Many people feel as though they should let their indoor cat have access to the outdoors. It’s true that cats are hunters, but should they be allowed to go outdoors? Read below to learn more about whether an indoor cat should be allowed to go outdoors.
Outside Cats VS Indoor Cats: What You Need to Know
Many people who have cats think about letting their cats go outdoors. But is it safe to let your cat out of the house? Usually wanting to let your cat out comes from a good place. Cabin fever is terrible to deal with yourself, but do cat’s also have a need to go outdoors?
For the most part, an indoor cat should be kept indoors. This is especially the case if your cat has been declawed. Without a cat’s claws, their ability to climb or defend themselves disappears. What other risks exist when an indoor cat goes outdoors?
Indoor Cats Become Bored
Here’s a common excuse for letting your cat outside: an indoor cat can very well get bored. Outside, there are so many more smells and sights to help entertain your cat. Your cat is far less likely to get bored if they are allowed to go outside. But is it worth it?
When you let your cat go outside, you are allowing them to be unsupervised. They might simply go around the house and come back, but they might never come back too. Not only that, but they can be attacked by other animals or involved in an accident. Is that risk really worth it? If you’re worried about your cat being too bored, maybe you should consider ways to occupy them while inside.
Indoor Cats are Overweight
It is possible that an indoor cat spends the day lounging and eating. That’s not really the cat’s fault though. If there is food lying around and not much else to do, they’re probably going to overeat.
The problem of an overweight cat comes more from allowing the cat to overeat without adequate exercise. If you’re afraid that your cat is putting on the pounds, you should start looking at ways you can help them lose it. You might try to cut back on how much food you give them, or you can try giving them more focused exercise time. Whatever you choose, make sure you keep their weight in check.
An Indoor Cat Will Destroy Things
Isn’t that what they say about dogs that aren’t given enough exercise? It’s got little to do with being indoors and a lot more to do with your pet trying to find ways to occupy their mind. If you are not playing with your cat or providing them with some kind of outlet, they are going to find interesting and creative ways to act out. This has nothing to do with being inside or not.
The Outdoors are Safe for Cats
Often, cat owners think their outdoor cat just hangs around in the garden or over at a friend’s house. Your cat might be going outdoors to smell the flowers or bask in the sun, but they might be going much farther from home than you think.
A study out of Europe found that indoor cats who were allowed to go outdoors could move in an area as large as twenty acres. And because cats are nocturnal, they are moving around mostly at night. Not only does this put them at risk of being attacked by other predators, but they can also be hit by motorists.
Allowing your cat to go outdoors unsupervised is not quite safe, but if you choose to supervise their outdoor time there are some options for you.
How to Keep Your Indoor Cat Happy
Keeping indoor cats happy is a challenge. When looking at outside cats VS indoor cats, it’s really a matter of how stimulated you can keep your cat. Here are 3 ways to entertain your indoor cat:
- Don’t ignore your cat. By being a companion for your cat (or any pet), you are involving them in your day. Eat together, play together, and rest together. Cats and other pets crave attention from their caregivers.
- Create places for your cat to do their favorite things. For instance, place cat perches, scratching posts, and safe places to hide.
- Offer your cat interactive toys. Interactive toys keep your cat mentally and physically stimulated. When your cat becomes bored of the toy, put it away. Keeping your toys in constant rotation saves you money by not having to continue buying new ones. Toys that activate a cat’s natural prey drive are ideal.
Cats are interesting animals. They can survive in the outdoors and inside the home, but what is best for them? Decide for yourself and remember to always be a good companion for your pets.