Indoor vs Outdoor Cats: Pros and Cons
By: Faith P.
Indoor vs Outdoor Cats: Pros and Cons. There are many opinions on whether you should keep your cat indoors or let them out. You should consider all pros and cons before making your decision. There are many debates in the community on the benefits and detriments of letting cats stay indoors or letting them outdoors. So here are some pros and cons.
There are pros to having an indoor cat; here are a few.
- Fewer Injuries: Keeping your cat indoors will prevent them from getting into dangerous situations. They will not be able to get stranded in trees or get into fights with other cats. This means fewer vet visits and no expense paid for treating injuries.
- No Unexpected Pregnancies: Many times, owners have let their cats out, and they get into a bit of trouble and come back pregnant (even though your cat should be spayed or neutered if they’re outside). Keeping your cat indoors will keep unwanted pregnancies to zero.
- Illnesses: Not being let loose outside allows your cat to keep away from the many infections and diseases that can be found in wild animals or strays.
With pros, there are always cons that go along with them.
- Overly Dependent: When cats are kept indoors, they can become very reliant and clingy to their owners. This could cause them to become stressed when their owners leave the house for a time.
- Boredom: While staying indoors, your cat may become bored or lazy because they don’t have much to do around a house. You need to give them mental stimulation if you plan on keeping your cat indoors. They also won’t have the stimulation they want, which leads to the next con.
- Destruction: When your cat doesn’t get enough mental or physical stimulation, it causes them to become more destructive. This can lead to the destruction of furniture throughout your house.
Moving on to outdoors. Many owners like to let their cats out, so here are the pros.
- Very Active: Letting your cat out of the house gives them a large area to run around and exercise; this keeps your cat happy and active. Since there is no boundary like they would have in a house, they can run around as much as they want.
- Less Attempted Escapes: Being let outside regularly means your cat won’t try to escape on their own because they know they’re going to be let out anyway.
- Healthy Weight: Connected to the first pro, the exercise helps other benefits. Having ample space to run around and exercise means there is less chance that your cat will become overweight.
Often owners are uncomfortable with letting their cat outside, and these may be some reasons why.
- Injuries: There is a significant chance that your cat can get into dangerous situations while outside on its own. They could get into fights with other animals, big falls, or have a run-in with a car. The outside can be very dangerous for your cat, so you may want to be aware of that. Keep an eye on their behaviour.
- Missing: Letting your cat out not only gives them a bigger chance of getting injured, but it also gives them a bigger chance to get lost, run away, or being stolen. If you don’t see your cat come back after a while, you may want to start looking for them.
- Diseases: The chance of getting an illness or disease is much higher. These can come from possible infections coming from the outside environment. Being around or fighting with wild animals could also give your cat a disease. According to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, letting your cat outside could make the risk of developing diseases such as feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) higher.
Making a Decision
When you decide whether or not to let your cat be an outdoor or an indoor cat, you should make sure that you put the health and well-being of your cat as the top priority. No matter what you choose to do, you should always get your cat a collar and microchipped, whether they’re an outdoor cat or not.