Tonkinese cats are a beautiful, sought-after breed among feline enthusiasts. Lively and playful, with distinct coats and markings, these combinations of Burmese and Siamese breeds are a fabulous, loving addition to any home. But like many curious cats, these love bugs may want to venture out to explore your yard and beyond. But should they? Can Tonkinese cats go outside?
Tonkinese cats can go outside with supervision. There are risks to allowing your Tonkinese outside, including injury, ingesting of something dangerous, and getting too close to the road. If your cat does go outside, you should take careful measures to make sure the animal is safe.
Curiosity is more robust in some cats than in others. If they want to get out, chances are these little tricksters will figure out how to do it! But different breeds of cats have different hunting instincts, and that means their experiences outside can vary. No matter the breed, safety is paramount if you decide to let your kitty go outside.
At What Age Can Cats Go Outdoors?
If you get your cat as a kitten, they may be very interested and quite fearless about exploring outside. The absolute youngest a kitten should be let outdoors is at six months old. But before you let your baby out to play, the following precautions must be in place:
Your pet must be up to date on vaccinations
Kittens require many vaccinations between the ages of 6 weeks to six months. If you get your kitten from a breeder, which is likely with a Tonkinese, they should take care of some of these before you take your cat home. If not, you will need to take the kitten to the vet to make sure they get all of the shots they need.
Additional vaccines may be required in certain parts of the country, particularly if you anticipate that your cat will spend time outside. This includes a vaccine for the highly contagious feline leukemia. Your veterinarian will make sure you’ve got everything covered.
Your pet must be neutered
Tonkinese and all cats who are not spayed or neutered have a strong possibility of meeting another cat, and, well, you know how this goes! Sterilization helps curb your cat’s fearlessness when they are let outside and keeps them from wanting to get into fights with other animals. Sterilized cats are likely to be more cautious.
Spaying and neutering can stop bad behaviors inside the house, too, the most notable being spraying of urine. The likelihood of future health problems, such as reproductive cancers for both sexes, is significantly reduced when the cat is sterilized. Make sure you, your breeder, or your adoption agency have taken care of this vital step, especially before your cat is allowed outdoors.
Your pet must have identification
Get your Tonkinese microchipped and order a collar with their name and your contact information. The younger you get your cat used to wearing a collar, the less likely they will be to resist wearing it!
You must cat-proof your garden
Your cat may very well try to chow down on some plants when you take them outside. It’s essential to check your garden and neighboring gardens, for anything that may be harmful to cats. A comprehensive list is available on the ASPCA’s website here.
Will My Cat Run Away If I Let Them Outside
This is mostly up to your specific cat. Supervision is a key element. Some cats are content to sit on the front stoop and watch the world go by. Others will want to explore. Tonkinese cats do not quite have the same drive to hunt as some other cats, but that doesn’t mean they won’t want to wander.
An ideal way to let your cat outside is to do so in an enclosed area, such as a fenced-in yard. This will keep them from getting too far away. Make sure you keep an eye on them and that all water bodies, like pools or ponds, are covered up or inaccessible.
Some cats are also okay with being put on a leash and harness. This can give them a chance to sit outside and observe while tied up, or to go for a walk just like a dog! Leashes are a great way to make sure your cat doesn’t run away while allowing them to experience the neighborhood.
If you do not have an enclosed area and your cat does not respond well to a leash, you should assess the area where the cat will go. Determine how far away the closest road is, if there are dogs or other cats nearby, what kinds of plants are in the area, or if there are trees the cat can easily climb and potentially get stuck in.
Leaving a cat outdoors unsupervised is never a good idea. Aside from several terrible things that could happen to the cat itself, they could kill important local wildlife, hurt another animal or a child, or be able to find their way back. Some cats like to make a game out of having you chase them, which can be annoying. But it’s better to follow them around and get them back inside than have something happen to your beloved pet.
Can A Housecat Survive Outside?
Every cat is different, but, generally, the answer is no. While housecats may like to go out and play, this doesn’t mean they can survive for long periods. Housecats have a completely different set of instincts from feral cats.
They are not accustomed to finding food and shelter or avoiding predators. Many cats have a good sense of direction, but there is no guarantee they’ll be able to find their way back home. Tonkinese cats, in particular, are specifically bred to be indoor cats. Their instincts are not sharp enough to survive outdoors.
Speaking of sharp, many housecats are also declawed, even though this practice is advised against by most veterinarians and animal rights organizations. Without front claws, a cat has no way of protecting themselves.
How Do I Introduce My Cat To The Outdoors?
If you have decided to let your kitty spend some time exploring the neighborhood, make sure all of the actions mentioned above and safety precautions are in place.
If a cat is showing curiosity, stay with them, and leave the door to the house open as you venture out. This way, they know they can run back to shelter if they need to. Stay with them as they explore. If you want to try a leash, try it the first time you go outside, so the cat gets used to it. Walk with them to make sure they don’t try to eat anything bad for them. And make sure the weather is nice!
It’s possible that if your cat enjoys being outdoors, you may have a future “escape cat” on your hands! This will mean that just about any time you open your door; the cat may try to make a run for it. If your cat starts doing this, plan for their attempts to get out.
If you frequently enter your home through a garage, make sure your garage door is completely closed before you open the house door. If you enter into a hall or directly outside, “enter skinny,” meaning open the door just a crack to check and see if the cat is waiting. You will probably have to have a bit of trial and error on this to figure out how to keep your cat indoors during times you don’t want them outside.
It’s possible for Tonkinese and other cat breeds to enjoy being outside and to explore safely. But owners must take precautions. The outdoors is great but can also be scary for a little feline, no matter how fearless they think they are!