Sunday, November 8, 2009

Indoors or Outdoors? You Decide...

Whether or not to allow your cat to explore the great outdoors or keep him inside is a debate that is certain to go on and on. There are many good arguments for both sides.

My first cat Bobo, was found outdoors as a 6 mo. old stray, I have no idea what his history was or where he came from, whether he lived inside, outside or both. Because I did not have a yard when I found him he was confined inside my apartment and did quite well. When I moved to different places that lended themselves to an environment change I would bring him outside on a leash....(more on that in a future blog!) He lived til the ripe old age of 18 and many would argue that he DID live until the age of 18 because he was an indoor cat!

My current kitty Cody, was 8 wks old when I adopted him from a rescue. He lived in a home with cats and dogs but was not exposed to the "great outdoors". I have taken him outside as well, strangely he showed an enormous preference for being inside and has never, ever shown a desire to venture into the vast unknown.
Because I live in a highly commercial, traffic ridden area and I live on the second floor of a condo, I feel it is much safer for Cody to remain an "inside" cat. If I had a home with acreage and little to no car activity I might change my mind.

No matter what side of the fence you find yourself straddling, here are some points to consider for both sides of this age old debate:


No risk of injury or death from vehicles
No risk of sadistic minded individuals poisoning the cat intentionally or accidentally
No risk of injury or death fighting with other cats
Less of a risk of catching an infectious disease from other cats (or wild animals)
Less risk of parasites (fleas, ticks or ringworm)
Getting lost, stolen or possibly picked up by Animal Control
Being stolen to later be sold as a laboratory test animal
Problems with neighbors who do not like cats


Indoor cats can become lazy
Cats by nature prefer being outdoors
Cats are predatory by nature and prefer being outdoors

Whatever you decide if you are going to allow your cat to go outside by all means do NOT declaw your cat, if you do the cat will have no way to defend itself from outdoor predators. I am against declawing period but that too is a topic for a future blog.

If you choose to keep your cat inside there are all kinds of toys, kitty grass, kitty towers, window seats etc. that will offer your cat both the mental stimulation and exercise that he needs to live a vital life.

To me the ideal scenario would be to have an enclosed "cat porch or cat room" that has trees and grass planted in it and windows or screens so the cat can have the best of both worlds!

What are YOUR thoughts on this issue?


  1. Whatever you do, don't follow "crazy cat lady"'s example-1 indoor cat, 3 outdoor, all wanting to switch places and blaming said human. AAAGGGHHH:(

  2. In AZ where I live, an outside cat has the risk of being eaten by coyotes. A friend rescued 3 feral kittens and made a set-up similar to the one you suggested. She has an indoor cat room with kitty towers and a cat door to an outside area totally enclosed by fencing. There is fencing over the top too, so wild animals can't get inside. There's a tree in the middle of the enclosure and some shrubs.
    They are very well loved cats!

  3. I lived in AZ too. I'm glad to hear your AZ friend fenced the top of the enclosure also, because Great Horned Owls could easily nab a cat.