Cats are majestic creatures. Cats really do have a certain grace about them. They are docile and affectionate, but sometimes they have a bit of a wild streak to them.
Cats are known to be resilient, cunning, and able to survive out in the wild. For ages, it was deemed normal and often encouraged for cats to venture outside. You see them all the time… both wild cats and your neighbor’s little feline puff frolicking through the grass and trees.
However, there has always been a huge debate between cat lovers on the pros and cons of letting your cat go outside. Some cat owners believe that a cat should be let outdoors as being outside is its natural habitat. It allows the cat to be in its element, thus making the cat happy and content. Yet some other cat owners will argue against this and reply that it is dangerous for your cat to be in the wild.
I personally believe that every cat owner should consider keeping their cats as indoor cats only, as the dangers of the outside world far exceed the benefits of letting your cat out. However, there are both benefits and consequences of leading an outdoor and indoor lifestyle, so I will try my best to cover both viewpoints.
The Outdoor Cat Lifestyle
The biggest benefit of allowing your cat to go outside is the freedom you give your cat. When compared to other animals, cats were only recently domesticated (or rather they domesticated themselves) and have spent a great amount of time hunting, prancing, and surviving in the wild. As such, your cat may enjoy doing these activities outdoors and with basking in the sun.
But, just like I mentioned, your cat will most likely go hunting and try to cat different types of animals. These would include birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and maybe even snakes. Unfortunately, your cat will not know the difference between a harmless snake and a poisonous one. So depending on where you live, your cat may have an unfortunate accident while on an outdoor exploration session.
Although going outside would enrich your cat’s life and allow your cat to live like any cat would… being allowed to go outdoors does have many negative consequences.
The biggest threat would be the exposure to other animals, such as snakes, other cats, and bigger animals like raccoons and bears. Your cat may stumble upon another animal and find herself in a very dangerous situation. It would be unfortunate if your cat became the meal for another animal while being outdoors.
Being allowed outside will give your cat plenty of opportunities to get exercise and to stay in optimal shape. Your cat could also scratch whatever she pleases and go wild to her heart’s content. By the time she comes back home, she will be exhausted and pooped from her adventures. Your cat will be too tired to scratch up anything in your house and will most likely sleep to rest up.
Yet this also poses a new problem. You will always be waiting for your cat… wondering what she might be up to and if she is doing okay. There have been many stories of cat owners who end up not seeing their cats for days or weeks on end. The cat either ends up lost and unable to find her way back home, or it caught in an accident of some sorts.
Also, your cat could eat something weird and end up contracting some sort of infection or parasite. This might end up being a costly veterinarian bill and your cat may get seriously harmed.
I must note that the average lifespan of a feral cat is much lower than that of an indoor household cat. A feral cat could live and survive as long as she learns how to. Wild kittens also find it hard to survive through their initial years as compared to ones who are fostered in homes and shelters.
I personally recommend that you allow your cat to adopt an indoor lifestyle in order to prevent both the cat and human from suffering and heartbreaks!
The Indoor Cat Lifestyle
There are many cat owners who believe that keeping your cat cooped up inside is a terrible thing to do. Many people believe that cats should be able to go outside in order to enrich their lives and to keep their cat from being bored.
However, allowing your cat to go outside could pose many dangers to your cat that could ultimately end up costing her life. I personally recommend that an indoor lifestyle is best suited for cats! It is our responsibility to supply our cats with the things needed in order to enrich their lives in a comfortable indoor setting.
If you really think about it… cats are just like little children. Some cats may even put weird things in their mouths and end up choking. I had a friend whose cat was playing with string and ended up eating it. This string started to get all caught up inside the cat and began to cause some serious complications. My friend took her cat to the veterinarian but it was too late. Her cat, unfortunately, lost her life because of the string caused a blockage inside of her…
As you can see, there are many dangers that your cat could face even while inside your own home. Even a little piece of string can cause catastrophic events to happen! However, I believe it is much safer to let your cat live indoors only than letting her go out.
On average, an indoor cat lives much longer than a cat who is allowed to go outside. Outdoor cats usually get themselves into trouble and may often find themselves in situations where they need to fight to survive. Battles with other cats, other animals, and predators could all bring harm to your cat.
There have been many cat owners who report their cats coming home injured, bleeding, and needing to go to the emergency veterinarian. Your cat might even drink antifreeze or other chemical substance which will end up poisoning her. The outdoors really has a lot of dangerous risks for your cat.
By supplying your cat with furniture and essentials, you will effectively enrich your cat’s life enough that she will never be bored while residing indoors. Your cat won’t feel like she is missing out on anything if she has places to climb, things to scratch, and areas to hide and snooze away.
Enriching Your Cat’s Life
It would be a much better idea to enrich your cat’s life so that her indoor lifestyle is the envy of all other felines. Cats in the wild have freedom, but there are many dangers associated with venturing outdoors.
Nowadays, there are many products and unique furniture on the market that will give your cat exactly what she needs in order to satiate her feral instincts.
Cat scratching posts and cat trees will give your cats places to scratch relentlessly and climb to top places. Cats have an innate need to use their claws, stretch their muscles, and shred things to pieces. Cats also love sitting in high places to look down at their kingdom and minions below.
Unlike dogs, cats also have no need to go outside to use the bathroom. Dogs enjoy going for walks and with marking their territory and relieving themselves outside.
Cats enjoy doing this too, but cats are completely fine with using the litter box. As long as the cat owner provides enough litter boxes and puts them in quiet areas, you will never have any issues with your cat going outside of the litter box.
Remember, you will need one litter box for each cat plus one extra. That means if you have three cats, you will need a total of four litter boxes to prevent catfights. Cats can be a little territorial!
Giving your cat boxes and tunnels to play in will also make your cat extremely happy. For one of my cats, Cornelius, by simply giving him some newspaper, he will absolutely go nuts for hours! He loves hiding underneath it and dashing from one piece of paper to the other!
By supply your cat with fun things to do and places to rest, you will ensure that your cat is never bored. Many cat owners believe that they need to let their cat go outside in order to keep their feline friend happy. However, this is far from the truth!
Your cat will love jumping on cat trees and shred scratching posts apart. They will zoom from one place to another and will definitely be able to keep themselves occupied.
If you are interested in keeping your cat interested, looking into adopting another kitten or cat could always keep things interesting! Once cats get used to each other, they learn to play and frolic with one another!
It’s ultimately up to you whether you want to let your cats go outdoors… but I personally recommend against it. There are so many risk factors that could affect your cat. Just be prepared for the consequences! As always, I wish you and your feline companions the best! Be safe!