What Are The Potential Drawbacks Of Leaving Your Cat Indoors
- Your cat may be frustrated if she cant engage in instinctive behaviour such as fairly unlimited exploring or scratching. This frustration can stress your cat and lead to behavioural issues such as scratching up and destroying furniture, or failure to use her litter and urinating where she is not supposed to.
- Indoors, your cat tends to have less opportunities and space for physical activity and is more at risk of gaining weight. Some cats could be bored which leads to chronic inflammatory diseases such as obesity, diabetes, osteoarthritis.
- our cat will be more dependent on you for stimulation and can find it more difficult to cope than an outdoor cat if you are away.
- It can be challenging to ensure that your cat does not get outside, especially if there are children in the house. If your cat does escape she is likely to be disoriented and frightened outside.
Why Is My Cat Scared To Go Outside
There are many reasons why indoor cats may be frightened to go outside. As discussed, the cat may be picking up on human anxiety. Alternatively, the cat may be spooked by any of the following:
- Unfamiliar scents or sounds
- Worry about being lost without food
- Other animals, such as a barking dog in the neighborhood
- Reluctance to be among unfamiliar humans
- Previous trauma, such as being attacked by another cat
If your cat is reluctant to go outside, never force it to do so. As mentioned, indoor cats can live full and happy lives. There is nothing to gain by making a cat leave home when it has no desire to do so.
If you plan to let an indoor cat outside for the first time, prepare your pet in advance. Ensure your cat is comfortable and confident with the stimulus found outside and streetwise enough to understand road safety. These steps, coupled with a reliable routine, will help your cat adjust.
Additional Tips To Keep In Mind During Winter
- Before you start up your car, it’s a good idea to bang on the hood of your car and check underneath to make sure there aren’t any cats hiding under there for warmth that could be hurt by you revving up your engine.
- Avoid using salt or chemicals to melt snow around your property. This can hurt cats’ paw pads and can be lethally toxic if slurped up from puddles or licked off of their paws. Instead, use pet-friendly deicers that can be found at most pet stores.
- Be extra careful when using or transporting antifreeze. It can be enticing to cats, but it is extremely toxic to them. In fact, antifreeze poisoning is an unfortunately common cause for the death of many cats, often unbeknownst to the owners until it is too late. Be sure to clean up any traces of the substance you might see around your property.
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Should You Let An Indoor Cat Go Outside
It is a matter of personal choice as to whether you let an indoor cat go outside. Cats are capable of living full, happy lives exclusively indoors. All the same, is it OK to let an indoor cat outside?
As per the Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian, the American Veterinary Medical Association recommends keeping cats inside. Many domesticated cats all over the world wander free, though.
Learn what to do when an indoor cat wants to go outside. This will help you keep your pet safe. We recommend taking the following steps to transition your indoor cat to the outdoors:
Can Cats Survive Outside In The Heat
Cats can survive outside in the heat, but not for an extended period. While it varies tremendously depending on the cat breed, cats usually do not thrive in very hot climates.;
A cat will work hard to conserve its energy when forced to be in a very hot situation. They might do this by becoming as inactive as possible and resting for many hours at a time to keep their core temperature from rising too high.;
Additionally, cats will avoid being in direct sunlight if possible and will seek out dark, cooler corners of their environment. The most significant variable for a cat trying to survive outside in the heat is whether the cat will access a water source.
In very hot temperatures, cats require a lot of water to stay hydrated.;
A cat will get much thirstier than usual on a very hot day and will need even more water than usual. For a cat living outside on its own, this may be hard to find, and this will cause the cat to become very dehydrated. This will quickly lead to a very dangerous situation for a cat that could result in death.;
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Alternatives For Cats Who Insist
While most veterinarians acknowledge that cats are much safer without going outside where they risk exposure to disease or trauma, there are some cats who may resist being indoors only. AHS encourages leash-training kitties who incessantly beg to be outdoors. Its easier than you think!
You might also trying buying or building an outdoor cat enclosure , which will give your cat fresh air;and the feeling of being outside while keeping them safe from cars, predators, and even poisonous plants.;
If My Cats Have Been Spayed Or Neutered Why Shouldn’t I Let Them Out
It’s not a good idea to let your cat outside unless you have a safe enclosure or are walking them on a;harness and leash. Even pet cats who are spayed or neutered may cause conflicts between neighbors and;injure or kill wildlife.
When outside, cats face dangers such as injury or death from being hit by a car, being harmed by another animal or person and diseases and parasites.
