Cats have always been considered animals that must remain free, with access to the street to hunt, walk, and explore.
However, the streets are no longer safe places, and our pets suffer various dangers if left free. But is having an indoor cat cruel?
After reading this article, you will understand whether you need to let your cat stay indoors or out.
Is having an indoor cat cruel?
When you look at your cat inside the house that sleeps, eats, or plays with you, you think everything except that it may be sad or that you are not giving it what it needs.
In fact, on the one hand, it is like this: the cat’s animal welfare is respected if it is given the attention and care it needs to live in dignity.
On the other hand, saying that all cats suffer from being indoors all the time is incorrect because each cat has certain needs and a character of its own.
For example, the laziest cats will have no problem spending hours and hours in the house.
However, problems such as stress and frustration may arise for the more active cats, who never miss an opportunity to attack your ankles or take advantage and play with whatever they find.
Below we will look at the benefits and risks of letting your cat out.
Benefits of letting your cat out
a. Exercise: Outdoor cats definitely have more opportunities to do exercises by running, climbing, or exploring.
Being able to exercise means that your cat is less likely to gain weight and will be more active.
b. Instinctive behaviors: Outside, your cat is completely free to indulge in his instinctive behavior. In particular, scratching, which you wouldn’t want them to do on your furniture or any objects.
c. The outdoor environment offers endless possibilities for your cat: outdoor cats can explore larger spaces, make discoveries, and be confronted with a new taste, smells, textures, etc. All these stimulate his natural curiosity and his well-being
Risks of letting your cat out
a. Your cat can get lost: A cat walking alone down the street can get lost or be taken by another person with good or bad intentions.
A collar, in this case, will not necessarily work, as it can always break or not have identification. Other people steal cats to shoot dog fights and to train them.
This does not mean that this happens very often, but it is always a risk. So why take the risk?
b. Your cat may be attacked: Larger dogs can see a cat as prey and attack it. After all, instinct can predominate. Often, the owner of a large dog cannot hold him on a leash if he decides to chase a cat.
The cat, in these situations, does not have much chance of defense, especially if the nails are trimmed.
In addition, stray cats are subject to the dangers of wild predators, such as birds of prey.
c. Risk of infections: Cats that walk outside often contract infectious diseases. Some of the infections can even be fatal for your cat. Common illnesses include upper respiratory tract infections, leukemia, etc.
d. Your neighbors don’t get angry or poison your cat: Everyone knows that many people don’t like cats. Others even say the absurdity that they hate them.
In any case, people like this do not tolerate the neighbor’s cat using their garden as a litter box and can offer poisoned food, shoot objects, and seriously kill or hurt their feline.
Remember that cats inside the house are safe and free from bad people.
Cats on the street are, unfortunately, easy targets for people who hate them and often cannot escape their evil.
As you can see, there are several advantages of letting your cat out. In particular, he may find natural stimulation and an outlet for his instinctive behavior, and increased physical activity.
However, this also comes with certain risks, such as attacks by other animals, disease and pests, toxic chemicals and plants, etc.
Therefore, it is important to give serious thought to your cat’s environment.
Also read: Can cats have garlic?
Tips to keep your cats indoors
Suppose your cat is hyperactive and is quite the opposite of the typical domestic cat that does nothing but sleeps in the most unlikely places in the house.
Below we give you some tips to keep it in the house or apartment without it suffering. It is not difficult, but some precautions must be taken to make it easier to adapt.
a. Secure your windows and balconies
No matter how many square meters your balcony has, if it were for a child, you would do everything without thinking about price.
Because your cat also needs a safe place to avoid falling or getting hurt, you need to secure your windows and balconies.
If you live at home, keep your yards safe, such as adding walls to restrict access to neighboring roofs or tall trees that give access to the street.
An electric fence also works, as your kitten may even get a shock the first time it approaches it, it certainly won’t be back there.
As a bonus, the fence helps protect your home from thieves.
b. Provide a safe and comfortable place with some toys, water, and good quality food.
If you are away from home for a long time, think about adopting another cat so that one keeps the other company.
They will keep each other company, and you will be more relaxed. Remember to castrate them when they are small.
This will avoid undesirable habits such as territory demarcation or fights. This will make them calmer, in addition to avoiding unwanted crossings and more puppies on the way.
c. Vaccinate your cat
Even keeping your cats indoors, they need periodic vaccinations and quality veterinary care, as they are still at risk of possible health problems.
Remember that if you have chosen to adopt an animal, it is your responsibility to ensure it has a long and healthy life.
d. Allow your cat to have space to run around in.
Unlike dogs that need to go out to exercise, cats are “ambush hunters” and tend to run a lot for relatively short periods. Therefore, a room with space for them to run, and many distractions is enough to maintain the health of your cat.
You can provide toys, scratching posts and always give them attention with games. Getting a kitten to chase a rope or ribbon is a good option.
They are entertained for several minutes until they get tired. You agree that this is better than running away from dogs or fighting with other cats.
Also read: best cat window perch for indoor cats.
How to make sure your cat doesn’t suffer
To be sure that the cat is well, always keep in mind the cat’s nature and its character.
Remember that it is a very habitual animal, and any change destabilizes and stresses it enormously. When you are at home, cuddle him and make him feel loved.
Not all cats are effusive with their owners, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love them. They show affection differently, and each cat is different from the other.
Since you want your cat to live in the best possible conditions, try to enrich the space at home with something they love.
If you know he loves the sun, try to make sure he has a sunny spot in the house where he can lie down.
If you have a garden, you can start getting it used to playing with you and then letting it out every now and then for a while.
If you have a balcony, you need to introduce him slowly to prevent him from jumping downstairs and getting hurt.
As a safety measure, you can mount a net on the balcony to make sure it doesn’t jump down and be outside the house alone.
What if I want to walk my cat?
It seems unlikely, but some cats can get used to walking on a leash, like a dog. If you want to try, first get the cat used to wearing a collar and guide him inside the house.
Then, start the walks gradually, always returning if something happens that makes the cat very stressed. And be aware of the presence of dogs on the street.
Lastly, remember to walk with him on the street at times when the sun is not very hot, as your pet can burn the pads of his paws on the asphalt.
Many people don’t believe that it is possible to raise a cat without having any access to the street.
But indoor breeding is possible. Every day, more people are convinced that this is the best way to care for and dedicate themselves to the health of their cats.
By nature, cats are extremely adaptable animals and live very well in small places, as they are smart and independent.
It doesn’t matter if you live in a small apartment, or if your house has no yard, or if you spend part of the day outside working or studying.
Lastly, remember that cats usually take around 15 days to adapt to a new situation, such as not going outside. Therefore, it is better to get them used to be indoors since they are young.
Also read: how to introduce cats.