It’s an age-old question, but one that gets asked time and again. Should your cat be indoors or outdoors?
Some say allowing cats to roam outdoors allows them to be free, get exercise, breathe the fresh air and explore, while others say it can put cats in extremely dangerous situations.
How do you know what’s best? And can you protect your outdoor cats? Not to mention how can you ensure your indoor cats get the exercise and fresh air they seemingly only get from being outside?
First things first: Because of the likelihood for danger outdoors, indoor cats are safer. “The consensus among veterinarians and organizations such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is that it’s wiser to keep cats indoors,” according to the WebMD article “Should You Have an Indoor Cat or an Outdoor Cat?”
Outdoor cats are at risk for a variety of potentially life-threatening situations such as being hit by a car, attacked or eaten by a predator, becoming severely injured or contracting disease, or being stolen.
Many cat owners are under the assumption they are doing what’s best for their feline by allowing him or her to roam free under the guise that it’s good for their cat to be outside. Many people even believe their cats won’t stray too far. But that’s just asking for trouble. There’s no way to predict what a cat might do in any given situation.
Some owners believe their cat could never become one who is indoors. “Many cats have successfully gone from outdoor-only or indoor/outdoor to indoor-only. The key, again, is making sure the indoor environment is just as interesting as outside — and being vigilant about preventing escape attempts,” according to “6 Reasons You Might Let Your Cat Out, And Why Not To.”
Then there are allergies, which some people use as an excuse to keep their cats outside. First find out from your doctor if that is true. You also want to ensure your cat is not bringing home anything you may be allergic to and “you can reduce the allergens in your home — even when your cat is indoor-only,” according to the article.
The safest place to keep your cat is indoors, and you can make your home a fun place for your feline. According to Indoor Cats vs. Outdoor Cats, you can:
- Get another cat as a companion.
- Bring home some interactive play toys for physical and mental stimulation.
- Cats love to scratch, so make sure they can by providing enough scratching posts.
- Provide enough climbing places and perches.
- Got box? Cats love to hide, so simple boxes will fill that need.
If you really want to provide an outdoor environment, get creative and build our own indoor/outdoor cat atrium or catio attached to your home. This will allow your cat to be outdoors, but also be safe at the same time while under your watchful eye.