Indoor vs. Outdoor Cat: The Pros and Cons•
Posted on March 21 2018
Should you keep your cat indoors or let it come and go as it pleases?If you live in a busy city or an apartment without outdoor space, it might be tempting to keep your pet indoors. On the other hand, allowing your cat to wander free comes with its own set of dangers. To help you make the choice, we’ve weighed up the pros and cons to both sides of the argument:
Indoor cat: the pros
Reduced riskIf kept indoors, your cat will be protected from outdoor hazards. This includes the risk posed by traffic, fights with other animals as well as poisonous flowers and insecticides. Left unattended, pedigree cats are also at a greater risk of being stolen.
Less likely to contract parasitesBeing indoors, your pet won’t encounter other felines as much as an outdoor cat, reducing the risk of contracting parasites or infectious diseases common to cats.
No huntingAs predatory animals, cats instinctively hunt. Presuming your home is secure, indoor cats won’t be able to kill and therefore bring home dead rats, mice and other animals.
Indoor cat: the cons
BoredomCats are natural wanderers. If kept inside, they’re prone to becoming frustrated and bored. This may lead to the development of problems derived from restless behaviour. To prevent this, ensure your cat is entertained during the day with toys and other engaging activities.
Increased sensitivity to changes in environmentMost cats enjoy a certain level of stability in their environment. However, indoor cats can develop increased sensitivity to change, becoming unsettled and irritable to small differences around the home.
Increased stressWhen experiencing stressful situations, outdoor cats can slip away through their cat flap to get away from it all. Without access to the outdoors, indoor-only cats require a safe haven within your home to retreat. If your cat has to share indoor space with other cats or animals, this may increase feelings of stress.
Outdoor cat: pros
More exerciseCats are powerful, agile animals. Having outdoor access, cats can easily go hunting, climb trees and run around to their heart’s content. Active cats also tend to be healthier, fitter and less likely to become obese and suffer with associated health problems.
Free to be themselves
Outside of the home, cats are free to exhibit their natural behaviours. Scratching and spraying are both normal behaviours for cats and with outdoor access, they can display these behaviours away from the home where they can’t cause damage.