Ought to Cats Be Indoor or Out of doors Pets? Execs, Cons & Security Suggestions

Final Up to date on: February 27, 2023 by Crystal Uys

bengal cat walking on plank outdoor

Whereas we might love our cats, many people additionally acknowledge that residing with them may be difficult. Not solely do you’ve the mess and odor of litter packing containers in your own home, however cats additionally shed, scratch furnishings, and generally pee in inappropriate areas. In case your cat has developed dangerous habits, you’ve most likely been tempted to make them an outside pet.

Many cat house owners battle with whether or not cats ought to be indoor or outside pets. In my very own life, I’ve owned absolutely indoor cats, outside cats, and indoor-outdoor cats, so I’m additionally conversant in this dilemma. On this article, we’ll have a look at the arguments for and in opposition to cats residing open air, in addition to what consultants and researchers say on the subject.

Causes Homeowners Preserve Cats as Out of doors Pets

Veterinary consultants and researchers agree that uncontrolled outside entry is harmful for cats and suggest they be saved indoors. We’ll go into the reasoning behind this suggestion later on this article, however many homeowners proceed to let their cats outdoors regardless of the dangers.

In some instances, house owners might fear that holding cats inside is merciless and prevents them from utilizing their instincts and expertise as predators. Others might consider their cat will get extra train and keep at a wholesome weight extra simply in the event that they’re allowed outdoors. One other frequent purpose cats transition to outside pets is persistent behavioral issues corresponding to urine marking or aggression.

Generally, house owners will undertake or assume the care of a cat that has already lived open air for years. For instance, you determine to satisfy a lifelong dream of proudly owning property within the nation solely to search out that your new buy comes full with a number of barn cats. In these cases, house owners might really feel that the outside cat will battle to transition to life indoors and select to not drive the problem.

tabby cat hunting ourtdoor
Picture Credit score: VeleMarinkovic, Pixabay

What the Analysis and Consultants Say

The Humane Society and veterinarians agree that holding cats indoors is the most secure choice. On common, indoor cats dwell as many as 10 years longer than outdoors cats. Cats with uncontrolled outside entry not solely face many risks, however they will additionally pose a menace to the setting and a nuisance to people.

Personally, I spent a few years working as a veterinary nurse and witnessed firsthand the traumatic actuality of life for a lot of outside cats. Whereas residing in a rural space, our household misplaced two outside cats to mysterious circumstances. They simply by no means got here dwelling. Listed here are among the risks cats who dwell as outside pets might encounter or trigger:

Automobile Accidents

The largest menace to an outside cat could also be autos, even for those who dwell in a rural space. Research exhibits that automobile accidents are a number one reason behind dying and damage for outside cats worldwide.


Out of doors cats are way more inclined to catching harmful illnesses like feline leukemia virus (FeLV,) rabies, or feline distemper. Even vaccinated cats aren’t all the time protected, particularly from FeLV. Cats typically choose up these illnesses by preventing with different cats, which is a habits that carries a further threat of damage and an infection.


Out of doors cats usually tend to be infested with parasites like fleas and ticks, which might additionally carry illnesses or result in harmful blood loss. They will choose up inside parasites like worms extra simply outdoors and, in flip, move them to different cats and even folks.

cat with tick
Picture Credit score: anastasiya parfenyuk, Shutterstock


Cats could also be environment friendly predators, however that doesn’t imply they received’t function prey too. Neighborhood canines are a relentless menace, and outside cats in dense city areas (like Los Angeles, the place I at the moment dwell with completely indoor cats) might fall sufferer to coyotes or mountain lions.


Out of doors cats might encounter quite a lot of toxic substances whereas wandering free. Antifreeze, poisonous crops, or rat poison are all frequent threats to roaming cats. There’s additionally the chance that outside cats could also be intentionally poisoned by people who discover them a nuisance.

People with Unhealthy Intentions

Sadly, outside cats can simply be a nuisance to the people round them. Nighttime vocalizing and preventing typically happen. Cats may additionally stalk chickens, outside pet rabbits, or different owned prey. And, after all, there’s the problem of out of doors cats utilizing yards and gardens as litter packing containers, elevating the chance of people changing into contaminated with parasites like Toxoplasmosis or roundworms.

Fed-up people might take it upon themselves to take care of nuisance cats, with dangerous outcomes for the kitty.

Cat meowing
Picture Credit score: JackieLou DL, Pixabay

Getting Misplaced

Even for those who attempt to take precautions like microchipping your cat, there’s nonetheless a major threat that outside cats might get misplaced and never come dwelling. A lot of the cats who find yourself in animal shelters are picked up as strays. As soon as in shelters, cats are statistically far much less doubtless than canines to search out their approach again to their house owners.

Risk to Birds and Wildlife

Out of doors cats, owned or stray, pose a major menace to birds and wildlife. Globally, cats have contributed to the extinction of whole species. In accordance with estimates, outside cats in the USA kill billions of birds and wildlife every year. They could additionally compete with different predators for these meals sources, inflicting hurt to their populations.

cat hunting bird
Picture Credit score: Kuttelvaserova Stuchelova, Shutterstock

Methods to Preserve Out of doors Cats Safer

In case your cat lives outdoors not less than a part of the time, listed below are some steps you’ll be able to take to maintain them and native wildlife safer. First and probably most significantly, maintain your outside cat confined at evening. The evening is essentially the most harmful time to your cat, and holding them someplace behind closed doorways at nighttime is the most secure choice.

Microchip your cat and maintain your contact data updated within the database. Put a cat-safe collar and ID tag in your cat for an additional layer of safety. Including a bell to the collar might help warn birds and wildlife of your cat’s strategy and maintain them protected.

Deal with your outside cat with a month-to-month parasite preventative that’s efficient in opposition to fleas, ticks, and inside worms. Take them to the vet not less than yearly for an examination and all advisable vaccines. Out of doors cats typically want extra pictures than indoor ones due to their greater publicity stage.

If doable, solely enable your cat supervised entry to the outside, corresponding to leash walks or playtime in a “catio.” You can additionally use cat-safe fencing to maintain your cat within the yard and most predators out.

cat owner walking bengal cat
Picture Credit score: Amerigo_images, Shutterstock

Methods to Preserve Indoor Cats Entertained

Should you’re nervous your cat can be bored, lazy, or acquire weight if it will possibly’t go outdoors, there are methods to maintain your pet entertained and slim safely.

Present your cat with varied toys, particularly people who encourage pure behaviors like stalking and searching. Actively play along with your cat each day to offer additional stimulation and construct a bond between you.

Preserve your cat’s indoor setting fascinating by offering vertical play areas like cat timber, towers, or cabinets. Give them lounging areas close to home windows to allow them to see outdoors and be safely entertained by birds and wildlife.

Fastidiously monitor your cat’s caloric consumption to make sure it’s applicable for its dimension, age, and exercise stage. Your vet might help you establish this quantity, in addition to show you how to calculate how a lot to feed your cat.


Whereas holding your cat as an indoor pet is the most secure and advisable choice, the truth is that’s not all the time doable, and a few cat house owners can’t or received’t comply with this recommendation. Should you should let your cat outdoors, comply with our tricks to maintain them as protected as doable. Indoor cats don’t have to steer boring, unathletic lives, however holding them entertained might take extra effort from their house owners. In case your cat begins misbehaving, see your veterinarian for assist and recommendation earlier than giving up and turning them into an outside pet.

Featured Picture Credit score: Seregraff, Shutterstock

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