As pet owners, we all want the very best for our companion, and, when it comes to cats, is it a good idea to let them venture outside of the house? We broke down the positive and negative aspects to consider before making your choice.
Before we start, we need to admit that to us, cats belong inside the house. However, our goal is to give you all the facts to help you make an informed decision.
Here are a few arguments that needs to be discuss.
- Outdoor cats have more opportunity to get physical activity and have naturally less chance of gaining weight.
- When he goes outside, your cat is free to engage in instinctive behavior such as scratching that you may not want to see him doing indoors on your furniture.
- Cats who go outside often urinate and defecate outdoors so there is no stinky litter box in the house.
All of the above might be true, BUT, here is some solutions for each of them.
- Cats can get all the physical activity they need inside your house. Here are a few ideas:
- Make feeding more stimulating with interactive bowls;
- Install a cat tree to give your cat the opportunity to climb;
- Create perches on window-sills where your cat may enjoy keeping an eye on what is going on outside.
- Make sure that your cat has an outlet for his instinctive need to scratch by placing scratching posts in different areas of the house and your furniture will be safe.
- You can easily have a nice smelling house by cleaning the litter box once a day. Also, you neighbors probably don’t appreciate finding cat poop in their gardens (just saying).
We understand that many cats will want to go out especially once they have experienced a taste of outdoor freedom, but with time and patience, they can be successfully converted into living indoors. The easiest times to transition them is during the rainy and cold season when most would rather stay inside then go out in the rain. If you provide them with enough stimulation in the house as discussed above, your cat will be as happy inside as he was during his outside’s adventures.
Now that you know the solutions for your cat to be happy inside the house, you must know the risks that he incurs if you decide to let him go outside. We made a list of the most common risks for outdoor cats. ·
- Getting hit by a car: Drivers can get distracted for a second and it is already too late for your kitty as cats cannot outrun cars.
- Other animals: Dogs, foxes, raccoons and especially other potentially aggressive rival cats are a potential threat to your cat.
- Diseases and parasites: Outdoor cats are much more exposed to contracting infectious diseases and being infected by parasites such as ticks and worms.
- Getting lost: Your cat may wander too far and not be able to find his way back to your home.
- Toxic substances: Some common garden plants and flowers, anti-freeze or rat poison are dangerous for your cat.
Now that you have the right information about outdoor and indoor cats, you may still believe that it is cruel to keep your cat indoor. We want to suggest you some very cool tips to make sure your cat will be happy AND more importantly, SAFE!
Build a mini fenced yard near a window Build a climbing wall using milk crates
Be creative! Your cat will be more than happy to stay inside if he has enough stimulation.