Green Mountain Animal Defenders*Working to Protect the Well-Being of All Animals Since 1983
GMAD recommends cats be kept indoors only. Cats allowed to roam freely often pay with their lives. Click here for more information. If you choose to let your cat roam freely, it is vital that they be used to your home and the surroundings. For new cats or kittens or if you have moved to a new home, wait at least three weeks before introducing them to the outdoors, and only once you feel they are completely comfortable in your home. Otherwise they risk not returning since they will not recognize your home as their home. Like everything else, this step must be taken slowly and carefully.
Fence your yard so your dog can't escape.
Always keep your dog on a leash when out for a walk. If your yard isn't "dog-proofed," make sure that your dog is kept on a leash when in the yard. Do not let your dog roam. Even well behaved dogs face risks outside, so never let a dog roam unattended.
Keep all pets indoors during thunderstorms and other severe weather, and on the Fourth of July and other firework celebrations, even if your pets are normally kept outside. Many pets become spooked by firecrackers or thunderstorms and will run away when exposed to these stressful stimuli.
All cats and dogs should wear a collar with a current license and rabies vaccination tag at all times. For added safety, an identification tag that clearly displays your name, address, and day / night telephone numbers, and the pet's name, should be worn.
For cats, use a collar that has a short piece of elastic sewn into it. Such collars prevent cats from becoming trapped if the collar gets caught on a window blind, furniture, fencing, or some other object.
Tag your cat even if you never let him or her outside. Indoor cats can slip through open doors quickly and easily become lost.
Take clear photographs of your pet. Note any distinctive markings or scars that make your pet easy to identify.
Microchips, tiny electronic capsules that can be encoded with information about a pet and embedded under the animal's skin, can be read at the many animal shelters, veterinary facilities, and other locations that have a microchip scanner.
If your animal is not spayed or neutered, he or she will have a tendency to roam in search of a mate. Roaming animals are often lost, injured, or even killed. Spaying and neutering is crucial not only for this reason, but to help reduce overpopulation and reduce your pet's likelihood of contracting certain cancers.