Indoor or outdoor?
An important consideration when getting a new cat is whether they should be an in-door cat, an outdoor cat, or some of both. Many people who own cats typically engage in some mixture of the last option, with many cats that people consider “outdoor” actually spending some small portion of
their day inside. But, if you really love your cat, it’s difficult to argue against indoor being better.
Decades ago, when we all lived allegedly more pastoral lives, there weren’t nearly as many dangers as there are now threatening an outdoor cat. Although aggressive dogs, parasites, and fights with other cats were around, the outdoor cat population was once much lower and more widely dispersed. Rampant overbreeding was not nearly as pressing a problem as it is today and feline infectious diseases not nearly as prevalent. Roads were less heavily traveled. In these times past being outdoors wasn’t the proclamation of an early death that it is today (although still not as safe as being indoors).
Increase your cats lifespan
The bottom line is, the simplest way to significantly increase your cat’s lifespan is to keep it inside. Most area’s, particularly urban ones, are full of feline dangers, diseases, and death. Even rural and suburban areas will have an outdoor cat population that carries diseases and parasites.
Today, there are lots more animals roaming around fighting and spreading diseases that are considerably more widespread than they were as little as 10 years ago. Kitty could be bitten, infected or (more likely) killed by a dog. They could get into another fight with a cat defending its territory. And then there are all the dangers brought by humans, such as cars, trucks, buses,
poisons, guns, etc. Too many cats each year get killed because of the hectic world we’ve
Keep them indoors
By keeping your cat indoors, you also keep it from preying on small wild creatures such as
songbirds that already have a tough time in the wild because of the reasons mentioned above. It’s
not exactly natural to have hordes of domestic cats running about trying to kill them!
Outdoor cats live significantly shorter lives than their indoor counterparts. They suffer more
injuries, become considerably less sociable with people and other animals, and find themselves
visiting the vet far more often than they should have to.
As long as you provide your cat with a stimulating home environment it won’t have any need to
go outdoors. Indeed, cats kept inside from kittenhood usually have little desire to do so. My friends cat Mina will sniff at the outside if the door is left open, and will then walk away disinterested. And why should she be? The house is her territory, while outside is some other cat’s. Provided you neuter your cat before it’s of breeding age (usually 6 months), you won’t have the problem of your cat’s wanting to go outside.
An adopted older who’s been used to going outside will at first insist on continuing to go out. It will
sit by a window and cry, and probably will try and scoot out of open doors. But, provided you make your cat’s new indoor environment as fun as possible,restrict its access to open doors and windows, and just wait it out, it’s likely to accept the new situ-ation and claim the home as its new territory.
It is not cruel
You may think that it’s cruel to deny kitty access to the outdoors, but it’s actually more cruel to cater
to its desires knowing that in doing so you’ll be significantly reducing its lifespan. Cats are domesticated animals, and your house is their natural environment. Many people are fooled by the cat’s adaptability in the wild into thinking that they’re at home there, but they’re not. A person can survive in the woods as well, but quality of life issues definitely come into question. Its simply cruel to allow your cat to regularly go out, unsupervised, into a very dangerous and infection-laden world. Would you let your dog do the same?