Your cat and the outside world

Cats are born with a strong sense of curiosity. They're explorers at heart, and although many will be content to stay inside, some will find the lure of the world beyond the catflap just too inviting to ignore. Male cats, in particular, tend to wander for hours on end.

If you just don’t feel happy when she's out, there are a few things you can do without curbing her natural instincts.

Going out, the safe way

You could consider building a protective pen in your garden. If you do, make sure you use strong wooden posts and wire netting, and provide covered areas so she can shelter from bad weather or hot sunshine. You can also throw in a scratching post and levelled perches for her to climb on.

If, on the other hand, you let her run free, make sure you use a collar with an elastic section so she can slip out if it gets caught on a fence or branch. A nametag and bell to warn potential prey are good ideas too.

Indoor safety

Safety considerations shouldn’t just be limited to the times when she's outdoors. You can cat-proof your house by making sure there are no open windows. Also, make sure the washing machine and tumble dryer doors are closed and there are no sharp knives out on the kitchen worktop. Keep plastic bags, household detergents and your sewing kit well out of the way, and make sure no electrical wires are exposed. It's also a good idea to secure any breakables, such as porcelain and ceramics.

Left to their own devices, most cats will be active enough to keep themselves fit and sane. All you have to do is make sure they're safe too!

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