Should I keep my cat indoors or outdoors? 

 

Cat owners are split with this decision, and our Vet Dr Scott Miller is here today to help advise you on what’s best for you and your feline friend.

 

Our Vet Dr Scott Miller answers the all important questions...

 

🐾 Should I keep my cat indoors or outdoors? 

🐾 What are the differences between indoor and outdoor cats?

🐾 How can I keep my cat indoors / outdoors safely?

 

Outdoor Cats

What are the benefits to allowing my cat outside?

  • Outdoor cats can enjoy the outdoor sights, sounds and explore their garden and neighbourhood

  • Outdoor cats are able to toilet outside, avoiding the need for a litter tray within your home

 

What are the disadvantages to allowing my cat outside?

  • Its harder to monitor toileting habits. A cat’s urination and frequency of urination is an important daily window into general health

  • The risk is higher to come into contact with other cats, dogs and traffic (road traffic accidents are high risk if you live near a road!)

  • Microchipping and ID collars are a must for any outdoor cat in case they lose their way


Indoor Cats

Indoor cat are in much safer environment but require much more care, so its important to ensure they have everything that they need to live a fulfilling and stimulating life indoors. Understanding the needs of a cat behaviourally, physically and socially is key to a healthy, well rounded life for an indoor cat.

 

What do I need to consider if I keep my cat indoors?

🧶 Indoor cats will have more energy to exert compared to the outdoor cat therefore, regimented play times everyday will be advantageous in relieving some of that energy! Through use with different toys, feather rods, balls and laser pens about 15 minutes twice per day will raise your indoor felines heart rate up and help to bring their waist line down. Other interactive toys such as licking mats or ball games can help to alleviate boredom which may present and lead to behavioural problems such as anxiety and over-grooming. 


🐈 Felines enjoy a high vantage point and places to hide so consider the use of platforms, cat shelves and cat-only areas. This allows your cat to manage their own stress within the safety of your four walls. Naturally, outdoor cats will have the freedom to hide away and will climb trees, fences, bins etc. to be at a higher vantage point, therefore it’s important our indoor cats have that option too.


⚖️ Weight gain is a common issue for stay at home cats, therefore, diet must be addressed with controlled portion feeding and lower calorie alternatives if the battle of the bulge is being lost! Our Vet Dr Scott Miller recommends Fat Cat Slim from Meowing Heads, as this recipe helps to reduce calorie consumption per mouthful with low fat kibble that are also grain-free leading to a feline that still feels satisfied but actually loses weight.


💐 For both indoor and outdoor cats, care should still be taken with poisonous plants, toxic chemicals and dangerous objects and should be out of paws reach when left home alone!

 

Remember, there is no right or wrong!

Whichever choice you make for your feline friend, whether indoors or out, with research, veterinary advice and common sense, you can ensure that your cat has all that they need to be healthy, relaxed and fulfilled.
 
Vet, Dr Scott Miller & Barking Heads

 

Answering the question, how do i choose the right pet sitter for my pet? Read our blog on Pet Sitting Tips from Barking Heads!

 

*The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified pet health provider with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s health*