Indoor Vs Outdoor Cats
When you get a cat there is always one question you have to ask yourself. Indoor cat or let them run around outside. I’ve had both and these are a few pros and cons. I think caring for your cat with regular veterinarian visits and keeping them up to date on shot is the key to being a good owner. But the choice whether to leave the door open to outside play or to make that not an option is a tough one.
The first, and most important, thing to keep in mind when considering where you will allow your new friend to find adventures is that the decision should be based on BOTH considerations for you and considerations for the cat. There are definitely things that should be thought about from both sides of the relationship.
Pros For Outdoor Cats
- Outdoor cat certainly gets more natural exercise whether it be chasing a butterfly or stalking a mouse or mole. Outdoor cats tend to be a bit more active outside which is a great health benefit for your feline friend.
- Outdoor cat tends to not scratch furniture or urinates in inappropriate places in the house since most of that is done outside.
- Outdoor cats have less aggression towards other animals and even humans. Due to outdoor cats getting to be around more animals and humans they tend to be less aggressive.
- Two words: Rodent control! Having an outdoor cat can keep small critters away from you and your house as cats are excellent hunters. Their natural diet does consist or mice, moles, and birds so it’s perfectly natural for your cat to have an outdoor snack or meal. Don’t be surprised if your cat’s not hungry after a trip outdoors.
- I think outside cats have less stress due to outside stimulation and play.
Pros For Indoor Cats
- Indoor cat stays healthier and cleaner. Indoors are in a controlled environment so cats are not likely to be exposed to dangers such as ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas. Outdoor cat and eat grass or plants treated with weed killers and pesticides making them dangerous for kitties.
- Traffic and cars! House cats are safe from any large moving dangers outside.
- Indoor cats have more of a controlled diet and are less likely to have stomach or intestinal problems.
- More domesticated and less “wild”. Indoor cats are more relaxed.
- Inside cat usually outlive outdoor cats. This one’s easy as there are far fewer dangers in a house than out in the neighborhood.
- Outdoor predators like hawks, eagles, or dogs. Indoor they are safe from these treats.
So which ones best?
While an indoor cat can be quite happy, the best compromise on the indoor/outdoor issue is to build a secure enclosure in your yard. Or, if you already have a perimeter fence, look into cat-proof add-ons that will keep your cat on your property and bar entry to other cats. Alternatively, you might tether your cat with a harness and leash, but only under supervision, to be sure the leash doesn’t become tangled around his neck or prevent him escaping from other animals that might enter the yard or swoop down from above.
I think where you live is a big factor whether to go indoor or outdoor. In a more rural setting cats have fewer dangers of cars and harm from poisons or toxins. Cat owners that are in a city, their cats are more prone to being hurt or harmed by machines or toxins. Another huge thing is having your furry friends spayed or neutered. For outdoor and indoor cats this can help with unwanted and risky behaviors. Male cats can be very aggressive towards other cats if they are not neutered. Female cats can get pregnant. Indoor cats cat can live to a ripe age of 17, but really getting your cats vaccinated is one of the best things you can do to keep your pets healthy.
If you do have an outside cat, there are ways to keep them a bit safer like installing a cat fence or keeping the cat in a harness and on a leash. If you have an outdoor cat it is recommended that you get the cat microchipped so if they do go missing you have a better chance of getting them back. The kind of cat you have makes a big difference as well. Munchkin cats would probably not be suited for outdoors as well as a short-haired cat in colder weather. Some cats are made for warmer weather and other cats are well suited for colder winter climates.
Keep Your Cats Happy
Regularly playing with indoor cats can keep them healthier and happier. Also limiting their food and giving them healthier wet foods like chicken, turkey, and fish. Outdoor cats need for vet checkups since they are more prone to disease. Brush your cats regularly. This helps keep stuff out of their fur is they are outdoor and keeps shedding to a minimum for indoor. My personal opinion is cats should NOT be declawed especially if you have an outdoor cat. They use the claws to defend themselves and climb things to get out of danger. Indoor cats use their claws to scratch their bodies and if they do get outside on accident a declawed cat would be vulnerable. Giving your cats a comfortable sleeping area can add to their happiness. A pet bed or a cat cave makes them feel safe and relaxed.
Either way, you go there are pros and cons and you have to decide as a pet owner what is more important to you. Freedom and adventure or the safe and controlled environment. It’s not an easy choice, but for me, I prefer an indoor cat since it’s less complicated and you always know where they are. I think it’s important to understand the needs of your cat on an individual level and to provide for those needs accordingly. Not every situation is black and white. Use your own best judgment and make the decision that’s right for your cat.
By: Andy Harms