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Outdoor vs Indoor Cats

Outdoor vs Indoor Cats

There is no one right answer to the question, "Should I let my cat roam outside?" Once you know the facts, you can make an appropriate decision that takes your cat's well-being into account. Outdoor cats face many hazards including, but not limited to: traffic fatalities, cat fights, infectious diseases, predation and environmental extremes.

Indoor cats have an average life span of 14 years, whereas indoor/outdoor cats have an average life span of only four years. However, an exclusively indoor life may be restrictive and is possibly a factor leading to compulsive behaviors such as wool sucking (when the cat sucks, chews or ingests fabric) or psychogenic alopecia (when the cat pulls its own hair out). One solution is to provide supervised outdoor time for your cat, perhaps on harness or by providing a secure outdoor enclosure. Another is to provide environmental enrichment for your indoor cat. Some ideas include providing company such as another cat, toys, climbing frames, fish tanks (with firmly attached lids), window bird feeders or videos specially designed to keep your cat occupied and happy. Feeding your cat meals in play and treat balls will help to satisfy his or her predatory instincts.

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Dr. Borns-Weil says...

Dr. Stephanie Borns-Weil, DVM, DACVB

Dr. Borns-Weil, DVM, DACVB

Board-Certified Animal Behaviorist

There is no one right answer to the question, "Should I let my cat roam outside?" Once you know the facts, you can make an appropriate decision that takes your cat's well-being into account.