If you are a cat owner, chances are- you have thought about this question. It can be a difficult choice to make. On one hand, allowing your feline pal to go outside is a sure way to inspire their natural instincts and encourage exercise. It also helps with their emotional and mental health. However, indoor cats DO tend to have a longer lifespan. Remaining indoors greatly reduces the risk of wounds, contracting infections or becoming a victim of neighborhood traffic or predators. In the end, the decision is yours to make. Here, we will discuss the pros and cons of both- that way you can make the best choice for you and your cat.
Pros Of Letting Your Cat Go Outside
Cats that have the ability to venture outdoors, tend to be happier. They have a natural instinct to climb the trees, roll in the grass and stalk some prey. When they have the opportunity for extra exercise, it can help manage their weight effectively. Being outdoors significantly helps with their mental stimulation as well. Cats have a tendency to get bored fairly easily. Having the opportunity to venture outside can help them to stay mentally and emotionally stimulated. This makes for a happier and more fulfilled feline.
This can also cut down on the destructiveness indoors. Cats that remain inside tend to seek out ways- or things- to keep their minds occupied. Whether it be clawing up the furniture or climbing up and down the curtains- felines will find ways to keep themselves busy. Letting them go outside can keep them occupied while providing a perfect opportunity for them to slim down and stay active.
Cons of letting your cat go outside.
Along with the many advantages of having an outdoor cat, there are also some very important disadvantages. While the outdoors can be inviting to our feline pals, they can also be unsafe. If you live in a busy neighborhood, street traffic can be a major problem. Cats tend to be cautious by nature, but that doesn’t always protect them from oncoming traffic. You may want to reconsider allowing your cat outside if you live near a busy street or if you don’t have a decent yard or outdoor area that your cat can explore. Other wildlife can also be an issue as well. If you know your neighborhood is a habitat for coyotes or owls, keep your kitty safe by keeping it inside.
Luckily, there are plenty of options for indoor toys, towers and climbing areas. By spending a little bit of time enriching your environment for your cat, you can still have a well stimulated and happy feline. Be sure that you kitty has access to the windows and consider setting up a bird feeder nearby. This will give your indoor kitty the opportunity to “watch” and observe the ongoings of the world around them- while still providing the safety of the indoors.
Whichever you decide for your cat- be sure that you make the best decision for you cat’s safety. If you wholeheartedly worry about the surrounding areas, predators, your cat’s ability to protect itself or find its way back home- keep it indoors. However, if you know your cat will be safe and won’t venture too far, let it enjoy the fresh air. Be sure to discuss your options with your veterinarian as well. They can help you to make a well informed and educated decision.