With spring beginning to make its appearance with its warmer weather, so too are our native fledgling birds along with outdoor wandering cats and kitten season. While no one would intentionally mean to cause harm to our native wildlife, unfortunately, cats have evolved to become fantastic hunters which make for amazing David Attenborough footage but unfortunately, it isn’t fantastic for our wildlife.
It's not only the damage that cats cause to our native wildlife as to why they should stay indoors but also the damage that the outside world can do to them. From the warmer weather, we begin snakebite season which unfortunately takes many previous loved ones each year. Cats don't play well with cars and as smart as we think they usually are, unfortunately, when scared they often run on roads which increases their chances of being hit by cars.
"But my cat will scratch my furniture if I keep them inside"
While many of us know first hand that cats want to scratch and this is a natural behaviour that we want to encourage, often they choose areas we don't want them to scratch. This can be avoided by, providing plenty of tall scratching posts. Often placing them near the area they are inappropriately scratching then slowly over a few weeks moving it to the area you wish will teach your kitty that this is a safe scratching spot. Also encouraging the use of the post but placing treats or even feeding them on the post is a great way to make them feel confident about their post.
"It's not fair to keep cats inside, they should be outside"
Nowadays there are plenty of smart cat run options that allow for cats to be outside without you having to worry about any harm that they may cause or harm caused to them.
"Cats have a high prey drive"
This is an easy instinct that can be addressed but providing toys that move, crinkle or squeak. By buying a few different types and seeing what sort your cat loves is best, as we all know cats are fussing beings! There are a plethora of different types of toys at pet stores, discount stores and even everybody's favourite, Kmart. Or there are many options for some homemade toys. This can include simple household items such as a use toilet roll (provided you managed to buy some before the panic buying) with some dry food/treats inside, the ends folded in and holes large enough for the food to fall out when it's pushed. Or even the humble ball of scrunched up alfoil.
At the end of the day, there are so many options out there that help keep our native wildlife safe, providing the best chance of them reaching adulthood, while keeping our best feline friends safe from the dangers of outdoors.