Approximately 65 percent of the estimated 80 million pet cats in the U.S. are kept indoors;and more owners are realizing that indoor cats are safer and can lead;happy lives indoors. But millions of pet cats are still allowed outside, usually without the visible;collars and identification;that would help reunite them with their owners should the cats be picked up by a neighbor or animal control.
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What Cats Are Better Suited Outdoors
For some cats, living outdoors is the best option. Barn cats and other working felines provide rodent control or at least rodent intimidation. Feral cats may never adapt to living indoors. There are some housecats who cannot stand being inside, and make every effort possible including tearing through screens to get outdoors.
Then there are the cats for whom an outdoor life may prove the only option other than euthanasia. These are the animals with chronic inappropriate elimination issues that havent responded to medication and other therapies. Finding indoor homes for such cats is nearly impossible. Perhaps someone in your household has become severely allergic to Kitty. Rather than give the cat up, outdoor life may allow the animal to remain part of your family.
Will My Cats Behavior Change If He Goes Outdoors
Its possible! Cats that are allowed outside may be less likely to develop behavior problems like urinating outside the litter box and stalking and attacking people in the home. According to International Cat Care, these actions can be the result of boredom and frustration. Theyre also less likely to scratch furniture since theyre already clawing trees and other things outdoors.;;
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Indoor And Outdoor Cats
There are a number of different cat breeds that love to spend their days indoors, occupying the comfy sofa and stealing all the softest cushions. But not all felines make perfect lap cats. Many are only happy if they can spend several hours a day outdoors.
In general cats thrive on a mixture of indoor and outdoor time. There are plenty of people who are unable to let their cats out, for various reasons. If you are in this situation living in an apartment, for example it is best to opt for a breed that will be happy to live indoors.
This Balinese cat is outdoors, dreaming of indoors!
Should I Let My Kitten Outside
If you would like to give your kitten the opportunity to explore the natural world, there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind. While you may be eager for your adorable companion to get some sunshine and fresh air, there is no need to rush the experience. From your kittens perspective, your house or apartment offers ample opportunities for exploration and discovery, so there is little chance that she will be bored indoors in the early stages of her life. The outdoor world is indeed very large, very exciting and perhaps even a bit scary to a little kitten, so it is all the more important that you respect certain safety considerations before letting her out of your apartment or house.
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A Last Word On Making The Switch
Despite their owners best efforts, some cats will still have a tough time adjusting to life indoors. If your cat shows signs of extreme stress, you and your veterinarian might consider short-term drug therapy to relax the cat during the transition. Another option is to explore homeopathic remedies which can be effective calming agents in many animals. Consult a holistic veterinarian for specific treatments, or find a natural pet supply store that sells herbal remedies.
Where Do Community Cats Live
Community cats typically live in a colony . The colony occupies and defends a specific territory where food and shelter are available. Although feral cats may be seen by people who feed them, strangers may not realize that feral cats are living nearby because they rarely see them. Stray cats tend to be much more visible, may vocalize and may approach people in search of food or shelter. Stray cats may join a colony;or defend a territory of their own.
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Keeping Your Cat Safe During Fireworks Season And Bonfire Night
If you want to ensure your cat is safe and content during fireworks season, it is well worth keeping them indoors once it is dark. They’re less likely to stumble upon a fireworks display and get spooked by the bright lights or loud noises. When keeping your cat indoors at night, make sure you provide them with:
- a litter tray
Should Indoor Cats Have Outdoor Time
One reason cats generally enjoy the outdoors is that it takes them back to their natural roots. It’s important for owners to remember that cats are nocturnal, and in the wild, they’d be hunting all night and sleeping all day. Sometimes an indoor cat gets bored and may get anxious being cooped up inside all of the time if it isnt given enough stimulation, says Dr. Mosoriak. Keeping your indoor cat stimulated is important to mental health. Outdoor cats get that natural stimulation they need.
Of course, an indoor cat will not be doing much hunting, but you can simulate that activity with a variety of cat toys, like the Pet Fit For Life feather wand cat toy or the Cat Dancer wand cat toy. Providing indoor cats with cat scratchers and cat trees is also a great idea. Adding levels with cat trees or a cat window perch gives cats a higher point to view their territory and their own place to explore, climb, knead and take cat naps on.
