Whether indoor, outdoor or stray - all cats matter. We have an obligation as drivers and / or owners to look out for them.  Here are some things you can do while driving to help keep cats road safe...

PREVENTION TIPS

How to Reduce the Risk of Hitting a Cat

while Driving

SLOW DOWN

This is the single most important thing you can do.  If you drive slower, there's more time to see and stop quickly if needed.

Should you spot a cat near the road, expect the unexpected.

Cats are notorious for darting in front of cars. However, there is a reason they do this..

Cats claws and bite are no match for larger predators so they rely on their speed and agility to outrun a threat. Few are as nibble, but some can rival their speed. So, to run away from an attacker, cats will wait until the adversary (a car) is close enough to start the attack, but not close enough to close the deal.
In that moment, they will run past or across the path of the attacker just out of reach so the attacker has to change direction giving them a head start.
The problem with cars is their speed and width exceed any predator so cats time their escape route too late.

 

BE EXTRA VIGILANT

AT NIGHT

It is easier and safer to anticipate them in the road than it is to miss them once they are in front of you. Cats are natural predators and as such will be distracted chasing prey at night. In addition, the quiet of an evening makes them more confident roaming - meaning they are more likely to be in places (like roads) they would avoid in daytime.  

Also, cats confuse the beams from a car’s headlights with the car itself. This may be because cats perceive the danger as being from exposure by the headlights, rather than from being crushed by the tyres.

Increase alertness and reduce speed at night. People overdrive their headlights, meaning, they are driving too fast to stop in the distance covered by their headlights. Lowering the beam could also help visibility, especially in poor weather conditions. 

Don't allow distractions. If your full attention is on the road, you'll be more likely to spot approaching animals with your peripheral vision.

 

BE VIGILANT

 Get in the habit of scanning the roadside as you drive. 

 

Be extra careful around shoulders as well as streets lined with parallel parked cars. Be aware of your surroundings and expect the unexpected, and be ready to react. If possible, drive more central away from parked cars.

 

Cats that are startled may unfortunately suddenly flee by leaping right into the road. If you spot a cat (or see eye shine at night), slow down as you approach, and feel free to come to a stop if it's safe to do so.

 

Vigilance is the first and best defence.

© 2017 by CatsMatter

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