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Should I Keep My Cat Indoors?

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home recently shared some excellent advice on how to create the best possible environment for your cat. When cats aren’t sleeping, they love to be off exploring the great outdoors. It can be difficult knowing what is best for your cat when it comes to their safety and their wellbeing, which is best, outdoors verses indoors? Here are a few tips to help you provide the best for your kitty.

Indoor or Outdoor Cat

Battersea make it clear that cats do need some access to the outside world. The reasons for this is that the outside world will help to improve their welfare and meet their psychological needs. They charity will sometimes house cats that are indoor only, but most will need outdoor access. Fully indoor lives suit cats aged 12 and over who is content with a quiet life, cats with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and some other medical conditions. Battersea will find suitable indoor homes for these cats but ensuring the owners know that extra care is required.

Benefits of the Indoor Life

Indoor cats are far less likely to suffer with infections or injuries as they are not out at night partaking in hunts or fights. Overall, indoor cats often have superior physical health too. There are reduced or no risk of being hurt in a traffic accident and they aren’t exposed to other dangers such as anti-freeze.

The main negative of indoor life for a cat is that they’re unable to display their natural behaviours. Cats are hunters, they can become frustrated living in four walls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The have a compromised quality of life, having access to the outdoors makes a big difference.

Creating a Stimulating Environment

Cats that are unable to have any access to the outdoor world need to have stimulation in the home. This can be achieved by:

  • Creating areas of interest inside, such as hidey holes
  • Indoor activity trees
  • A variety of toys that are changed regularly

Owners need to interact with their cats on a daily basis, giving them attention and encouraging movement and exercise. Obesity is a real problem and is dangerous for cats.

Benefits of Outdoor Life

Cats find the outdoors to be stimulating, exciting and fun. Playing, exploring and hunting helps to keep cats in good physical shape. There are significant risks, but Battersea have a few suggestions on how to reduce them.

  • Make the garden stimulating
  • Make sure cats feel comfortable and safe in their own space
  • Create hidey holes
  • Provide different levels for your cat to sit and survey their territory
  • Plant cat friendly plants including catnip, catmint and honeysuckle

A cat friendly garden can attract other cats in the neighbourhood. This will threaten your cats’ territory, so you’ll need to provide plenty of safe zones in the garden.

Adding cat fencing or a cat containment system will protect your cat from outdoor risks without removing the benefits of outdoor life