Owning a cat is a good thing, but there are many questions that need to be entertained before deciding. Everyone has different expectations when it comes to adopting a cat. For example, some are allowed on the couch or bed while others are expected to be outside.
The choice to have an indoor vs. outdoor cat is a tough one. You need to think about the safety of your pet, as well as the location, when making this decision.
There are pros and cons to being an outdoor vs. indoors-only pet owner. So make sure that whatever option you choose works best in your circumstances. Having a happy life can depend on this decision too!
Cats have become one of the most popular pets worldwide. But indoor cats are different from the ones that go outside. Some felines might prefer to stay indoors, while others love to play and spend time outdoors.
Cats that spend most of their time inside are dependent on the owners. Along with certain physical differences, their behavior can also vary too.
Shedding is another important feature that can differentiate the two. Outdoors cars shed just once, but indoor cats shed constantly. Indoor cats don’t usually because they are too warm, but the cats that go outside shed more in the spring. It is because they are exposed to a certain amount of sunlight.
Likewise, indoor cats are also larger than outdoor cats. This is because indoor cats are better fed and cannot exercise much like outdoor cats. In contrast, outdoor cats are smaller and are usually in better shape.
The biggest differences between both these cats are the experiences they will have throughout their life. Indoors cats are likely to be pampered, well cared for, and tend to develop a strong bond with people. However, outdoor cats are pets that are fed by humans. They are also less sheltered than indoor cats.
Here we have discussed the benefits and concerns when it comes to an indoor vs. outdoor cat’s life. With this, you will be able to make a decision whether a cat should be indoor or outdoor.
Below are the pros of indoor cats:
The cons include:
The pros of the outdoor cats are the following:
The cons include:
The previously discussed pros and cons might raise a question in the minds of a cat owner. It is regarding which of the indoor or outdoor cats live longer.
Some people think that letting cats go outside makes them happier. But most experts agree it is healthier to keep your pets indoors where they are safe from getting hurt or killed.
As outdoor cats are exposed to more dangers than indoor cats, their life expectancy is greatly reduced. According to an estimate, indoor cats live an average of 13 to 17 years. On the other hand, outdoor cats typically live for only 2 to 5 years.
There are different health risks associated with both indoor and outdoor cats. Have a look at the following problems to know what can be done to prevent and manage them.
The health risks for indoor cats include the following:
Indoor cats tend to be less active than outdoor ones. With this, easy cat access to food is also a perfect scenario for them to become overweight. This develops the risk of diabetes. However, pet parents can control the eating and exercise habits of their indoor cats.
This disease is most commonly diagnosed in middle-aged, indoor cats. The common symptoms are:
The treatment includes weight management and stress reduction.
Without access to the activities like climbing, hunting, and scratching, indoor cats can become bored and stressed. For their behavioral needs to be met inside the home, provide several scratching posts and litter boxes.
Indoor cats can suffer separation anxiety if left alone for a long time. Because of this, they can make a lot of noise, urinate outside the litter box, vomit, excessively damage items in the home. Consult a vet if you think your emotional support cat is suffering from separation anxiety. He may recommend nutritional supplements and medications to help relieve the cat from anxiety.
When cats come in contact with wild animals and other cats, it can result in the transmission of serious diseases. These include feline leukemia, feline immunodeficiency virus, and rabies. Similarly, they also have a risk of infestations with fleas, ticks, worms, and parasites.
There might be a possibility that your cat can get exposed to toxic substances like antifreeze or pesticides. It can pose a real challenge to outdoor cats.
Your cat pet can also become ill if she has to face harsh weather conditions. It can suffer from frostbite in the winter or dehydration, or heatstroke in the summer.
However, some tips can help you keep your cat safe when he is outdoors.
No matter whether your cat is indoor or outdoor, you need to get them vaccinated regularly. The recommended vaccines for outdoor cats include:
Nevertheless, the indoor cats require the vaccinations given below:
Both types of cats must be sprayed to get unwanted litter, and they should visit the vet for annual checkups.
Undoubtedly, indoor cats are healthier than outdoor felines. However, they can easily get lazy or bored due to a lack of exercise. As a result, they can gain weight, but they can be provided with more stimulation.
Depending on the cat’s personality and indoor environment, they can benefit from a companion. It can help them get more active by dealing with boredom. Likewise, cat toys are also recommended to keep them busy.
Cats who spend all their time inside since they were kittens live very happy lives. You can always recreate outdoor mental stimulation inside for these cats. It can be a small window that can offer them fresh air and sunshine. If you take them outside, keep them on a leash and also supervise them during playtime.
Lastly, you can also keep your cats happy and healthy by scheduling regular visits to the vet.
There are different types of cat breeds. Some indoor cat breeds include:
Similarly, the following are the outdoor cat breeds:
The decision to adopt an indoor or outdoor cat is up to you. Both come with their own set of pros and cons that must be considered while making a decision.
Some think that letting cats enjoy the outdoors can give them a better quality of life. Whereas most vets usually recommend keeping a cat pet indoors.
But if you decide on a venture outdoor lifestyle for your cat, make sure they stay up-to-date on all scheduled vaccinations and parasite prevention. It is to keep them safe from diseases that could cause severe consequences if left untreated.
Besides this, it is much easier from an indoor to an outdoor cat than to go from an outdoor to an indoor pet. Once the cat has had their first taste of freedom, it is tough to convince them to go back inside.
Therefore, it is better to consult a vet to evaluate which is the safest and in the best interest of your pet. Also, he will guide you better regarding who to choose between indoor versus outdoor as your emotional support animal.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, it is not cruel to keep the cats indoors. Instead, by keeping them inside, you can prevent them from catching diseases, getting poisoned, shot, trapped, or drowned by intolerant neighbors.
Most cats take time to explore the outside world. So, in that case, let them explore and don’t panic as most cats come back after a few minutes. You can also give them the treat to encourage their return.
Generally, male cats are better to handle indoors than females. However, if the cat is over 18 months old, it might be difficult for their personality and temperament to adjust inside.
Yes, community or stray cats are well-suited to living outdoors close to humans. They are resilient and able to survive in all locations and weather climates.
Here are the signs of a happy indoor cat: