Cat road safety: how to keep outdoor cats safe
There’s no sure-fire way to stop your cat getting run over or being involved in an accident, but there are measures you can take to improve their safety when out and about.
In the UK today, there are almost 5 times the amount of cars than there are cats, meaning that hypothetically, each kitty has an average of 5 cars to contend with when they’re out exploring.
This is much higher than ever before and simply means that our cats are at an all-time high risk of being involved in a road accident.
We can’t teach our cats the rules of the road, but cat road safety can – to some extent – be achieved through other measures.
Have your cat neutered
Keep outdoor cats safer by having them neutered.
Un-neutered cats are more likely to roam than neutered cats. The more a cat roams (often interacting with other cats), the higher their chances of coming across a busy road, especially if you live right next to one.
By having your cat neutered, you decrease their chances of running into all sorts of danger, including traffic accidents, getting into fights with other cats and catching many infectious diseases...
Keep your cat indoors during the night
You can reduce your cat’s chances of being run over simply by limiting the time they spend outside.
For many owners, keeping their cat inside during the night may be the perfect compromise when it comes to cat road safety: your cat gets their freedom during daylight hours but stays safely indoors during the night – when the majority of road accidents occur.
The younger a cat is, the more likely they are to be involved in a road traffic accident. This is because they’re less familiar with their surroundings and not as ‘streetwise’ as older cats.
When you first bring your new kitten or adopted cat home, keep them inside for a few weeks so their minds can adjust to their new environment. When it comes to letting them out, start off small and gradually increase the length of time they spend out in the open.
If your cat goes out during the night, you might want to consider a reflective collar to increase their visibility to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
If you live on a main road, you’ll need to be more vigilant about limiting your cat’s outdoor time. Keep them inside during busy traffic times and during the night.
If you live in a more remote area, your cat will (statistically speaking) be safer to explore and spend time outside – although it’s still a good idea to have them neutered.
Have your cat microchipped
Okay – a microchip won’t prevent a road accident! What a microchip will do, though, is allow you to be contacted if your cat is found.
Need more info?
If you have further concerns or need more advice about your cat’s welfare, have a chat with your local vet. To find your nearest recommended vet or pet clinic, use our Find a Vet page.