Hidden Dangers of Cat Doors

Cat doors make it easier for your cat to come and go as he pleases, but it puts your cat and family at risk. Numerous problems occur when you install a cat door, so carefully think whether the risks outweigh the benefits.

Increased Risk of Nighttime Injury

During day light hours, drivers are able to see cats approaching the road and can adjust their speed to avoid hitting that cat. Once the sun sets, visibility is limited. Most cats are hit by vehicles in the dark.

If a cat is allowed to come and go as he pleases, there is a greater risk for finding your cat dead by the roadside in the morning. No pet owner wants to experience this tragic event. It's always best to keep your cat inside when you cannot monitor his activity outdoors.

Dangers of other Animals Using Cat Doors

Unless you purchase electronic cat door, you'll find it is easy for any other animal to enter your house. With an electronic cat door, a sensor on the cat's collar triggers the door to open. These cat doors are more expensive, not sold in every store and battery failure can trap your pet outside.

After installing normal cat doors, homeowners find raccoons, skunks and stray cats entering their home seeking food, water and shelter. If a skunk sprays within your home, you'll have a hard time getting the horrendous odor out. Raccoons have a higher risk for rabies.

Stray cats are dangerous, particularly if they bite someone in your home. That person will be forced to go for rabies shots if there is no proof the stray has had rabies vaccinations. Bites quickly become septic requiring prescription medications and a trip to the doctor or hospital.

Risk of Attack on Your Cat

If a stray attacks your pet, there are numerous disease risks. They include:

  • Feline AIDS

  • Feline Distemper

  • Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus

  • Feline Leukemia

  • Infection/Abscesses

  • Rabies

Many of these illnesses are prevented through vaccinations, but not every vaccine provides complete protection. With many, there is still a slim chance that the cat may become sick.

The Risk of Poisoning with Outside Cats

Being allowed outside without supervision exposes cats to outdoor dangers. Free roaming cats have a higher risk for getting into poisons. One of the most common poisons is antifreeze. The sweet-smelling liquid appeals to cats and they'll happily lap it up. Antifreeze kills in a matter of hours.

Outdoor cats also may get into rat poisoning and poisonous plants. When kept inside, you have the power to eliminate exposure to common toxins.

Cat Doors Put Babies and Toddlers at Risk

A cat door is also dangerous for toddlers and crawling babies. Curious little ones try to get into the cat door and become stuck. More importantly, larger pet doors allow crawling infants and toddlers to get outside. In 2006, a Florida family found their two-year-old son floating in their swimming pool after he passed through a cat door. He died in the hospital.