When you adopt a furry companion, you are faced with two choices: will Meowtini be an indoor or outdoor kitty? Let us help you assess the pros and cons that you should consider before making a decision about which is right for your cat.
Here’s a quick rundown of the differences between indoor and outdoor cats:
Outdoor cats typically have more energy than indoor cats. They love to run and explore, and they generally get more exercise. If you live in a safe area with little traffic, letting your cat roam outdoors may be a good option.
However, there are some risks associated with letting your cat run free. They could get into fights with other animals, become prey for predators, or get hit by a car. Outdoor cats also run the risk of contracting diseases from other animals or parasites, such as fleas and ticks.
If you live in an urban area or somewhere with a lot of traffic, keeping your cat indoors may be a better option. Keep in mind that indoor cats typically have less energy than outdoor cats and don’t have the chance to get as much exercise. However, they’re also less exposed to the health risks of outdoor kitties.
As we discussed in a previous blog post, indoor cats can become bored easily and may start to exhibit destructive behaviors, such as scratching furniture or urinating outside the litter box. So, if you opt to keep your cat at home for its own protection, make sure to provide plenty of toys and climbing surfaces to keep them entertained, as well as spend quality time with your feline companion getting to know them better (tickling sessions are encouraged!).
So, which choice is right for your cat?
Consider your lifestyle and living situation before making a decision, and take some time to consider the pros and cons of each. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to talk to your veterinarian. They can offer additional guidance on which type of environment is right for your feline.
Although ultimately, the decision will come down to your and your cat’s preferences, the two options are not equally healthy for your cat or great for the environment. Keep reading to find out which one!
Health Risks of Indoor vs. Outdoor Cats and How to Prevent Them
There are some health risks that both indoor and outdoor cats face and the ways to help prevent them.
For Indoor Cats:
Weight gain: Because they aren’t running around and playing as much as outdoor cats, indoor cats are more likely to gain weight.
To help prevent this, provide your indoor cat plenty of toys to keep them active and make sure they get enough exercise.
Boredom: Without stimulation, indoor cats can become bored, which can lead to health problems. To keep your indoor cat from getting bored, play with them often or provide them with different surfaces around the house where they can sit. A cat bed near the window, for example, makes great “cat TV.”
Loneliness: If you’re the only one home during the day, your indoor cat may get lonely. To help prevent this, consider getting another cat or pet to keep them company, or have friends who are cat owners (or even simply cat lovers!) over for a playdate.
For Outdoor Cats:
Cars: One of the biggest dangers for outdoor cats is cars. To help keep your outdoor cat safe, make sure they stay in your yard and away from the street. To this end, make sure your fence does not have any holes, place some overhead netting, or consider investing in or building a cat patio.
Other animals: Outdoor cats are also at risk of being attacked by other animals, such as wolves, hawks, owls, or even some dog breeds. To help protect your outdoor cat, make sure to keep them away from other animals and close to your home. Ensure your backyard has everything your kitty desires, so she won’t feel the need to go too far away. And you could also try leash training!
Diseases: Outdoor cats are also at risk of contracting diseases from other animals. To help prevent this, make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccinations and keep them away from sick animals.
As you can see, although there are some risks that both indoor and outdoor cats face, there are ways to help prevent them.
What about Lifespan? Do Indoor Cats Live Longer?
On average, indoor cats live 10–15 years, while outdoor cats only live 2–5 years. Even with the best care, outdoor cats are exposed to many dangers, including cars, other animals, and diseases. Indoor cats are much less likely to suffer from these threats, so they tend to have longer lifespans.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Some indoor cats may not live as long as expected due to health problems, while some outdoor cats may have a charmed life and dodge all the dangers they face. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual cat, their luck, and their personality.
So, if you want your kitty to have a long and happy life, keeping them indoors is the best option. With the right care, your indoor cat can enjoy a full and healthy life for many years to come.
Why You Should Keep Your Cat Indoors
We all know that cats are natural-born hunters. They're curious, agile, and have sharp claws and teeth that make them lethal predators.
So it’s no wonder that many people think it’s best to keep their cats indoors where they can’t harm (or be harmed by) any wild animals.
But did you know that there are actually many good reasons to keep your cat indoors? For one thing, indoor cats live much longer, healthier lives than outdoor cats.
They’re less likely to contract diseases or parasites, and they’re not exposed to the dangers of cars, other animals, or cruel people.
Additionally, indoor cats are much less likely to cause problems for wildlife. When cats roam outdoors, they often kill small animals for fun, even if they’re not hungry. This can have a devastating impact on local ecosystems, particularly when feral (wild) cats are involved.
So, if you're wondering whether you should keep your cat indoors or let them roam free, consider all of the above factors. In the end, keeping your kitty indoors might be the best option.
We hope you enjoyed reading about the pros and cons of having an indoor vs. an outdoor cat. As you can see, there are benefits and drawbacks to both lifestyles.
The best decision for your cat depends on many factors, including personality, health, age, and safety. Ultimately, the most important thing is that your cat is happy and healthy.