7 Reasons to Keep Cats Indoors

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Keeping cats indoors can be a controversial topic. Some cat lovers believe that it’s not natural to keep cats indoors, and that they should have the freedom to go outdoors. However, the fact is that indoor cats live longer and healthier lives, and contrary to what outdoor cat proponents believe, indoor cats can be perfectly happy as long as cat guardians provide a stimulating environment for them.

The following seven reasons are strong arguments for keeping cats indoors:

1. Indoor cats are safe from many diseases

Cats who roam free are at greater risk for contracting infectious diseases such as feline leukemia (FeLV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), feline distemper, and a variety of zoonotic diseases and parasites.

2. Indoor cats are safe from predators

Even though cats are prey animals, they are fairly low on the food chain and can easily become prey to coyotes, raptors, and wild dogs. Even with a full set of claws, outdoor cats are at a disadvantage when they encounter predators, and declawed cats are at even greater risk.

3. Indoor cats do not get hit by cars

Cars kill more cats per year than the number of cats that are killed in U.S. animal shelters. Cats in crowded cities are at the greatest risk, but even cats in more rural areas are not safe, and are typically not as “car savvy’ as cats who live in urban areas.

4. Indoor cats don’t get lost or stolen

Even though accidents happen, indoor cats have a much better chance of never getting lost or stolen. In the same vein, they are also safer from human abuse. Sadly, outdoor cats are often a target for cat haters.

5. Indoor cats make better neighbors

Outdoor cats tend to roam, and if your neighbors aren’t cat-friendly, this can cause problems, which, in some cases, can result in the cat being picked up by animal control, or worse.

6. It’s easier to monitor an indoor cat’s urinary and gastro-intestinal health

Outdoor cats won’t always use the litter box inside the home, thus making it impossible for guardians to be able to monitor urine output and consistency of stools. This can lead to life-threatening complications resulting from urinary blockages.

7. Indoor cats can get exercise and stimulation

Keeping cats indoors doesn’t mean that cats can’t exercise their hunting instinct. It’s up to cat guardians to provide a stimulating environment with plenty of cat trees, window perches and scratchers. Daily playtime not only keeps kitty exercises and active, but is also a wonderful way for cat and human to bond.

Don’t take risks with your cat’s life. Provide a safe and stimulating indoor environment to keep her happy and healthy well into her senior years.

This article was previously published on Answers.com, and is republished with permission.

16 Comments on 7 Reasons to Keep Cats Indoors

  1. Susie Beckham
    May 14, 2017 at 1:18 am (4 months ago)

    I was watching one of the shows My Cat is from Hell. Jackson told them to get motion activated sprinklers & a alarm. Where can those itms be found?

    Reply
  2. Sue
    February 28, 2015 at 4:30 pm (3 years ago)

    Our rescue cat used to be an inside at night/outside during the day cat. She was a great hunter and brought us many gifts (mice, rabbits etc). Then one afternoon she turned up with a scratched eye from a fight. That turned out OK after an expensive vet visit, but two weeks later she hobbled in from outside with a broken leg. After two operations and five months in a large crate (and several thousand $’s) we decided that she is now an inside cat only. That was 18 months ago, and she is quite happy inside all the time with us. She has plenty of window sills and a screen door to look at all the wildlife she is missing out on catching, but she seems very content and is much friendlier to her people than she was before. She did escape once, but came back as soon as I called her.

    Reply
  3. Celine K.
    February 27, 2015 at 6:11 pm (3 years ago)

    My cats are indoors-only. In the past I let kitties roam, and bad things happened to them. One had an abcess from an animal bite, and the other was found under a tree, dead from unknown causes.

    Reply
  4. DebiOco
    February 26, 2015 at 10:00 pm (3 years ago)

    When I was a little girl I watched as my sweet kitty ran into the street and was hit by a car. Fortunately he died instantly. Because he had slept under my covers with me, I had a terrible case of flea bites all over my legs!

    Since then all my kitties have been indoor only. I used to let some out on a lead while I supervised, but after many cases of fleas, I stopped that too. Now my fur baby enjoys the fresh air from a cat napper at a screened window. Her favorite place in the warm weather.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 27, 2015 at 7:09 am (3 years ago)

      That must have been so awful for you to watch your kitty being killed as a little girl, Debi! I’m so sorry. My girls love being on their cat napper when the breeze is wafting in through the screen – it’s their idea of kitty bliss.

