VCA Animal Hospitals

A few benefits and risks for indoor and outdoor cats

Published: Jan 05, 2012

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In general, cats will live healthier lives if they are kept indoors, however, owners will have to pay special attention to their needs so they stay happy and fulfilled.

According to Veterinarian Randy Aronson, reporting on KVOA-TV’s Pet Vet segment, "On average, an indoor cat lives 12 years, but some cats can live for as many as 20 years.  In comparison, an outdoor cat's life expectancy is less than five years."  According to this local news station in Tucson, Arizona, outdoor cats are often happier because they roam freely and are able to hunt and get plenty of exercise.  However, outdoor cats are more susceptible to dangers from predators like hawks and coyotes, traumatic accidents with vehicles, and even toxicity from eating spoiled food or poisonous plants.

VCA Animal Hospitals reports outdoor cats are also at greater risk of acquiring diseases such as feline leukemia (FeLV) or feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and in urban areas outdoor felines typically have an even shorter average life span of just about two years.

Indoor living, however, is not without potential problems. Although cats living inside are less affected by trauma and infectious diseases, indoor confinement can lead to behavioral problems. It is important that indoor cats have plenty of resources for perching, scratching, water drinking, and eliminating. Appropriate toys and activities are necessary to stimulate them mentally in order to keep them happy and to get the required amount of daily exercise.


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.