Are you interested in adopting a cat? And you want to know, indoor vs outdoor cats, which suits you the best. If this is the case, you will not only have to choose your future companion according to its race, its sex, or its temperament. The issue of outdoor outings should be seriously considered.
You need to determine whether or not your cat will be able to go outside for a walk. What are the advantages of letting your cat roam freely? Do indoor cats have a longer life expectancy? The question then is: indoor vs outdoor cats, which lifestyle has the most advantages?
Very often, the possibility of having access to the outside cannot be invented. It is difficult for an indoor cat to go outside. Many cats insist on going outside, once or twice a day. These cats have forged close ties with nature, and have always had the possibility and the habit of going out. They are part of the category of active cats.
Indoor cat or outdoor cat: a question of the breed?
Whether your feline falls into the outdoor cat category or not, it usually depends on its breed. Nature lovers like Norwegians or Maine Coon value their freedom and therefore the possibility of going out. Active cat breeds like the Bengal also enjoy letting off steam in the great outdoors.
Conversely, the British Shorthair and cats Persian are among the cats of a rather calm nature, which will be quite adapted to live in an apartment. The Devon Rex belongs to the breeds of cats that are typically referred to as indoor cats or apartment cats. Because of their sparse coat, they are very sensitive to cold.
Indoor vs outdoor cats: a question of safety
Is it safe to let your cat go outside? This is a question many cat owners ask themselves. The risk of injury will naturally be greater or lesser, depending on the environment around your home.
Do you live on a busy street? The risk of collision with a car is then high! In addition, cat lovers living in the countryside should inquire about the potential existence of a hunting ground nearby and the presence of large predators such as foxes and eagles.
Not to mention that poison baits are also fatal for cats! C hat indoor vs outdoor cats, both are vulnerable when they leave the house!
If you feel that it is too risky for your cat to walk outside, you can offer him small outings in complete safety in an outdoor enclosure or on a secure balcony, by protective nets for example. The latter option is particularly suitable for indoor cats living in cities and cats of a calm nature.
In addition, walking your indoor or outdoor cat after a cat leash is much safer. But walking your cat using a leash requires training! If you skip the steps, your feline may get tangled up with the brushes on the leash, or worse, hurt himself due to his nervousness.
A cat’s body is not as stable as a dog’s. This is why you should focus on the harness to collars, so that you can catch your cat in the event of an accident, without hurting him. Harnesses in the form of a vest are particularly suitable, since they distribute the pulling force better on the cat’s back and chest, without being uncomfortable.
Indoor vs outdoor cats, the difference is not huge in terms of security. The risk factor mainly depends on your living conditions.
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Health advice: Indoor vs outdoor cats?
Before a house cat or outdoor cat can enjoy going outdoors, you will need to have them taken to the vet. The latter will present the vaccines necessary for your cat and may also prescribe products antiparasitics for cats especially to protect against fleas and ticks. Outdoor cats should also be vaccinated against the common cold and the feline flu.
You will need to regularly make sure that your adventurer cat is not infected with worms, especially if there are elderly people or children in your household. The use of preventive products against ticks is absolutely essential! If you have any questions, contact your veterinarian, he can provide you with information and advice.
It is useful to clarify that only sterilized cats should be allowed to go out without supervision. Even if adorable little kittens would make you fall in love, seriously ask yourself if you could find a good home for all the little kittens that you might have a litter.
As an indication, in ten years, a couple of cats can be at the origin of 80 million births, if we also consider the reproduction of their descendants. The castration or sterilization of the cat is a small intervention that protects your unwanted reproductions cat.
In summary: outdoor outings are beneficial for the health of your indoor cat or outdoor cat, provided that you guarantee him all the protection he needs: vaccines, preventive parasiticides, and sterilization.
Indoor vs outdoor cats: coat care
It is not all about your cat’s health… Long-haired or dense-haired cats require more care if they go outside. It mainly depends on your cat’s voting habits: if they love to roam the undergrowth, you will have to resort to using comb and brush.
Take advantage of combing your cat to inspect its body for ticks. If you ever find them, get rid of them before they set in! If you should find ticks already firmly attached to your cat’s skin, remove them using a hook or tick clip.
Often, outdoor cats don’t like to look like cats straight out of show contests. It’s up to you to find the right balance during their brushing session!
A different diet for indoor vs outdoor cats
Outdoor cats have higher energy requirements than their indoor mates. On the other hand, they are more exposed to the risk of disease. Adventurous cats should consume food specially designed for outdoor cats.
If your cat roams freely in the neighborhood, he will gladly accept sweets – more or less healthy – than your neighbors will offer him! It is often difficult for cat owners to know what their protégé has eaten and where he has eaten.
In many cases, the bowl of croquettes or the food you serve him stays full since your cat finds that the food of the neighbors tastes better. This phenomenon is particularly problematic if you feed your cat-specific croquettes. The best thing to do then is to go see your neighbors and gently ask them to stop feeding your cat, for medical reasons. If your cat is a budding mouse hunter, the problem is not ready to be solved …
The choice is yours: Indoor cat or an outdoor cat?
After reviewing all the pros and cons of the indoor and outdoor lifestyle, a question arises: what are the benefits for your cat? Domestic cats resemble their wild ancestors, both physically and psychologically. They are small predators who like to let off steam and take on challenges. This is exactly what being outdoors allowing them. Of course, your cat should only be able to go outdoors if the place is suitable, that is, if it is sufficiently secure. When making your decision, take into account your cat’s living conditions and the demands of their breed or character.
Here are some arguments for indoor vs outdoor cats:
Arguments in favor of exclusively indoor cats
- This reduces the chances of catching diseases from other cats, such as the incurable and fatal feline immunodeficiency virus, a sort of AIDS equivalent.
- This reduces the chances of catching fleas or worms.
- They will also be less stressed because they will feel comfortable in their environment, without fear of being attacked by another cat.
- No risk of being killed by a car.
- No risk of unplanned pregnancy in unsterilized cats.
- No risk of being attacked/killed by another animal.
You might think that if a cat has never been exposed to the outdoors, it won’t know what is missing. He will therefore be calmer and less stressed in the house. This point is however subject to debate.
Popular indoor cat breeds include Russian Blue, Persian, and Ragdoll due to their low activity level and relaxed temperament.
Arguments in favor of outdoor cats
- The cat will be more stimulated and will exercise on its own: indoor cats will need more toys, cat trees, and play sessions to maintain their shape and weight.
- If the cat has been allowed to go outside all his life, he will be stressed to be suddenly deprived of this freedom.
- No more smelly litter in your home once your cat has learned to defecate outside.
The most popular outdoor cat breeds include the Burmese, Siamese, Korat, Norwegian, and Oriental.