The Feline Debate: Choosing To Raise An Outdoor vs. Indoor Cat

Tips and advice about whether or not you should let your pet cat outside.

When it comes to being a pet owner, there are many age-old debates that one must take a stance on: Letting pets sleep in the bed vs. not sleep in the bed, man’s best friend vs. women’s best friend and, of course, dogs vs. cats. Every pet owner has their own stance on these popular questions that tell a little bit about what kind of pet owner they are.

However, for cat owners specifically, there is one question that you must ask yourself before adopting your first cat which will affect their health, happiness and life forever―should your cat be an outdoor cat or an indoor cat?

Some people believe that cats, just like dogs, should have the freedom to roam around outside and experience all of the benefits that nature has to offer, from exercise to adventure to quenching the curiosity that these animals show so often. However, many animal professionals claim that cats who are allowed to roam outdoors are in much more danger to disease and harm than an indoor cat.

While the decision of whether or not to raise an outdoor vs. indoor cat ultimately lies with the pet owner, there are certain risks that come with raising an outdoor cat that every pet owner should be educated about before they make their choice. Here are just a few dangers that cats may face when they are allowed outside:

Life Threatening Dangers

When deciding whether or not your cat should remain indoors or outdoors, your should first consider their safety. Many statistics show that the life span of an indoor cat is much longer than an outdoor cat, but this takes into account all different environments. A cat that roams around in the country will obviously be much safer from cars or poisons that can be found in the busy, bustling city. Therefore, be sure that you be realistic about the safety of your environment before letting your cat head outside.


In addition to accidents or dangers that could prove to be life threatening for your cat, there is also the chance that they could contract an infectious disease if they spend a lot of time outside. For instance, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia (FeLV) are just a couple of feline diseases that can be transmitted from one infected cat to another. Given that the American Feral Cat Coalition estimates that there are approximately 60 million feral and homeless stray cats living in the U.S., there is a large chance that your outdoor cat could come into contact with one that may have a serious illness.

Becoming Lost

If you do not live in a home with a fenced in property, your outdoor cat is more prone to becoming lost or stolen. About 5% of all cats that end up in animal shelters across the United States are reclaimed by their owners after they have lost their way from home. If you are set on letting your cat head outside, be sure that they wear collars that carry identifying information or, better yet, are micro-chipped to avoid animal theft.

Where do you stand on the topic of indoor vs. outdoor cats? Do you think that felines should be able to roam around freely outside? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


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