Source: Hanna Herald (Extract)
Posted: May 24, 2022

The outside world poses many dangers to cats, whether related to human activity, other animals, or the environment.

In fact, outdoor cats even have a shorter lifespan than their indoor-only counterparts.

Some common hazards for outdoor cats include:

  • Predators (coyotes, wolves, hawks, owls, and other outdoor cats)
  • Poisoning (slug and snail bait, herbicides, etc.)
  • Animal traps
  • Hit by a vehicle
  • Being harassed and/or theft by humans
  • Wandering off or becoming lost
  • Parasites like fleas and ticks
  • Exposure to bad weather and extreme temperatures.
  • Outdoor Cats Impact on the Environment…

Outdoor Cats Impact on the Environment…

While being inside keeps your cat safe from all the above concerns, it also keeps the local ecosystem safe from your cat!

Outdoor cats cause problems too!

They dig and defecate in your neighbours’ yards, as well, cats are notorious hunters, in fact, it’s estimated that cats can kill thousands of other animals per year, including millions of birds, rodents, and bugs.

This disrupts the ecosystem, and it’s why cats are considered to be becoming an invasive species in Canada and other countries around the world.

Staying inside may help to keep cats safe, but an indoor-only lifestyle does have some downsides.

The main risk of keeping a cat indoors is that they won’t get a chance to exhibit some of their natural behaviors, such as climbing, jumping, hunting and generally exploring.

You’ll need to provide alternative ways for your cat to fulfill these behaviors indoors.

How can I keep my indoor cat happy?

Cats are territorial pets that thrive when they have a safe environment to reign over. In fact, cats will often become stressed or scared when removed from their home because it disrupts their routine.

Indoor cats often live longer, fuller lives than free-roaming felines. They just need the right diet, exercise, and stimulation to stay happy and healthy.

There are a number of things you can do to make sure your indoor cat is kept entertained and isn’t missing out by not venturing into the great outdoors.

Think cat toys, play sessions, exercise, and various platforms to climb. You can also provide them with cardboard boxes!

Even though your furball seems satisfied playing with your elastics and pens, you should provide them with a variety of toys that keep them occupied in different ways. The basics are toy mice, jingly balls, and other feathery, jingly playthings. Other great ideas are ribbons that hang from the wall and balls at the end of springy contraptions.

Another important type of toy to bring out every day is one that requires you to play with your cat! Think laser pointers, and other toys that you can move and shake around. Your cat will love the unpredictable movements of the toys. Many cats will also do impressive leaps and flips! This is a great way to keep your cat active while bonding with them. Don’t forget to let them catch the toy sometimes though!

Puzzle feeders are also good for cats as they’ll get to ‘hunt’ for their food just like they would in the wild.

Remember to regularly change your cat’s toys so they don’t get bored of them. If things start getting too predictable, they’ll lose interest. As mentioned above…even just putting down a cardboard box can be great fun for your furball to play in!

If you truly want to bring your cat outside, make sure they are on a leash or harness. This will ensure they can’t sneak off and get hit by a car. It will also keep birds and other animals safe.

Bottom Line: Keeping cats indoors vs. outdoors is a long-time discussion amongst cat owners. People in favour of outdoor cats will often claim indoor cats feel imprisoned.

So is it cruel to keep a cat indoors? The short answer is: Absolutely not. In fact, it’s preferred!

Check out our website to meet some of our indoor furballs looking for their furever home!