Indoor cats, outdoor cats or a little bit of both. It is a debate that's been going on for years and years and today we're going to tackle that sucker. Let's get catified.
This is not something that's gonna be resolved overnight and let's get to both sides of what the problem is. On one side, You've got well our cats healthier when they're outside, meaning behaviorally healthier. Yeah, they are healthier when cats are able to hunt and forage. Problem-solving nature's of being the raw cat they are more grounded in cat mojo. It's where it happens when nature throws you a curve ball. You learn how to adapt and that is historically, you know, where cats got their mojo.
The other side of things is safety. We know that cats who are outdoor only with a much shorter life than the ones that are indoors only. Indoors only have a lifespan on the average of about 14 to 15 years. If they're outdoors only, they only live two to three years. That's a huge difference. Cars are the problem. Disease is the problem. Fights between cats that can spread that disease, that's a problem. Birds of prey-huge problem. Bigger predators, nasty people and so on. That's what shortens the life of a cat who goes outside.
So, I think cats should be indoors. I'm selfish. I want my cats to live a long time. I don't want to worry about where they are at night. I don't want to hope that they're smarter than a car. It's plain and simple. So that's where I stand. The Mojo that might be lost with cats being indoor only. That includes mimicking the hunt catch kill eat techniques or what we feed them or the schedules that we keep so the cats can retain their raw cat rhythm.
I'm trying to make it work for everybody and to keep cats alive at the same time. Ok, that's done.
Now we're going to talk about you. You could either be sitting there agreeing with me you could be cursing me at the moment or you could be somewhere in between. I do have a favor though to ask you if you are going to let your cats outside. This is what I'd like you to do.
#1 First and foremost, make sure that your cats have proper ID.
That's a tag in a collar. Make sure that the collar is a breakaway the kind of it gets snagged on a fence or something like that it'll just come apart as opposed to strangling your cat. But that being said make sure your cat is microchipped. Only two percent of cats who are non-microchipped make their way back home when they get lost.
#2 Make sure you have the most incredible pictures of your cat that you can get.
So you get the whole face. Body shot so that you can get markings. That way if your cat gets lost you get those flyers, full-color flyers, big paper, reward. These are the ways to get your cat home.
#3 Make sure that your cat has had all their basic vaccines. Pretty self-explanatory.
#4 Keep your cats on a schedule.
First of all, it's not okay to just open your door first thing in the morning, let your cats go and then you go off to work. I want to see my cat's home by sundown. I want to make sure that I'm in control of their schedule and I'm not just hoping they come home. That's where stopping free feeding comes in. If you feed meals especially do it this way, you can let your cat out in the morning if you got to. But make sure that they're hungry so they come home when you call their name, same thing in the afternoon. As I've always said cats won’t just do stuff for you because you want them to. There's got to be something in it for them and food is usually that's something.
Make Indoor Cats Happier
I've let you know what I'd like you to do if you're going to let your cats out. But I want to make one more case for not letting them out.
You can still bring the outdoors in for your cats. And here's a few ways to do that:
If you want to bring the outdoors in for your cats and a catio is a great way of doing this so. If you have an existing space like a screened-in or porch, you can make it a lot safer with very little money and get your cats that experience of going outdoors.
Watching the birds from there. Hunting little bugs or whatever come into that catio. But that way you're still controlling the outcome of things. The second thing to try: harness training!Not all cats want it, but if your cat is one of those cats that really wants to be outside all the time, they might be okay being on a harness. It's a step by step thing. The idea is that you have control over the outside doesn't have control over your cat.
Another thing that you might not have thought of is cat TV.
Making sure that you have things like bird feeders outside the windows, your cats can look outside and passively engage themselves with that raw cat rhythm.
To that end, make sure that every window that looks out to the world
There is a bed in it, has a window box, has one of those ledges that you can get for very little money that create a nesting place for your cats where they could just hang out all day long and watch the traffic go by watch the birds go by watch the funny-looking people go by, stay engaged.
Keep Backyard Cats Safer
Finally, the last thing I'll give you if you don't want to do the catio and you still want your cats to be outside. If you have a backyard, you can use one of those systems. There are cat proofing fences that you can have in the backyard, some of which get attached to existing fences some of which are freestanding that can come with you when you move and that's as close as you can get to a win-win.
If you can't keep them fully indoors that you try to compromise a little bit and keep control over the outdoors like with catios and fenced in ways of approaching your backyard.
If you insist on the cats going outside, it is a parenting choice. You make your choices make them wisely make them lovingly and what more could we ask for right?
From Jackson Galaxy
Indoor cats Pros & Cons
Usually live much longer, and have fewer veterinary needs.
Might not be suitable for kittens. More likely to become obese.
Outdoor cats Pros & Cons
Generally suffer less from obesity.
Will almost surely die much younger, as they are more subject to injuries from fights, getting hit by cars, attacks by predators, as well as infections and diseases.