Seeing your cat having fun in the garden, rolling around with their neighbourhood friends or even strutting their stuff across the fence panels without a care in the world is a joy for any pet owner. However, despite the rewards, there are risks in allowing your cat to come and go as they please. Now we’ve got your attention, let us share a few things you need to keep in mind before deciding whether your cat should be an indoor or an outdoor cat:
The Pros of Keeping Your Cat Indoors
It Keeps Your Cat Safe
The top answer and main pro for keeping your cat indoors is simply your cat’s safety. We can’t emphasise this key point enough.
With your cat staying indoors, it is fully protected from any outdoors hazards, whether these be brawls with other neighbourhood cats, a quick escape with a local not-so-friendly dog, exposure to insecticides or getting hit by traffic. Added to this, if you have a pedigree cat, they are at a much greater risk of being stolen, so you can protect your pet by keeping them indoors. Keeping them indoors can also stop them from coming across any unsavoury individuals.
It Minimises The Spread of Diseases
By not encountering other cats or species out and about, your cat will not be rubbing fur with others and this minimises the chance of them contracting fleas or any other infectious diseases that are common for cats. We all know that cats love to bring home ‘presents’ for their owners often in the shape of dead animals. These carcasses are often a breeding ground for bacteria and are commonly infected with worms or worm eggs, which your pet can ingest. That’s why regular worming is so important if your cat regularly scavenges outdoors.
The Cons of Keeping Your Cat Indoors
Staying Inside Can Cause Your Cat Stress
When a cat feels stressed, an easy way to make themselves feel better is to simply step outside through the cat flap and go off on an adventure. Indoor cats are more prone to feeling stressed and there are less outlets for them to relieve this, so make sure there are plenty of opportunities to keep your cat entertained if you do decide to keep them indoors.
They Have Limited Space to Roam Indoors
Cats are the type of pets that like to roam around. They are natural wanderers and if kept inside, their instincts kick in and can become bored and frustrated quite easily. This has to be managed correctly by the owner, otherwise it can lead to problems which are closely related to restless behaviour. Set up your home so that there are plenty of toys and activities your cat can get involved with to keep them entertained and limit the chance of this kind of behaviour.
Changes Indoors Can Frustrate Your Cat
Stability is everything to cats and they like to see a certain level of stability in their environment. Cats don’t like change and even small adjustments in the home can cause them to become irritable and stressed. Cats never forget and it’s rare for changes to go unnoticed!
Cats Need To Get Their Exercise
Exercise. It’s a highly discussed topic of how pet owners can ensure cats naturally get the exercise they need whilst staying indoors. This is where you as the owner have a huge part to play in ensuring that you give your cat plenty of playtime, which will help maintain their body condition, keep them in good shape and limit the chance of them becoming unfit or potentially obese.
What Points Should I Remember If I’m Keeping My Cat Indoors?
- Playtime is everything for your cat, that’s how they keep stimulated and get their exercise – so get involved!
- Make sure they have plenty of toys and activities to partake in, whether it’s simply places they can climb up or having a scratching board/post ready for them – it keeps them occupied, prevents depression and any behavioural problems
- They like to be able to see what’s going on, whether it’s indoors or outdoors – so give them plenty of places where they can sit and look outdoors to help them stay stimulated
- Be careful how much you feed your indoor cat, as due to them not being able to roam as much as outdoor cats, they can’t shed the weight quite as easily as them!
- Lock all the doors – cats will try their utmost to find little escape routes to get outside so if you’re sticking to your cat being indoors, live by it!
We hope that this blog has helped give you insight into both the pros and cons of keeping your cat indoors, so that as the owner, you feel you can make the right decision for you and your pet. This is a highly debated topic with all owners and we hope we’ve supplied you with all the key information through this Bob Martin blog so that you can decide which way to go. If you need additional advice for Flea & Tick prevention and treatment, please feel free to visit the rest of our Bob Martin website for all the key insights you require.