Indoor Cats vs. Outdoor Cats - American Humane

Encourage cats to live indoors by making the inside more exciting and appealing than outdoors.
Cat lovers who want their cats to enjoy fresh air, sunshine, and the ambiance of trees, bushes, and plants, often feel guilt by confining their cats to the indoors. This was the mindset in my generation: that cats are free and independent creatures, and should not be confined. That they cannot be healthy, happy, and active, if not allowed to experience all the glories of the outdoors.
Have you successfully transitioned an outdoor cat indoors? What are your tips for success?
The outdoors allow for a much better environment for your cat to get adequate exercise. Additionally, time outdoors can promote mental health as it gives a cat time to explore and keep their mind active. You like bars and dimly lit places? You're an indoor cat. Up early for a run? Hello, outdoor!WebMD discusses the positives and negatives of indoor and outdoor cats.Is your feline friend an outdoor cat or an indoor cat. Share the story of your cat with us . . .
A pet that spends more time outdoors may live on average 2 to 3 years less than a cat that lives exclusively indoors. In addition, unexpected accidents may end an outdoor cat's life at any time.It is possible to find much that has been written on the indoor versus outdoor cat controversy. The scientific literature, cat books and magazines, as well as websites on the internet contain much information to help you make an informed decision for your family cat. We have a saying at at the Paris Hill Cat Hospital: Outdoor cats have a healthy lifestyle, but indoor cats never seem to get hit by a car. Although a bit sarcastic, this message is clear: outdoor exercise is extremely healthy for cats, but dangers obviously exist out there. Your cat is safest indoors.Indeed, sheltered cats tend to live longer than their outdoor counterparts, but they are also prone to developing psychological and behavioral issues.At the Paris Hill Cat Hospital, we have both kinds of patients and we know their specific needs. Outdoor cats require a different vaccination, nutrition and parasite program than the indoor cat. Our cat-focused staff will help you design a wellness program for your cat based on your decision for your cat’s lifestyle. Call us when you are ready.Many of the common medical problems we encounter at Paris Hill are seldom seen in outdoor cats. Urinary problems, diabetes, and hyperthyroid disease are almost exclusively seen in indoor cats. Contrastingly, fight wounds, abscesses and serious trauma from automobiles are only seen in the cat that is allowed to go outside.Below are some excellent reading materials about indoor/outdoor cats and transitioning one from the other. We've also included some helpful resources for dealing with some common problems you might encounter with indoor cats. Please refer to these resources as you acclimate your new kitten/cat to your home and its new environment. It’s 2016. Does it even make sense to ask whether you should have an indoor or an outdoor cat? The view that most, if not all, cats should live in the safety of indoors as opposed to going outside freely is not only widespread; it is often considered weird or inhumane to think otherwise.Yet, some people will poo-poo the dangers and speak of the outdoor cat they had who lived to be twenty. Of course that happens, but the vast majority of outdoor cats die an earlier death than their indoor counterparts. The found that indoor-only cats live an average life of 14 years while indoor-outdoor cats live only 4 years.