Inside or Outside Cat - Which Is Best?
Cats can live indoors or outdoors. It's really up to the owner. There are certain things you'll have to think about when deciding if you want an indoor or outdoor cat. There are also certain ways you'll need to care for your cat. So here's what you will need to consider when deciding where your cat will spend the majority of his time.
Pros and Cons of an Indoor Cat
Probably one of the biggest benefits of keeping a cat indoors is it provides more safety for the cat from other predators. It will keep them safe not only from other animals (including feral cats), but also from parasites and even vehicles - especially if you live on a busy street.
However, this also means an indoor cat becomes more dependent on people for everything. Your indoor cat needs to be played with more. If you're away a lot, this can lead to a restless cat who might begin destroying things. And when you come back home the cat might become extremely needy and clingy, looking for attention from you.
You will also have to have a litter box for your indoor cat. Many people don't like to deal with changing a litter box.
Pros and Cons of an Outdoor Cat
You might decide to allow a cat to be an outdoor cat because this is its more natural environment. This will give your cat adequate exercise. It's also far more stimulating because the cat has to explore its environment and it will keep him sharp.
No litter box is required. The outdoors are the cat's litter box. However, your neighbors might not appreciate it if you allow your cat to use their flower beds as his personal bathroom.
Also having an outdoor cat means fleas, ticks and many other parasites will become a concern. And the safety of your cat is at risk. An outdoor cat needs to be able to fend off its predators. There can also be a lot of unnatural predators (like cars) for your cat that he won't know how to handle.
You will want to be aware of your town's laws as well regarding outdoor cats. Some towns require even cats to be on a leash or in an enclosure if they are outdoors. So be sure to check out the laws where you live before deciding to keep a cat outdoors.
Best of Both Worlds
Another option to having a cat is a combination of both indoor and outdoor. Letting the cat come in and out as he pleases with a cat door can be an option. However, if you are going to do this then make sure your cat is up to date on his shots and that he has his claws. Safety is the number one concern for a cat that is outdoors. You also need to inspect your cat thoroughly for fleas and ticks.
No matter what you decide to do, always get your cat spayed or neutered. This protects all cats and is the responsible thing to do. Make sure to provide your cat with lots of love, safety, and exercise and you will have a good, long relationship with him.