Should I Let My Cat Out at Night in the UK?
While cats are known to be purrticularly independent pets and natural hunters at night, most cat experts recommend keeping cats inside at night for their own safety, especially as more traffic accidents happen in the dark. But does your cat pester you to be let out at night?
If you’re debating whether you should let your cat out night, keep reading as we explore the risks of your kitty being outside at night, how to keep your kitty safe if they roam outside, and ways to keep your cat entertained in the evening.
Reasons to keep your cat in at night
Even if your feline friend exercises their freedom to roam outside in the daytime, it’s highly recommended that you keep your cat in at night for several reasons to help keep them safe.
Some night time dangers that occur at night include:
1. More traffic accidents occur at night
Our feline friends are natural hunters, so they’re instinctively more active at night and they may want to venture outside to catch prey. However, some studies show that approximately 78% of all traffic accidents involving cats occur at night.
While living close to busy roads is particularly dangerous for cats, quiet roads can also be unsafe as your cat may be caught off guard by a car suddenly appearing in the darkness.
Drivers are less likely to see small animals in the road in the dark and a car’s headlights can dazzle your cat, so keeping your kitty indoors at night will help protect them from road hazards.
Nocturnal animals such as badgers, foxes and owls may attack your cat at night. If your cat is young, weak, or not very agile they’ll be more at risk and likely to be attacked.
3. Other cats
If your cat is prowling at night, they’ll probably come across other cats – and they may not be in the mood for making friends. Cats roaming at night may be protecting their territory and fight any feline who dares step on their turf.
4. Weather conditions
Whether it’s blowing a gale, freezing cold or raining cats and dogs, the elements can put your cat in some hazardous situations, especially if they seek warmth and shelter and end up trapped somewhere (like a neighbour’s shed).
5. They could get lost in the dark
Cats are more likely to get lost at night, especially after rain or snow - this is because cats tend to rely on scent to find their way home. Poor visibility will also make it trickier for your kitty to find their way home, particularly if they’ve roamed far away.
On occasions like Bonfire Night, we would always suggest keeping your kitty home as fireworks can make our feline friends anxious and scared.
How to keep your cat safe at night
While the best option for keeping your cat safe at night is by keeping them indoors, we understand that this isn’t always a straightforward option.
Some cat owners allow their cats to come and go as they please, so suddenly denying them access to be let out at night may lead to negative behaviours and your cat feeling stressed. Some cats also stay out until nightfall after being let out in the day.
How safe this is for your cat very much depends on where you live and the type of cat you have. For instance, if your cat is healthy, confident, and you live in a rural area away from main roads, then in theory they’ll be much safer being let out at night than a nervous kitten that lives in a busy city or town.
If your cat does go out at night, then there are a few precautions you can take to help keep your cat safe.
Minimising risks for your cat at night in the UK
1. Choose the right collar
A quick-release collar will help your cat break away from their collar if it gets caught in a fence or another obstacle. It’s also worth opting for a reflective or fluorescent collar if your cat goes out at night.
2. Make sure your cat is microchipped
An up-to-date microchip will help you find your cat if they get lost. It’s also important to make sure your cat’s ID tag contains your up-to-date information.
3. Keep up with your cat’s vaccinations
Regular fleaing and worming will help protect your cat from parasites from animals and the environment (this is important if they go out in the day too).
4. Consider your cat’s hormones
Cats that are sprayed or neutered are less likely to get into a tussle with other cats.
5. Give your cat a curfew
There are lots of cat flaps on the market that allow you to set a timer on your kitty’s cat flap. This way, your cat will be able to go out in the day and once they’ve had their evening meal, they’ll no longer be able to leave through their cat flap. In time, your kitty should get used to this routine.
How to keep your cat entertained indoors at night
If your kitty gets restless at night and you want them to stay inside, then you’ll need to keep them entertained and make sure their needs are met when they’re at home.
Help keep your cat occupied with a scratching post, climbing frames and teaser toys that’ll keep them on their toes. Even things like pom-pom balls or cardboard boxes make great playthings for energetic kitties. Be sure to refresh your cat’s toys to keep things interesting! Why not go for a catnip toy for added fun?
Feeding your cat at a similar time every day will also help create a routine for your cat and encourage them to stay indoors at night for their evening meal.
How about treating your cat to a new personalised bowl? A purrfect addition to your cat’s dinnertime, our custom bowls look pawgeous in every cat owner’s home home. Come and see for yourself…
If your cat wants to go out and explore when darkness falls, be sure to think twice before you allow them out. Consider your cat’s temperament and where you live.
Even if your cat is purrrsuasive, they don’t always know what’s best for them so it’s important to weigh up the dangers of your cat going out at night before you comply.
When it comes to your cat’s safety, the safest option is to keep them away from night time dangers by keeping them inside at night.
Yappy to help
We hope you enjoyed reading this post and found it helpful on deciding if you should let your cat out at night in the UK.
Does your cat ever decide to sleep in their litter box? It could be due to a number of reasons, click here to find out why!
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