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Are you harming your cats by keeping them indoors?


This article contains: FIV Cats Protection

Q: Last year my two cats were killed on the road I live on. I feel I am now ready to take on another cat, but realise that to keep them safe I will have to keep them indoors. Will this have an adverse effect on them?

A: I am so sorry to hear your last two cats suffered such a fate. However, I may have the perfect solution for you. Every year, thousands of cats up and down the UK are diagnosed with FIV, the cat equivalent of AIDS. Diagnosis often means that these animals must be kept indoors to avoid the fatal disease being passed on to other cats in the neighbourhood via fighting or sexual contact (it cannot be passed on to humans). Cats Protection and other feline-friendly organisations are always keen to find owners who would be willing to give a loving home to these unfortunate cats, so this may be a good option for you. It doesn't suit all ages or type of cat, but some felines are perfectly fine being kept indoors, and many choose such a sedentary life voluntarily. If you visit a local cat shelter, the staff are generally very experienced at gauging the personalities of their charges. They should be able to point out the most likely indoor-loving cats, so you can experience the joys of feline affections once more without fear of another road fatality.

Scott Miller, vet


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KAREN BROWSE
I recently moved house and have a cat called felix,he was born at our old house and was worried about the affect the move would have on him,friends and family gave advise saying keep him in for a few weeks then let him out.l did not realise how much an effect it would have on him till we moved,we left him in a room on his own with all his things toys bed and food for the day on the move and he cried but seemed ok,it took time for him to come out but when he did he was very scared and everytime something moved he would attack it and run away,so we gave him lots of love and played with him, after 4 weeks he would still not go out,some said put him out and leave him out,but l was worried that if l forced him out he would end up to scared to even go to the door for fear of being put out,l got hes only a cat but he is a member of our family and is treated as such,l let him go out with me into the garden a few times and has met the neighbours cats and is now back to his happy relaxed self playing in and out of the house,l am very glad l went with how he was behaving and did it slowly,and very pleased l had him microchiped just incase he wanders to our old address.
Ed Roulston
I was down at my local Cats Protection shelter in Belfast today. I'm looking for a housecat as I live in an apartment on quite a busy road and have had a few housecats before. I saw a beautiful 9 year old cat with FIV that would be perfect, however I was wondering if you can get petplan insurance for FIV cats in this situation?
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