Allowing your cat outside
Given the choice most cats would choose to roam free, but letting your cat outside unsupervised does carry some risks
Provide a cat shelter
Your cat should always have a 'safe spot' within your garden which it can quickly reach in times of danger. The ultimate safe spot is an outside room, such as a garden shed, with a cat flap attached. If this is not possible, any kind of cover will do, preferably somewhere your cat can access but other animals cannot. In most cases, if your cat is spooked, it will run straight back in the house but in case the path is blocked or you do not have a cat flap a second shelter spot will provide a safe retreat until the danger has gone.
Your cat will naturally toilet in your garden, but it may also toilet in neighbors gardens which can cause conflicts. You can try and remedy this by providing a pleasing, nicely dug soil bed for your cat to do its business in. Mixing in some old cat litter might also help by giving sensory cues that the area is a good spot to use.
Please the Neighbours
Your cat is unlikely to stay in your garden if it can venture elsewhere. Your garden is a safe spot, outside your garden is fun and adventure, but it is also someone elses property and they may not share the same cat-loving views that you do. Getting neighbors on your side could help to make your cats outdoor life easier, as well as neighbourly relations. Introducing your cat to your neighbors is the first step. This will show your neighbors how important your cat is, allow them to stroke it (bonding), and at the very least allow them to identify your cat against unknown cats.
What will your neighbours reaction be to a cat in the garden?
What if your neighbors hate cats?
If you are visiting this site then you are probably a 'cat lover', but not everyone shares your point of view, there are those who consider cats to be disgusting, flea-ridden, hissing, dangerous, wildlife-killing, toileting creatures and would like nothing better than to eradicate them. If your neighbor has this point of view there is not a lot you can do to change it, but you can help to reach an understanding. Offering advice about how to deter your cat (humanely) if it is causing problems as well as showing your neighbor your efforts to provide toileting areas in your own garden will help. Let your neighbor know that you are willing to help if your cat is causing problems, and also let your neighbor know how important your cat is to you and they may look upon it more favourably. You may even be able to convince your neighbor that your clean, well-groomed, domesticated, and vaccinated cat will help drive of other less desirable cats from your neighbors garden if it is allowed to roam free.
Avoid the use of strong chemicals
Whilst cats will normally avoid eating anything poisonous, it is sensible to avoid using any strong weedkillers, pesticides, or bug killers which may be harmful to your cat. If you are on good terms with your neighbors ask them to let you know if they are planning on using anything. Antifreeze should be avoided as it has no scent and may not be recognised by your cat.
Make sure your cat has ID and is in good health
If your cat is outdoors then it is at risk of getting lost or injured and it is also at risk of contracting fleas, parasites, and diseases from other cats or animals. Making sure your cat is fully identifiable with a tag and microchipping is vital if someone ever needs to contact you and keeping up with flea treatments and vaccinations will keep your cat in good health.
Fireworks and storms
During bonfire night (in the UK), new years eve, or any local festival or celebration where fireworks are likely it is always best to keep your cat indoors, no matter how much they protest. Fireworks are not just bright flashes but the deep vibrations caused by explosions are unlike anything your cat normally encounters and its instinct to run and hide may mean not coming home for hours, or even days. In a worst case, a normally streetwise cat may even become disorientated and run out into traffic. Although most cats won't go out if the weather is really bad, the same 'no-go' rule should be applied to severe weather.