Inside or Outside: Which is better for my cat?

December 2nd, 2014

Ever wonder whether your cat should be outside? And if they should be outside, when, for how long, and where is best? An award winning author and certified cat behaviorist, Marilyn Krieger, weighs in on the topic and in fact, she recommends not letting your cat or kitty out day or night unless you have a safe enclosure.

Many dangers come with cats roaming outside, including: encountering predators and cars, being stolen or lost, and contracting diseases. At night, these dangers are magnified with more predators in search of their meals. Thus, it is safer for a cat to live indoors rather than outdoors.

Besides your cat facing these risks, you, the owner, may face some upset neighbors. Cats attacking neighborhood birds and squirrels may not be appreciated as well as an unwatched cat excavating or evacuating in their gardens. Moreover, other cats in the neighborhood may show signs of aggression in response.

Aggression usually occurs in indoor cats after seeing a strange roaming cat outdoors. They may feel fearful or threatened because of their lack of experience with foreign animals or humans or their lack of space to escape. The cat’s instinctual response, aggression, sometimes is redirected at a second cat and can turn once friends into enemies. The owners of these cats will have to strive to keep the cats apart and make gradual attempts at reintroducing the cats to each other until they can tolerate one another again.

Indoor living at times can be tough for a cat, however, a few adjustments to your home can make your friend feel very content inside. Add plenty of tall cat trees and engaging toys for mental stimulation. Having daily play time and scavenger hunts with hidden treats with him or her will also keep your cat feeling active and healthy. Nevertheless, if you still would like to allow your cat to venture outdoors, it is best to do so during the daytime, on a leash, and in an enclosed, safe location.