We miss the beloved cat Benji Green Eyes every day (Photo by Alexis-Kimonas Kokkinaris)
Park life (and death)
October 1, 2017
October 4, 2017

Cat to human: “Keep me safe!” Read these tips for cat safety

Pantelis, a former stray, now happy and safely enjoying his net-fenced balcony.

Pantelis, a former stray, now happy and safely enjoying his net-fenced balcony.

A few simple precautions can protect your beloved home cat from falling off the balcony, getting injured or lost on the streets.

Playtime can be dangerous for a cat if there is no protection. Photo by Alexis-Kimonas Kokkinaris.

Playtime can be dangerous if there is no protection. Photo by Alexis-Kimonas Kokkinaris.

Cats can be so misunderstood. Some claim that cats would rather be alone and independent or wander outside than being safe in a home, but this is so wrong. Most cats love to be part of a family, be around people, play with toys, get cuddled and petted. They are curious to explore new things or chase anything moving or flying, activities that put them at risk of getting hurt or getting lost.

They are just like babies or kids who don’t know the risks and they are always in danger. Wouldn’t you protect your kid from falling off the balcony or from traffic when out on the street? Why not protect your cat too?

If your cat could speak, he or she would say:

Please human, keep me safe!

You made my world brighter the minute you made me a member of your loving family and gave me a home, where I can be clean, well-fed and safe away from the streets. But I feel worried these days as I hear a lot of incidents with missing cats.

A second is all it takes – don’t put your cat’s life at risk by leaving your balcony, rooftop or garden unfenced.

A second is all it takes – don’t put your cat’s life at risk by leaving your balcony, rooftop or garden unfenced.lexis-Kimonas Kokkinaris

My dear human, I don’t want to be one of those missing cats. I can imagine how they must be feeling, alone and afraid in the unfriendly outside world. If there is something I can do, anything, please let me know and I will try to understand. I will do my best and try to keep myself safe, but the truth is that I am A CAT, with feline genes, which means I love to run, jump high or climb, chase flies or other insects, I get really excited while watching the birds – maybe too excited to consider the possible danger of falling off the balcony and getting injured or lost. Haven’t you heard that “curiosity killed the cat”? Well, I am afraid this can be true.

Oh human, please don’t let me disappear and get hurt or even killed just because I am a little bit curious and adventurous. Please don’t think, not even for a minute, that I would love to spend my life away from you, or alone on the streets, without your kisses, cuddles and your precious care and, ok, I admit it, the plentiful food and my clean toilet! Please don’t think that I prefer wandering the streets to being in your lovely, warm home with you around. I really cherish our playtime and I don’t want to miss that.

But I am just a cat. So, please keep me safe!

Safe bird-watching for this little fellow

Safe bird-watching for this little fellow

Let me enjoy the fresh air and the bird-watching on the balcony or the yard, but if you love me enough, if you care for me, if you don’t want to lose me, please try to protect me from the outdoor dangers. Falling, getting hurt, getting lost, feeling frightened… All these would be so stressful for me, especially when I cannot so easily find my way back home – I am not that good in orientation, particularly when I’m scared or hurting. You know I would not survive on the streets since I am not familiar with the cars or strange noises or dogs or other felines, wilder than me, or even other humans who would be annoyed by my presence.

So human, please keep me safe! You may think it’s ok for me to walk on the railings (it is quite fun) or wander free in the yard, or get some rest by the open window – but I can be off in a second and it wouldn’t be my fault. Other cats are calling to me and flies and birds are passing by all the time tempting me to go after them.

Please take my worries seriously, to keep me by your side forever!

“Keep me safe” tips:

  1. First of all, let’s take for granted that you‘ll have me spayed/neutered, so I don’t get the desire to find a mate at any cost. This way I will be calmer and live a longer and healthier life.
  2. Getting me microchipped is the second thing you need to do. You also have to register the chip number to the national database, as well as mail it or submit it to the local municipal authority. This way, just in case somehow I do get lost, I can be traced again. There have been some amazing stories with cats being traced years after getting lost. I will also try to accept wearing a quick release collar (don’t give any promises though) but I know that wearing one with a tag and your phone numbers, address, chip number, makes it immediately obvious that I am not a stray.
  3. Fence the balcony or yard. There are some lovely nets on the market, among other fencing solutions, suitable for an almost transparent fence that will prevent me from falling off, get hurt or disappear. And, above all, no view blocking! That would be so great even for you, since you won’t have to worry about me all the time and do your housework carefree or enjoy your coffee with me on the balcony!
  4. Another thing you should do is be very careful at the front door and the windows to make sure that I don’t run out when you are coming in ( I am curious, remember?) particularly if you are laden with shopping, or if you have kids and it is a bit chaotic as you enter or exit. Those windows that can slant open, they are so dangerous – if you leave them slanted open, I can get stuck and even killed in them. A million times better to keep the shutters closed and the window open if you want some air and the window does not lead onto a netted balcony.
Marni in action… safely!

Marni in action… safely!

But if, despite all these precautions, I do get lost, PLEASE try to find me and not give up on me, ’cause I‘ll be needing you and waiting for you to come and take me back home in your loving arms. Putting posters all around the area is so vital, but so often people don’t do it. And don’t give up the search. Ever! I hear that cats rarely go far from where they got lost, so If I get lost I‘ll be somewhere around trying to find my way back. You can also spread around some of my litter or even place the litter box outside home, I can smell it and come to you. (I read somewhere that it works.)

It is vital to be dedicated and thorough in searching, making sure everyone in the neighbourhood knows, putting posters and leaflets all around, searching day and night. And NOT GIVING UP!

But by caring enough to take these basic steps to protect your cat in your home, you can prevent that dreadful consequence.