Some cats love to get outside and explore the world, while others like to sleep on the windowsill in the sun all day and never go outside. When you first get a cat, it’s difficult to know whether you should keep it in the house or let it roam around outside. To some extent, the cat will decide on that, but you can influence that decision when they’re a kitten. There are benefits on both sides so it’s up to you to decide which is best for you and your cat. Here are some of the pros and cons of indoor cats to help you decide.
The main reason that people want to keep their cat indoors is because of safety concerns. Lots of people worry about the dangers of them getting run over and you can avoid this by keeping them indoors. You can also massively reduce the risk of them picking up infections and diseases by keeping them inside because they won’t be interacting with other animals that might potentially pass something onto them. However, these fears aren’t always justified. When it comes to danger from the road, if you live in a fairly quiet area, you should be fine. Cats won’t venture too far and most of the time they’ll stay away from the roads. There is always the chance that they can get hurt but it isn’t that large. If you live near a main road, then it might be better to keep them inside though.
Infections and diseases are going to be a problem, but again, they don’t happen as often as people think. The main risk is fleas but as long as you maintain anti-flea treatments every month, they should be absolutely fine. You can also get sprays for the house to deter fleas.
Fighting is another big concern about cats that are outside. Cats are very territorial animals and when other cats try to come into their area, they’re likely to fight each other. Most of the time they won’t do any damage but there’s always the chance that they might hurt each other.
The problem with having an indoor cat is that it doesn’t get a lot of stimulation from other cats, or just from playing outside. This means that they become reliant on you as an owner to entertain them all of the time. Some cats can become stressed when you aren’t home because they have nobody to stimulate them and they haven’t learned how to entertain themselves.
This lack of stimulation can also affect your cat's development. Outdoor cats get a lot of mental stimulation which helps to improve their brain health and can make them live longer.
Mess is another issue as well. There will be a lot more hair, and what about the litter box? Some people don’t like the idea of having a litter box in the house, especially if you don’t have a good place to put it. An outdoor cat will just go outside to the toilet so you don’t have to worry about that.
There are pros and cons on both sides and there is no right answer. It all depends on your personal situation so weigh up both sides and decide what is best for you and your cat.