Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: November 1, 2022 by Crystal Uys
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.
About the author
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.