Although Christine Capaldo, DVM, The PETA Foundation, Norfolk, Virginia, noted that PETA’s position is unequivocal: All cats should be indoor cats, she agreed that supervised outdoor activity can be healthy if done the correct way. Like dogs, cats should be allowed outdoors for walks on leashes that are attached to harnesses, not to collars, she said. Let the cat get used to the harness for short periods indoors, and then pick a safe outdoor area to explore.
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Could You Let Your Cat Outside
There are many reasons why owners make the decision to keep their cats indoors, perhaps a previous pet was heartbreakingly killed on the road, or maybe the home is a high rise flat in a city centre and it just isnt possible to let them out. You know your cat best and you will make your decisions based on their quality of life, but even if you cant let your cat roam the neighbourhood, there are alternatives to consider.Garden access: there are many fences available that claim to ensure your cat will stay in your garden . If your cat is not a master of escape, consider installing fencing that is positioned inwards into the garden to prevent cats from climbing out. Fencing that gives electric shocks causes cats harm and should not be used.Catios: an alternative option to fencing is to install an enclosure in part of your garden or on your patio a cat patio, or catio. These wooden and wire structures have the option of different levels for your cat to enjoy climbing and relaxing and a space of their own in your garden, while giving you peace of mind that you will always know where they are.
If your cat is unhappy living inside and you have made the decision to introduce them to your neighbourhood environment, our guide to letting your cat out for the first time will help.
Tips On How To Enrich Your Cats Indoor Environment:
- Ensure that your cat has an outlet for her instinctive need to scratch by setting up both vertical and horizontal scratching posts in different areas of the house.
- Try and make feeding more stimulating. Puzzle feeders will encourage your cat to think, relieve boredom and give her a little added physical activity.
- Install a cat tree to give your companion the opportunity to climb.
- Create perches on window-sills where your cat may enjoying keeping an eye on what is going on outside. However, keep in mind, that she can also experience stress if she has to endure another cat outside looking in.
- Make sure that all window screens are secure and hole-free. Train the family to shut outside doors carefully.
- ven indoor cats should be micro-chipped. If your cat should escape she will be less prepared for the outdoors, and micro-chipping her will make it much easier to reunite with your cat.
- Remove any potentially toxic indoor plants and create an indoor cat friendly planter garden that your cat may enjoy exploring. Play with your cat as often as possible. There are lots of fun cat toys or have fun making your own toys.
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Should I Let My Cat Outside
Weve established how you can make sure your cat will come back when you let it out and the steps you need to go through before letting your cat out for the first time. But should I let my cat outside?
As long as you dont have one of the indoor-only breeds I mentioned earlier the Sphynx, Ragdoll, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, Persian, Russian Blue, or Ragdoll whether you should let your cat outside or not is entirely down to you.
Here are the benefits and risks so you can decide which is the right avenue for you.
Conflict With Other Animals
We have mentioned how cats frequently go in search of new territory when outside. Unfortunately, the territory has likely already been claimed. An aggressive neighborhood feline may not take kindly to your cat infiltrating its terrain.
Cats rarely fight unless they must, preferring to take an approach of ballast and bluster. If neither cat backs down in the face of hissing, a fight can break out. This will rarely be pleasant for either animal. Cats do not hold back when engaged in combat.
This could see your cat wounded. Scratches and bites can lead to bacterial infection. If your cat returns home in physical distress, patch them up and consider whether a veterinary check-up is required.
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Indoor Cats That Should Not Be Allowed To Go Outside
In my opinion, any cat that has been declawed should not be allowed outside unsupervised.
The reason I say this is because they have been stripped of their natural defenses. If they face any problems with rival cats or any other predators, they are toast!
This significantly increases their risks of being attacked and also gives them no way to support and defend themselves.
Your Shelter Doesn’t Have To Be Elaborate To Be Effective
My other shelter is an “igloo” type of shelter. Alright, it’s really called a “dogloo,” but I’m a cat person . . . what can I say? Anyway, the igloo is not very large, but it’s insulated and has a small opening. I’ve also placed a sleeping bag inside. That way, the cats have a warm, soft something to snuggle into, plus the sleeping bag itself is insulated for winter weather.
Where you place the igloo is important. I’ve set mine up in our carport, which itself provides some windbreak. My carport has walls on all three sides. Even on the coldest of winter days, I’ve found it can be at least five degrees warmer just being in the carport. I haven’t measured the temperature in my outside cat closet, but I’m sure the difference in temperatures is similar because it’s enclosed on all four walls .
Even simple cat shelterssuch as this one made out of an old, covered litter box and lined with Mylarcan be big in helping outdoor cats make it through winter.
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