Should I let my cat go outdoors?
The short answer is, "No." The truth is that many cats do like to go outdoors. They are hunters and curious and the world beckons to them. Many cats left indoors with little mental stimulation can develop unwanted behaviors that can certainly be solved by letting the cat go outdoors. So why do we recommend against letting cats explore outdoors? Two basic reasons: the safety of your kitty and ecology. Furthermore, as never before, there is a multitude of great ways for cats to enjoy full indoor lives.
1. Indoor cats live to mid-teens whereas cats that go outdoors live only half that long, succumbing to fatal injuries from automobiles, animal attacks, abuse, and disease. "It's a jungle out there!"
2. Cats are exceptional and natural hunters. In the United States alone, outdoor cats kill approximately 2.4 billion birds every year! Cats have contributed to the extinction of 63 species of birds, mammals, and reptiles in the wild and continue to adversely impact a wide variety of other species. Learn more >>
3. Your health is a stake as well. Cats that go outdoors can transmit rabies, toxoplasmosis, typhus, plague, and other viral and parasitic diseases to their humans.
The good news is that, unlike us, cats do not need outdoor sunlight to keep healthy and there are so many ways for cats to have a full life indoors.
1. Indoor cat enrichment: There are too many websites to count offering DIY games and activities, music, furniture, toys, and the like! Learn more >>
2. Some cats learn to tolerate a secure harness and can be taught to walk on a leash outdoors. This is a safe way for both the cat and the owner to explore together. Learn more >>
3. 'Catios' are safe outdoor enclosures for cats that allow the excitement of being outdoors without the risks. Learn more >>