing fits or loses its appetite, it’s better to take it to the vet to check that this hasn’t happened.
Wild mushrooms can be dangerous for your cat if eaten.
13. Bee and Wasp Stings
If you’ve ever sat out in the garden with your cat you know it loves to chase all the insects it particularly loves the bees and the wasps. While your cat is having fun it can be dangerous if the wasps and bee sting them. It is especially dangerous if they sting the cat in the mouth area as it could swell up a lot and cause serious damage. If your cat gets stung please take it to the vets as soon as you can.
If you have a light coloured cat or a white cat and it goes outside, even if it’s only in the garden for a little while then it’s in danger of getting some sunburn. It’s a good idea to either keep it in the shade or to get some cat specific suntan lotion. Do not use human suntan lotion though.
15. Fleas and Ticks
Fleas and ticks are dangerous for cats. Both of these things can be protected against using flea and tick treatments. Ask your vet for more information. While you may think an indoor cat may not need these some protection is often advisable. This will depend on their level of outdoor access for worms. If your indoor cat goes outside they standard a good chance of catching them and fleas can also be caught inside.
If your cat catches ticks it can contract various diseases including Lyme disease. Although this doesn’t happen very often it’s best to protect against it.
16. Stress and Anxiety
If your cat isn’t used to go outside it can be quite stressful for it especially in the beginning. It also depends on where you live and the cat’s temperament. If your cat shows any signs of anxiety is best to take it to the vets to get checked up and ideally remove any of the reasons your cat is anxious if you can.
Cats can be really fun in the weather. While one cat will happily go out and play in the snow another cat won’t pop his paws on it. While it’s well-known that cats hate rain some cats will go out in it if it’s not too heavy. What many people don’t think about is actually the wind; cats actually hate the wind. I think that is because it obstructs the senses and they can’t smell or hear any danger.
18. Injury From Glass
Some areas will have broken bottles or other bits of glass that can be dangerous for your cat if it stands on it can slice its paws.
19. Your Cat May Get Lost
One of the big worries of cat owners if the cat is gone outside, whether it be an outdoor or indoor cat, is that it may get lost. This happens a surprising amount. It may be that your cats just been locked in a shed. But cats are curious and for having fantastic adventures. Some have been found in cars and trains hundreds of miles away from their home. Some may have just been chased by a dog and not been able to find their way back. While it may not avoid the danger it’s a good idea to get your cat microchipped so that if it is found it can be safely returned to you.
20. Snakes & Other Predators
Snake bites can be dangerous for your cat. Cats are curious creatures and will investigate snakes. Also while this can happen any time of the year it’s more likely to happen in the spring. It’s possible that some snakes may be a bit lethargic and will simply strike to protect themselves. If you want to reduce the chance of this happening it’s a good idea to keep your garden grass short.