Veterinary professionals are the number one pet health advocates without a doubt. We recommend diets, administer vaccines, give puppy/kitten advice, etc.
But then, something got me thinking….
I’ve definitely committed a sin in the veterinary world. While I’ve been recommending friends/family/clients on diets, vaccines, surgical procedures, I’ve ignored my own education.
Wait for it….wait for it…..I have indoor/outdoor cats (insert shock and horror music here).
Have I now gone against everything I’ve been taught? It’s not like my cats were originally barn cats or anything. They simply figured out the doggy door and I let them do it.
I know all the risks to letting cats have the luxury of and indoor/outdoor lifestyle (and just fyi, they are fixed, not declawed and up to date on vaccines). However, they seem happy. Like super happy.
What really got me thinking is this: would you rather live a potentially shortened life filled with more risks if it meant that you had more freedom? Or, would you rather live a more constrained lifestyle, but you would potentially live long, old and almost risk free?
I am confident that my cats would choose to have their outdoor freedom. I believe their happiness is worth the risk.
Yet, every time we have an outdoor cat show up at the clinic that was attacked, HBC or critical in some way due to their outdoor lifestyle, I question my decision.
Is it worth their happiness? What do you think?