Do You Want an Indoor or Outdoor Cat?
Before getting a cat, one of the things that you should consider and discuss with others in the household is where your new pet is going to live. Some cats live indoors, some outdoors, and others spend time in both places. Deciding on what is best for your family and your pet is something that the entire family should decide together.
Benefits of Being Indoors
Safety from Animals:
When your cats are living inside they can only view wild animals through glass pains. They are safe from any harm that may be presented by wild animals in your area. They are also safe from being chased by neighborhood dogs.
Safety from Weather:
- While animals are equipped to handle heat and cold, it does not mean they enjoy it. Just like humans, cats can get sick with colds. Being in cold weather or heavy precipitation can get them sick. While indoor cats may still get sick, you are better able to monitor their condition than those cats outdoors.
- Once you fill an outdoor food bowl with food and step inside, there is no way to know who is eating that food. I have often walked outside to find other cats and dogs making a tasty treat from my cat’s bowl of food. When your cat is indoors, you will be able to control how much they are eating. Sometimes the amount of food they are consuming can be a huge tip that something is wrong. If your cat suddenly stops eating as much food, it is something you should look into.
- The fun part of having a cat is playing with them, petting them, brushing them, and just lazing around on the couch with them. While you and your cat can still have a good relationship while he or she is living outdoors, you will not have as much time to spend with them. When your cat is indoors, you will find that they want to be near you and spend time with you.
Safe from Insects:
- Cats are easy targets for fleas and ticks. When your keep your cat indoors they are less likely to get these insects unless they come into your home through another pet. Yes, you can purchase tea and flick treatments that prevent your pet. In my experience I have found that these products do not always work.
Benefits of Being An Outdoor Cat
- The amount that your cat sheds depends on many things including the type of hair they have, their diet, and the time of year. Still, even in the best conditions shedding can present a problem. If your cat is outdoors, you do not have to deal with cleaning up cat fur from your furniture and floors.
- Litter boxes alone may be the one factor that determines whether or not you keep your cat indoors or outdoors. When your cat is outside, they have their pick of places to use the restroom. When they are inside, they are either going in their litter box or on your floors. If your cat is house trained it does make it a little easier, but no one enjoys cleaning out a litter box. Let’s face it. Liter boxes do not smell good. Keeping your cat outdoors means you avoid the smell and having to clean up after them.
- Cats are natural born hunters, and the great outdoors is their playground. Being outside allows for more exercise than being indoors for cats. Birds, squirrels, and insects replace the plastic balls and stuffed mice that you purchase for your pet at the store. Chasing these live animals provides more physical activity for your cat than you could ever give them indoors. Physical activity means a healthier and thinner cat.
- Cats are independent animals, and for the most part they love their freedom. Being outdoors allows them to come and go as they please, but they are still your pet.
- Having an outdoor pet has a major advantage if you have a family member who is allergic to pets. Depending on the severity of the allergy, it may be possible for a family member to have a cat.
Should We Get an Indoor or Outdoor Cat?
Of course, the benefits of having a cat that spends some time indoors and sometimes outdoors is just a mixture of the things I have talked about above. Remember, this is something that you should discuss with the whole family before you get your new cat. You do not want to bring a new cat home with the idea that it will be staying inside, only to find out that your loved one believes cats should live outdoors only. Take a look at the benefits I have listed above. What are the most important factors to you when considering whether you should have an indoor or outdoor cat? Taking the time to consider these things will help avoid any conflict when deciding what is best for your cat and your family.