This page concerns the UK but to a lesser extent it would also apply to the USA. A study looked at the factors which may predispose cats to being involved in road traffic accidents (RTA). The number of cats in the study was 115.
The study compared these 115 cats with a control group of 794 cats who had never been in a RTA. The following information was gleaned from the study:
RTA cats are normally younger. 46% of the cats involved in traffic accidents were between the ages of seven and 24 months.
Another characteristic of cats involved in RTAs is that they are male and non-pedigree. 62% of the cats involved in an accident were male and either unneutered or neutered. 97% of the cats were non-pedigree.
The odds of being involved in a RTA decreased by 16% for every year increase in age. Clearly experience counts.
The odds of a male being involved in a RTA is 1.9 times higher than for females irrespective of whether the cats were entire or neutered.
The odds of a pedigree cat being involved in a RTA was 0.29 those from non-pedigree cats. This is less than one third.
In addition, there was a tendency for more accidents to happen during the night than the day. And, of course, proportionally more of the cats involved in an accident lived in areas with high levels of traffic. That obviously doesn’t really require being stated. It would appear that male cats go wandering quite widely at night or at least potentially. Most cat owners don’t know where their cats go. There is an argument that people should know where their cats go to. Today you can buy radio collars which allow the owner to track the movements of their cat. I’m not necessarily recommending this but it would tell the owner whether their cat is wandering onto roads.
The advice that can be given to concerned cat owners who let their cats outside whether they be in the UK or the USA (but this advice naturally applies more to the UK where only about 8.4% of cats are confined to the indoors), is that it may be appropriate to adopt a neutered female, possibly a pedigree purebred cat that is older and which is kept in at night. Further the ideal would be to live in an area where there is a low level of traffic.
P.S. — My boy cat goes out at night. He sleeps during the day. I am concerned but the area is very safe in respect of traffic as the nearest road is several hundred yards away and there are barriers to getting there.
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Source: pages 196-97 of The Welfare of Cats. ISBN 978-1-4020-6143-1
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