ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — It is no secret that cats are a popular pet. In fact, about 45.3 million households have a feline friend.

Cats are also known to be more inclined to roam around outside. While many dogs might bolt the second they see the front door open, cats may just want to wander around the neighborhood for a little while before returning home.

Many pet owners, however, might be wondering if they can let their furry friends roam freely without facing legal consequences.

The answer, as it turns out, is not a simple as a yes or no.

There are no laws on the federal, or state level laws in most instances, that ban letting cats outside, according to Wag. The only states that do have clear cut laws on the matter is California, Maine and Rhode Island.

In instances where cat laws are in place, they can be strict. Places where cats cannot be let out on their own might resort to either impounding the animal, or putting them down.

That is not to say that cats cannot be outside period. Many cities will let cats be out and about if they are on a leash with their owner.

Residents should check their local ordinances before letting their feline friends run wild.

While the consequences might not be bad for the owner of the cat in many instances, the same cannot be said for the furry friends.

There are many dangers that a cat can face if they wander. Outdoor cats face a higher risk of being exposed to dangerous chemicals rodenticides and antifreeze. Ingesting these toxins could lead to the cat losing their life.

In addition, they risk being hit by a car or wounded by another animal. Many other diseases can be prevented, but only if the cat has received the proper vaccinations or preventatives before being let out.