Is it normal for my cat to stray?
Predatory and reproductive urges cause cats to stray! Cats are first and foremost feline creatures who love hunting, especially at night. Furthermore, tomcats stray at night to find their “soul mate”. What do veterinary surgeons recommend?
During the mating season, male cats stray and go looking for fights
Males are constantly sexually active and can mate all year long. However, male cats only actively seek out their mates when females are more receptive. Male cats tend to stray and are more aggressive from February to September (when females are in heat).
Neutering cats does not solve all problems
Changes in hormone balance after cats are neutered make them less likely to stray, but also consequently make them less active (hence the importance of changing their diet after they are neutered, to avoid excessive weight gain). However, if this operation is not performed early on, i.e. before the kitten is a year old, it will have little effect on his behaviour. If cats are neutered late on, there will be a limited effect on their behaviour (spraying to mark their territory, straying, etc.).
Owners should consider getting their cat microchipped
Microchipping with an electronic transponder is worth recommending as this will identify the cat in the national feline registry kept by the Ministry of Agriculture.
If the animal is identified, the specialised veterinary auxiliary or veterinary surgeon will be able to check his identity in the I-CAD registry if he is lost. An electronic chip is inserted beneath the cat’s skin without the need for anaesthesia.
The legislation states that: “All domestic carnivores should be identified.” Aside from the legal aspect, microchipping protects both animal and owner, whether the cat is an indoor cat or not.
How can we convince owners to have their cats microchipped?
Electronic chips are inserted by means of a rapid, painless injection, without the need for general anaesthesia. Even indoor chats should be microchipped. Indoor cats can still get lost if they fall from a balcony or escape from the house. They could be picked up by the pound and if the owner is unknown, the cat could be sent to a refuge or put to sleep.
Owners are advised to update their contact details in the registry when they move house or take their cat abroad. Owners are likely to heed these arguments. Also point out that their pets can be identified when they are neutered.
Cat flaps detect the cat which is allowed to enter, via magnetic recognition!
Cat flaps make it easy for the cat to come home without disturbing the owner, who does not therefore have to be the doorman all day long. New-generation cat flaps use via magnetic recognition to prevent other cats (or animals) from entering the house.
The cat flap opens when the cat passes in front of the cat flap which then reads the magnetic key attached to the cat’s collar. The cat flap then opens without the need for the cat to wear an extra collar! If a cat is not recognised by the magnetic reader, the cat flap will remain closed. This system operates with different possible positions, and allows cats to move freely without constantly disturbing their owners who will have great peace of mind.
In conclusion, you can recommend purchasing a cat flap and electronic microchipping to help cats live their lives to the full in complete safety!
Article written by Dr Valérie Crousse, veterinary surgeon