Do you allow your cat to leave the house to hunt?

By Kodichukwu Okonkwo, DVM | December 16th, 2018

A 1yr old cat was brought to the clinic with some injuries around his neck. The wound was swollen and filled with pus. The wound was so tender that the cat fights when the wound is pressed. We sedated the cat to be able to achieve a meaningful treatment. In another week the same cat was back with series of new injuries but this time the owner saw the cat fighting a black cat outside the house. According to the owner the both cats didn’t recognize his presence at all. He said that the both cats went home with almost equal number of injuries. Since then the cat was not allowed to go outside but to their surprise the black cat was always waiting for the cat outside the client’s house for reasons best known to him.

This is one in many cases of cats going outside the house and coming back with health issues. Some of the cases was when cats come home with a broken limb, lacerations of the skin, tape worms and other life threatening diseases.

It is common for cats to try to be independent from their owners and try to hunt for fresh meal than the commercial food being given to them. This instinct to hunt exposes them to various things that can hurt them and also pose some health threat to their owners who might be in the habit of touching and curdling them.

They can contract diseases such as: Rabies, leptospirosis, roundworms, tapeworms and bacterial infections which are capable of affecting humans. The most deadly of these diseases being Rabies and Leptospirosis. Leptospirosis usually occur as a result of the cats hunting and feeding on infected rats and mice.

Toxicity can also occur and take the life of the cat when the cat hunts and feeds on rat or mice that has ingested poisons kept as traps.

Traumatic injuries can occur when people stone the cat when they are outside hunting. Some people have a religious believe that cats are witches and would try to kill any cat that strays to their home or environment. Some cats can be killed out rightly and sometimes burnt.

Some cultures see cats as good meat so your cat can fall into the wrong hands and might end up inside someone’s pot of soup here in Nigeria.

It is important to note that cats love adventure and would force their way out sometimes to explore, so care must be taken when interacting with these cats to prevent them from getting hurt and hurting you and your family too.

  1. Ginika December 27th, 2018

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Kodichukwu Okonkwo, DVM

Founder of Fairvet Animal Clinic Ltd since 2011, studied at the University of Nigeria Nsukka. He is well experienced in small animal, large animal & poultry medicine, and also skilled at zoo medicine. He loves animals and builds both professional and personal relationship with pet owners in order to sustain a good interaction with pet and animal owners, coupled with His great skills in programming; he brought about which he personally built from scratch.

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