Indoors or Outdoors for Cats?

Should cats live indoors or outdoors and which is better for them?

I’ve read that outdoor cats are nearly three times more likely to become infected with pathogens or parasites than indoor only kitties but perhaps those Pet Parents aren’t keeping their furry little buddy up to date on all the preventive measures available for fighting ticks, fleas, worms, and parasites.

kitty in the garden

Many organisations would urge Cat Parents to keep their feline friends inside for their own protection but there are plenty of articles saying that our cats are genetically fairly close to their ancient ancestors, which means they still have many of their wild impulses and want to go outside to ‘do their thing.’

To see a cat outside is to witness a creature in its natural habitat, and I enjoy seeing cats in trees, lying comfortably on a branch for hours and watching the world go by. I don’t think letting them spend too much time outside is a good idea, but I do believe in a good balance of indoor and outside time for your Cat.

Cat observing the world from a branch

I particularly enjoy seeing them hiding in the flower garden chasing lizards and little critters etc and how they like to hide among the taller plants and seem to be so confident that nobody can see them, but folks, they must be kept away from vegetable crops.

Unfortunately, there are a few risks to let your cat/s to play in your vegetable garden because of the possibility of harmful parasites, bacteria, or microorganisms in their No2.

Cats are naturally drawn to beautifully prepared garden beds with lovely soil because they prefer to poop in soft, easy-to-dig soil. They are creatures of habit too and will frequently return to the same spot, so if the situation isn’t watched and avoided, you can end up with a big mound of excrement.

Use a shovel to remove any excrement and any nearby soil while donning rubber gloves and a dust mask. Put it in an outdoor trash bin in a plastic bag for disposal. You should also throw away any vegetables that have been in contact with their poop, especially root vegetables like carrots and radishes that grow underground.

freshly picked radish

Even though cat urine has little to no negative health effects on plants and garden soil, it should nevertheless be rinsed off your plants and/or veggies to get rid of the scent and protect them.

So it comes down to overseeing them outside. If you want them to feel like they’re out on their own on a ‘Cat Safari’ with no humans in sight, you could install a DIY security system. They’re a lot cheaper these days, and you can get some amazing offers on eBay.

While the enchanted world outside your home offers many ‘Cat Safari’ opportunities for exercise and entertainment, your much loved cat does not need to go outdoors to enjoy them. There are several ways to keep your feline buddy entertained while avoiding the dangers of being outside.

Cat tree indoors

By screening in your porch/veranda or getting an enclosed outdoor space as an extension of your house and providing Cat Trees etc in these spaces, you can supply your cat with inspiration similar to what the world beyond your ‘four walls and a roof’ provides; there are usually advertisements for these companies on TV.

Our cats love places to climb, scratch, and hide, so furnishing both the inside of your home and your screened-in porch with items such as cardboard boxes and scratching posts is a cool and cheap idea.

Vertical adventure space is going to score you the most points with your cat/s though, which is why I believe installing a few ‘Cat Trees’ is important; you don’t have to buy one; you can always build one and there are plenty of YouTube videos that will show you how to do so.

Providing your cat with a place to go vertical expands and naturalises their interior world, as it helps to satisfy their inherent instincts for a safe space off the ground.

I might personally think a good mix of indoor and outdoor time is important for them but I can certainly understand why people might like to keep them indoors.

I am also aware that you should not let your Cat roam outside in some remote towns in certain countries since those areas can have very high levels of feral Cats and ‘Cat Traps’ are in place much closer to the homes than you might believe.

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