The Pros and Cons of Keeping a Cat Indoors
Some people prefer to keep their cats indoors permanently and others allow their cats access to the outside world, but which is better? Well, there is no right or wrong answer. It certainly is safer for the cat to keep him/her inside just as it would be for anything else but it can come with its disadvantages too so you need to weigh up the pros and cons according to your cat and your circumstances. Read on for arguments for and against keeping a cat indoors.
Less Exposure To Hazards
Cats that are kept indoors can expect to live a lot longer than cats that have access to the outdoors. This is simply because they are not exposed to the hazards e.g. road traffic, chemical poisoning, etc that outdoor cats are exposed to.
Your Cat Won’t Hunt Wildlife
This is great news for wildlife enthusiasts who don’t like the thought of cats catching and bringing in their prey.
Reduces Risk of Infectious Diseases & Parasites
Cats that are kept indoors, are not directly in contact with other cats who may be carrying infectious diseases such as FeLV. Cats are also less likely to pick up parasites such as fleas and ticks.
Your cat may become bored and frustrated if they are not able to express their natural desire to explore and hunt. This can lead to behavioural problems including spraying, aggression, and depression, although this depends on many factors. In addition to this, they can become more dependent on routine and therefore more sensitive to any changes to this.
Cat’s that are not allowed to roam outdoors run the risk of becoming obese which then may lead to other health problems so it’s important to provide your cat with enough opportunities to exercise. Some breeds are naturally more active and energetic than others. There are plenty of toys available to mentally stimulate your cat, and you can even buy exercise wheels!
Cats that are kept indoors are not necessarily free from stress. By keeping your cat indoors this can increase stress levels if your cat:
- Becomes overly dependent on you
- Becomes overly dependent on routine
- Can see other cats from a window in its territory
- Feels like they can’t escape
Keeping a cat indoors is not necessarily hazard free. Some potential indoor hazards inclue:
- Houseplants – Houseplants such as lilies are potentially fatal to cats.
- Household Products – kitchen and bath surface cleaners, carpet cleaners and toilet bowl cleaners can be toxic to cats.
- Household Appliances – Make sure appliances such as tumble dryers and washing machines are kept shut so your cat can’t crawl in.