Should I Let My Cat Outside? Indoor Cats vs Outdoor Cats: Which Should Yours Be?

Should your cat stay indoors or outdoors? Should you ever let him outside?

Most experts recommend that cats stay indoors, since it’s much safer for them. Life expectancy significantly improves for kitties not subjected to the great outdoors.

However, a lot of cat lovers tend to disagree, believing that cats should not be deprived of their natural instincts.

Indeed, sheltered cats tend to live longer than their outdoor counterparts, but they are also prone to developing psychological and behavioral issues.

On the other hand, allowing your cat to go outside your house can expose it to accidents and severe illnesses.

Whether you choose one over the other, there are always accompanying risks. Identifying what is best for your cat is entirely up to you.

Before you make that decision, let us review some facts that will help you make an informed choice.

The Life Of Domesticated Cats

Contrary to popular belief, your cat does not have nine lives.

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In past decades, people have started moving into cities, which makes it even more dangerous for cats to wander outdoors.

The urban environment can be life-threatening to your feline companion, especially with busy streets and wild dogs roaming around.

City life is the primary reason why people started “urbanizing” their pets.

While keeping cats inside the house may ensure their safety, there are some issues, however, that owners cannot avoid.

The Problems Of Having Indoor Cats

Here are the things you need to expect when taking care of indoor cats.

Behavioral Problems

Cats are just like humans. If you place them in a high-rise apartment for the rest of their feline lives, then they are sure to develop psychological disorders. The most common are anxiety-related issues such as urine markings.

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Obesity

With a lack of exercise, your cat may end up just like Garfield, only less cute. Obesity can lead to serious illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.

Damage To The House

Cats can cause severe damage, especially to furniture and carpets. Part of their nature is to scratch, jump, and climb.

Training your cat may be a good way to minimize these kinds of incidents.

Why Your Cat Should Stay Indoors: Risks For Outdoor Cats And Kittens

While taking care of indoor cats may be exhausting, it is the best way to keep your beloved furballs healthy and, well, alive.

There are owners, however, who have successfully maintained a healthy outdoor cat. Usually, this happens for those cats living in the countryside. It’s not a bad idea at all, considering cats thrive outdoors as “wild” creatures.

However, if you want to take the risk, then here are a few hazards you should look out for.

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Parasites

Your kitty may pick up some parasites while exploring the outdoors. It is one of the most common problems in handling outdoor cats.

Generally, fleas are non-threatening, but we all know how annoying and unsanitary they can be. These parasites can cause symptoms such as scratching and skin infections. You may also notice some vomiting and diarrhea in severe cases.

If this happens, proceed to your local veterinarian to discuss the best flea treatment for your cat.

Safety Concerns

Aside from acquiring diseases, there are a lot of safety issues that come from keeping outdoor cats alive.

If you live in big cities, cars can be a big problem. Your cat may get hit while crossing the road and incur major injuries, or possibly lose their life.

Loose dogs and other wild animals could also be a concern. You may think your cat can protect itself with its sharp claws and innate hunting skills, but the truth is, your kitty may end up being the one hunted down. Dogs and coyotes usually attack cats, causing severe injuries, and often fatal wounds.

Creating The Purr-fect Environment

Remember, once you decide to allow your cat out into the outdoors, you cannot control its environment.

UNLESS you create a “catio”. This basically allows your kitties to explore outside, without many of the risks of being a fully outdoor cat.

A catio is basically an enclosed-by-wire/mesh space that gives them the freedom to roam a bit. Check out how to make one here: How To Build A Catio.

Given the right amount of care, you can keep your indoor cat happy and healthy.

One of the best ways to do this is to buy two kittens instead of one. They will feel less lonely, and they will have someone to play with at all times.

You also need to provide your cat with activities, toys, and a place of its own.

The most important thing is to make a decision and stick to it.

If you want your pet to live happily, then you need to do your best to make sure that they get the best care whichever environment you may choose for them to stay in.

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Emily Parker
 

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

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rachel - August 21, 2016

You definitely hit the main issues with indoor cats – they often gain weight and they like to scratch stuff like the rugs, the furniture, etc. I have had both indoor and outdoor cats, and I much prefer having them indoors because it beats worrying about them when they don’t come home on time. I’m glad I no longer have to troll the neighborhood with a flashlight looking for my cat who isn’t ready to come in when I’m ready to go to bed.

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viriiriri - November 14, 2017

hi i have a cat and she is pooping at the moment

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