      Reply
  5. Monica Ackerman
    February 26, 2015 at 8:56 pm (3 years ago)

    I couldn’t agree with you more, everybody. Yes, cats should be allowed to roam as is their nature but it is just too dangerous. My cats are not allowed outside but every once in a while somebody leaves the screen door open and one or the other takes advantage but they don’t go far. Terrified I hope. They always come right in when I tell them this world is no place for spoiled rotten housecats who would not survive one night in the great outdoors. For a while last spring my 6 year old Charlie thought he wanted to go outside anytime a door would open but he got over it eventually. I let them sit at the locked screen door for their fresh air and they love watching the birds and butterflies and they are perfectly safe.

    Reply
  6. Aubrey
    February 26, 2015 at 4:54 pm (3 years ago)

    I have a small fenced-in back yard that I let my cats into for fresh air and sunshine occasionally, always with me to supervise. Some of the cats are interested and some not particularly. They are all rescues and I believe they remember how hard their lives were when they were living outside. Perhaps not, but I think it influences their interest or lack thereof in the outdoors.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 26, 2015 at 5:43 pm (3 years ago)

      I, too, think that some cats remember how hard life outside was and have no interest in going outside because of that, Aubrey.

      Reply
  7. Eli
    February 26, 2015 at 12:16 pm (3 years ago)

    I used to let my cats out. I lived in a safe, low populated area and lived happily with my first cat for ten years allowing her to come in and out as she pleased. The neighborhood started develouping and I adopted a couple more cats the were also allowed outdoor time that they loved. Unfortunately, where I live, superstition about cats create hostile attitudes in many ingorant people and I hadn’t realized one of our new neighbors must have been a cat hater. Whoever the p.o.s was, ended up poisoning first my 2 yr old Mia, a neighborhood cat I had just neutered and fed, and I assume they also poisoned my almost 11 yr old Katy since I never saw her again and she disappeared around the same time I found the other’s bodies. After that, no matter how much Shelly protested he and my newest rescue Mugi became indoor only. Shelly, escaped a little after and disapeared for 2 days. We were heartbroken thinking he ended up like the others. He appeared later, a rainy day, covered in injuries and looking sick. We rushed to the vet and luckily he wasnt poisoned or seriously hurt. After that ordeal he never wanted to go out again but he is also not the same happy go lucky cat. He is scared easily and very quiet, shy and skittish. Having outdoor cats has only ended in sadness for us.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 26, 2015 at 1:37 pm (3 years ago)

      I’m so sorry about Mia and Katy, Eli.

      Reply
  8. Jan
    February 26, 2015 at 12:04 pm (3 years ago)

    I live in So Cal. I use to let my cats be in and outside cats ( in at Nite). But after losing 6 to coyotes, No more! I hate they must be in, but coyotes can jump 6-7 foot fences. All my neighbors have lost cats and dogs With fenced yards.

    Reply
  9. Missy
    February 26, 2015 at 10:49 am (3 years ago)

    As we say at my house ;
    Outside is bad !!

    Reply
  10. Fur Everywhere
    February 26, 2015 at 10:27 am (3 years ago)

    Great article, Ingrid! Indoor kitties are definitely much safer. My dad had outdoor cats in the country, but it always scared me for them. The cars along that road go super fast, and sadly, kitties didn’t always make it out of the way.

    Reply
  11. Robyn
    February 26, 2015 at 8:14 am (3 years ago)

    I have found a compromise with the keeping the felines in or letting them out. During spring, summer and fall I set up a XL dog crate on my deck. I abutt the crate to the garden door so I merely open the garden door and they run happily into their outdoor enclosure. I always keep a watchful eye out but otherwise they get fresh air and the stimulation of the sights and sounds of nature. I even had a little Junco run through the crate once, fortunately no one was in at the time. If you can afford there are “Catios” (Cat Patios)available for sale on the Internet.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 26, 2015 at 1:38 pm (3 years ago)

      Catios and other save enclosures are a great way to allow indoor cats safe access to the great outdoors.

      Reply

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