In some countries the majority of cats are outdoor cats. Such as in the UK where it’s believed as high as 90% of cats are outdoor cats. This is to say that they have full access to the outdoors, but a lot will choose to spend most their time indoors of course.
In the US for example the majority of cats are indoor cats. Some by choice, others due to living in an apartment or flat where they do not have the option to go outdoors.
For most breeds being able to roam freely outdoors is much more beneficial. Cats require a good deal of exercise and have a lot of instinctual and natural needs that can be met exploring outdoors.
Some cats are better off indoors, regardless of where they live and what breed. This is what I’m going to look into in this article to help you understand if, and when, you have a cat that would be better off becoming an indoor pet.
Indoors Doesn’t Have to Be Boring for Cats
Although cats need exercise and stimulation, this doesn’t mean living indoors has to lack any of this. There are a lot of things you can do to make their lives just as fun, if not more fun.
Cat furniture such as scratching posts and cat trees are a must. While outside a cat would sharpen their claws on trees, fences, or other wooden items they can find. So this means they need to find a scratching area indoors. You have two options; let them scratch your furniture, or provide a scratching post.
This is an easy decision to make.
Next, you need to satisfy that itch cats have for chasing wildlife. This is where toys and some of your time comes in. Playing with indoor cats is essential. It’s fun and keeps them sharp, so spare a few minutes a day at least to have a little fun.
Having somewhere quiet and clean to sleep is also necessary. Cats will move from spot to spot at their leisure, so don’t get too set on them sleeping in a bed you have bought. But simply provide several options for some uninterrupted relaxation.
Because at the end of they day the most important factor here is the cat’s safety. So let’s take a look a few reasons why your cat may be better off being restricted to indoors only.
Five Reasons Why Your Cat Might Be Better of Being an Indoor Cat
Your Cat Has a Health Condition
As I previously mentioned it’s the cat’s health that should be our foremost concern. If for any reason it’s not safe for a cat to be going outside then you need to lock them indoors.
Some cats are unfortunate enough to have a leg missing, or are just not equipped to deal with being outside physically. Cats fight a lot over territory, some cats will pick up injuries and become less savvy over the years as the age. Make a decision accordingly, if your cat is at risk being outside it’s time to lock them in.
Some cats become infected with a disease like FIV and you will be told by your vet to keep them indoors so they cannot spread the virus. This works both ways too, a cat with a disease will likely be more susceptible to picking up other ailments and becoming ill.
Your Cat Is Not Neutered
Unless you intend to breed your cat you should always have them neutered or spayed as soon as possible. There are a lot of issues with unneutered cats. With the major problem being unwanted litters, of which there are already more than enough kittens in desperate need of a home.
Male cats are also a lot more aggressive when they have not been neutered. They will spray and mark their territory more often, and will fight and howl at other cats. These problems can cause some friction in the neighborhood between neighbors, and certainly needs to be sorted out early.
You can also look this from the other side. If you don’t want your cat neutered you shouldn’t really be letting it outside either as it’s going to breed with another cat. So, the general rule here is only let neutered cats outside.
You Live by Busy Roads or Dangers
I wish I could say that cats could be trained to use crossings when it’s safe to do so, but they can’t. Cats are great at surviving and are agile creatures, but vehicles are not something they evolved dealing with.
Far too many cats get injured and killed on roads every year. If you live by a busy road it’s just not worth taking the chance. Keep your cat indoors, even if they were previously outdoor cats when you lived in a safer location.
Be aware of any other dangers you may have near by too. Such as large factories filled with hazards, or other larger pets like dogs that could potentially get at your cat.
You Have an Expensive Breed of Cat
It’s sad, but expensive cats do get stolen. Even if you have done all you can to microchip and register your cat, if it’s stolen there is a small chance you will ever see your beloved pet again.
Not only do you lose the money invested into the cat. The real loss is the impact on a family of losing a beloved pet and a member of their family. It’s just not worth the risk.
Your Cat Has Not Been Vaccinated
Much like I mentioned earlier with cats that are infected with disease. Being outside can be very dangerous to cats that are not on top health, or have not been vaccinated against potential illnesses.
If you have a young cat, or you have just brought one home. Keep them indoors until you have been to the vets and had their vaccinations and the all-clear from the vet to let them outside.
Diseases are easily transmitted between cats outdoors. I’m sure your cat will be asking to be let out, but don’t give in. You’re always better off safe than sorry.