If you keep a pet cat, you’ve probably wondered quite frequently – is your cat happy? It’s understandable. Cats aren’t as friendly as some other pets; they can scratch, wreak havoc just because they want to, and so on. But still, that’s not a reason not to love them. However, it is a reason to ask yourself would they be better off outside?
You rarely ever see an outdoor cat cause commotion. They just seem calmer. So, the question arises – are cats happier indoors or outdoors?
Well, anyone following reason would say it’s the latter. They’re animals, hunters. They need to roam free. However, that may not be the case.
In order to answer this, we have to ponder more than just this one question. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Let’s go.
Do Indoor Cats Behave Differently Than Outdoor Cats?
First, we’ll focus on the most obvious – behaviour. According to veterinarians and other experts, there is a direct correlation between a cat’s behaviour and the way it’s being kept.
One of the most common problems that cat owners encounter is urinating and dropping the deuce outside of the litter box. The second most common issue is scratching – scratching your arm or your furniture, to be precise.
And the experts seem to agree that this may be caused by living in a confined space and not having enough entertainment.
This brings us to the next question…
Do You Need To Let Your Cat Outside?
No. Not really.
You see, the problem isn’t the indoors itself – it’s what they get to do on the inside. You will rarely ever see a kitty with a house from www.aivituvin.com scratch away at furniture or its owner’s forearm. Why? Because they have fun.
Indoor kitties, just like the outdoor ones, need to have fun. They need to roam around, jump up and down, scratch something and hunt some mice around. They’re explorers and hunters – that’s what they do.
So, if you can find a way to recreate their free-roam life inside of your house or an apartment – you don’t really need to let your feline roam free.
How Do I Make Inside More Fun For My Cat?
As you probably know, just getting your cat a nice little house isn’t going to cut it. You could live in the nicest house in the world, but if you haven’t had any entertainment, you would probably get depressed.
Cats would, too.
So, what can you do?
Just like a house is a necessity – toys are, too. You need to get your housecat some toys to play around with. You can take a trip to the pet store and buy your kitty a few safe but stimulating toys to play around with.
If possible, get them something that moves around and makes noise so they can “hunt” it. If you’re worried about your pet swallowing a toy – don’t. They’re smart. They’ll realize it’s not food.
Another thing you absolutely have to do is allow them to look outside. Housecats love spending their time by the windows, just looking out in the world. And, don’t worry, they’re not wallowing about their tragic destiny of being “captive” – they’re just enjoying the view.
So, go out of your way to provide them with a nice, cosy spot right in front of the window. They’ll thank you for it by not scratching your arms off. We’re joking, of course.
Finally, get them some plants to gnaw on. But please, don’t mistake this for meals. Your cat needs meat. It might nibble on some catnip or rye, but it still needs meat. You may be vegan – they’re not.
However, the fact of the matter is, for some kitties, even this won’t be enough.
So, what do you do? Do you just let them roam free and hope they come back in the evening? What about the danger? Won’t they die sooner? Let’s find out.
Do Indoor Cats Live Longer Than The Outdoor Cats, Or Is That Just A Myth?
Unfortunately, this is not a myth. It has been proven, time and time again, that cats that live indoors live two or even three times as long as outdoor cats.
An average lifespan for a street cat is anywhere between two to five years, but the housecats almost always live past ten.
But where’s the catch?
Well, the catch is that the outdoors are dangerous. Your lovely little kitty could get into an all-out war with a dog or another cat. It could also eat something that upsets her stomach or even poisons it. It could even catch diseases like rabies, feline leukaemia or feline immunodeficiency virus, or FIV, which is essentially the feline version of HIV.
So, yes. Indoor kitties tend to outlive their free-roaming brethren.
But, still, this doesn’t change the fact that your cat wants to go out, doesn’t it? No, it does not. Luckily, there are quite a few things you can do to minimize the risk.
How Do I Keep My Cat Safe When It Goes Outside?
There are more than a few ways to protect your cat from the horrors of the outside world.
First of all – microchip your cat. There’s nothing wrong or inhumane (for the lack of a proper term) about it. This is a great way to ensure your cat gets back to you if it gets picked up.
Next up, put a tracker in its collar. That way, you’ll always know where it’s at, and you won’t have to worry.
Furthermore, year-round medical care is absolutely necessary. Take her to the vet to get checked out every six months if you let it roam around freely.
And finally, at the risk of looking like a crazy cat lady or a lad – leash-train your cat. If you don’t want it to go wherever but you still want it to experience the outside world – put it on a leash.
Final Thoughts – Are Cats Happier Indoors Or Outdoors?
So, what did we learn from all of this? Are cats happier indoors or outdoors?
Well, the way we see it, it doesn’t really matter. They’re happy if they get to do what they want to do. You might think that just because they’re safe and sound, they’re happy, but we find it hard to believe that a cat understands that regular food and shelter equal happy and long life. We’re quite confident they’d take their chances with the outside world if that’s what they want.
However, if you can make them feel like they’re free inside of your house or an apartment or if you take them out for a walk every now and then – we’re sure they’ll be happy.
Basically, if they get to do what they want to do – they’ll be happy. It does not matter if they’re in or out.