5 Outdoor Dangers for Cats

By PetMD Editorial on May 6, 2016

Veterinarians often recommend cat owners keep their cats inside at all times, but if you do have a cat that frequents the outdoors, be sure to keep an eye out for these potential problems.

Extreme Temperatures

Cats cannot tolerate extreme heat or cold weather any better than people can.  They may suffer from dehydration, heat exhaustion and heatstroke in the summertime or frostbite and hypothermia in the winter.

Feral Animals

Your cat may be a pro at pouncing on his mouse cat toys, but he’s likely no match for loose dogs, feral cats or other wild animals including coyotes, raccoons or foxes. Injuries from these animals can be serious and sometimes fatal. Additionally, feral animals can give your cat a number of serious diseases.


Outdoor cats can pick up a number of unwanted pests in the great outdoors, including fleas, ticks, mites and worms. And even cats that do not venture outdoors can get fleas.  These parasites can wreak havoc on your cat’s health. Make sure to use the best flea and tick treatment for cats and regularly check him for signs of ticks and fleas when he comes indoors.

Cars and Vehicles

Outdoor cats can easily get hit and seriously injured by cars on a busy street. Additionally, cats often like to curl up in the warm space under a car hood for a nap and can wind up being injured or even killed when the car starts.


A number of common substances and products in your yard and garage can be poisonous to cats, including antifreeze, certain insecticides, fertilizers, compost bins and rodent poisons. Keep these products secured and provide your pet with an enclosed, safe place to play.   

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