The decision whether or not to let your cat out into your garden – and possibly beyond – is one only you can make, based on where you live, access and so on. Certainly, keeping cats indoors is becoming more common throughout Europe, and cats can adapt very well to this type of life if you are careful to provide for their needs.
The most important thing to remember is that whether your cat is an ‘indoor’ cat or an ‘outdoor’ one will affect how you look after it, and how you feed it.
Cats who stay indoors need plenty of stimulation to keep them active – lots of toys, rotated from time to time to keep them interested, things to climb and hide in, and regular playtimes with the family every day.
Cats are naturally motivated to climb, explore, scratch, observe their environment and search for quiet, secluded resting spots so, if they don’t have access to the outdoors, you will need to replace this opportunity with an interesting indoors environment.
Because they groom more and tend to be more sedentary, they need a diet that can help with hairballs and that reflects their lower activity levels.
You should also make a point of brushing indoor cats regularly, because the constant temperatures indoors mean moulting is a year-round event.
Cats with access to the outdoors
If your cat is going to be spending time outside, its natural defences will need supporting. Exposure to weather extremes, as well as a higher potential for diseases and traumas such as fighting, puts these defences under greater pressure.
It will need a higher energy diet to help it cope with the changing temperatures and increased amount of energy it expends.
Before you let it out for the first time, keep your cat in the house for at least three weeks (and until it’s had all its vaccinations) and be prepared to supervise its first outings, so it knows how to get back in the house when it wants to and doesn’t get frightened or lost.
Want to know more?
We hope this answered your questions about whether your cat should be an indoor or outdoor cat. However, if you have another question about indoor and outdoor cats, exercising your cat, your cat’s health or any other cat questions then we’d like to help. Submit your question below.