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Safe Ways for Cats to Explore the Outdoors

Build an outdoor room or take your cat for a walk.

It’s summertime and your cat may be clamoring for a little fresh air and sunshine. If you have an indoor kitty, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has some suggestions on how to let your cat safely explore the great outdoors. It goes without saying that you’ll want to make sure your cat is up-to-date on all his or her vaccinations before venturing out.

The best way to make your backyard secure is to provide a screened-in enclosure or fenced-in yard topped with cat-proof netting. You can either build or buy an enclosure made of chain link or chicken wire with a wood frame. And roofing is required so that your cat doesn’t become an escape artist. Here’s a YouTube video of one cat owner’s outdoor enclosure.

If constructing an outside enclosure isn’t your forte, why not take your cat out for a walk? It’s not —it just takes a little training for your cat to adjust. The ASPCA recommends using a figure-8 or H-type harness and making sure it fits well. (The fit is right if you can barely get your finger between the cat and the harness.) Try out the harness for a few minutes at a time each day and before something pleasurable, such as mealtime, so your cat associates it with something good. Next, attach the leash and walk around the house. When your cat is accustomed to the leash, you can then go outside for a walk.

Help Homeless Cats

If you’re interested in helping out the feral cats you see around our neighborhood, the Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) has an upcoming class on July 12, “Helping Homeless Cats and Your Community.” The class is free and runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Milpitas. To register, visit the HSSV website.

Pet of the Week

Meet Crusoe, a playful three-year-old feline. He loves to pounce and play, and when he tires out, he’ll come visit your lap for a snuggle session. Crusoe would love to come home with you if your home is a canine-free environment.

For more information about Crusoe and other cats available for adoption visit the HSSV website. Right now is a great time to adopt a cat because June is “Adopt a Shelter Cat Month,” and the HSSV is offering half off all adoption fees for cats six months of age and older.

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