Indoor Vs. Outdoors – Which Is Best For Your Cat?
A key consideration if you’re getting a cat is whether it should be an indoors or outdoors pet. You may believe that your pet should be able to roam about outside freely or remain inside 24/7, but is either in their best interest? There are risks and benefits to both options, so keep these considerations in mind when deciding what’s best for your cat.
- Keeping your cat outdoors
Being outdoors can provide a cat with regular daily exercise, helping them to develop natural cat behaviours such as scratching and socialising. However, you will need to consider the following risks:
- Theft (pedigree/rare breeds in particular)
- Getting lost
- Being injured or killed by a vehicle
- Catching diseases
- Infections caused by fights with other animals
- More exposure to catching fleas and worms
- More exposure to contaminated and poisonous substances
While some of these risks can be managed like limiting the amount of time spent outdoors and ensuring they’re properly vaccinated, if you have an outdoor cat you’ll need to realise that some of the risks will always be present.
- Keeping your cat indoors
Not all cats are happy to be indoors permanently, even though you may think it’s the best way to ensure their health and safety. The downside of restricting a cat to the indoors is that some will display behaviour that can be problematic. Examples of troublesome behaviour include:
- Damaging belongings by scratching and marking
- Chewing on poisonous items out of boredom or hunger
- Escaping from a window or door left inadvertently open (an indoor cat lacks the ability to survive on the streets)
- Not exercising, which can encourage obesity.
These risks can be managed by ensuring your cat has opportunities to get active and mentally stimulated through suitable cat toys. Another solution is getting another feline to keep them company.
Whatever you decide, it is important to make sure your cat vaccinations are kept up to date and, you are using parasite prevention.