Half of all pet cats NEVER go outside

Half of all pet cats NEVER go outside

Half of all cats NEVER go outside because owners are worried about traffic or thieves

  • EXCLUSIVE: Researchers quizzed more than 5,000 cat owners worldwide  
  • Found that 41 per cent of pet felines live indoors and do not go outside 
  • More than half (59 per cent) of owners cited traffic as the main reason

Almost half of all pet cats are never let outside by their owners over fears for their health and safety, scientists have found. 

All domesticated felines fall into one of two groups, completely indoors, or a combination of outside and inside. 

A survey of more than 5,000 cat owners around the world found 41 per cent of owners opt for the former.  

Nottingham Trent University researchers say the main driver behind this decision is a desire to protect their cat from traffic, other animals and criminals. 

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A survey of more than 5,000 cat owners around the world found 41 per cent of owners opt for an indoor-only existence for their pet (stock)

Of the 41 per cent of owners who keep their cat inside all day, the vast majority (85 per cent) said it was down to keeping their beloved pet safe. 

More than half (59 per cent) cited traffic as the main reason, and 98.7 per cent said traffic played at least some role in the decision-making process.  

Around one in eight (13 per cent) said keeping their pet safe from people was a major factor, with owners concerned about thieves. This concern was elevated in people who own pedigree pets.

In North America, one in five cat owners said harm inflicted by other animals, both domestic and feral, were a concern. This drops to ten per cent globally.  

As well as sending cats crazy, catnip helps our feline friends repel mosquitoes, according to a new study by Japanese experts. 

Both catnip, a common herb, and the even more potent silver vine are known to elicit euphoric responses in cats.

Cat owners use the dry leaves of these plants to give joy to their pet cats, often manifested as rolling around, pawing and appearing ‘zoned out’.

Chemical compounds in both catnip and silver vine (nepetalactone and nepetalactol, respectively) strongly induce the characteristic behaviour.  

But experts think cats rub against both catnip and silver vine to transfer these compounds to their fur as protection against mosquitoes and parasitic insects. 

On the flip side, almost a third of cat owners (30 per cent) from New Zealand and Australia keep their pet inside to prevent them from hunting other animals.

Keeping pets inside has previously been linked to stress-linked sickness and undesirable behaviours but is an increasingly common trend, especially among young people. 

Cat owners aged 26-35 and people living in city centres were among those most likely to keep their cats indoors. 

Researchers say this is an increasingly common trend as more people flock to urban hubs for work.  

‘It is important for us to look at how best we can improve the behaviour and wellbeing of indoor-only cats, particularly those significantly more likely to be kept indoors, such as pedigrees,’ said lead researcher Rae Foreman-Worsley.

‘To ensure they are adequately provided for, it is crucial for owners to recognise the individual needs of cats with different temperaments, activity requirements or previous life experiences. 

‘Those living in city centres, urban environments and apartments are significantly more likely to have indoor-only cats, and as urbanisation is set to continue it is reasonable to assume the proportion of cats kept indoors will too.’ 

Co-author Dr Lauren Finka added: ‘The choices owners make concerning the environments they provide their cats with can have important implications for the cat’s general wellbeing and quality of life.

‘It’s therefore vital we understand how owners’ decision-making processes and their own lifestyles may impact on their choices for their cats.’ 

The findings are published in the journal Animals.  

Cat owners may have caught TB from their pets after feeding them infected venison 

An outbreak of tuberculosis among UK cat owners may have originated from a batch of infected venison given to felines as part of a trendy raw meat diet.

Experts led from Edinburgh investigated after 47 cats presented with suspected or definite infection with Mycobacterium bovis, the bacteria responsible for bovine TB.

Among the cats, M. bovis was found to have caused skin lesions, swollen lymph nodes, respiratory problems, lethargy, lost appetite and weight loss. 

The team found 83 additional cats had contracted the disease yet had no symptoms. While M. bovis is usually caught from cattle, most of the pets lived indoors.

The common factor between the infected cat was found to be a diet including venison from Natural Instinct, a pet food company that specialises in raw food.

The infected meat — traced back to a single supplier — was withdrawn from shelves when the outbreak occurred. Natural Instinct has not sold raw venison since. 

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