Should I Let My Cat Outside?

Sadly, no.

But wait-- the outside is great! Outside, cats get lots of exercise, which is very, very healthy for them. Outside, cats can hunt, which is very, very good for them (but not so great for birds, bunnies, and mice).

Cats that go outside are less likely to become obese and less likely to have urinary issues than indoor-only cats.

Huh? Dr. Bales, you just said I should NOT let my cat out? It sounds like there are lots of benefits to outdoor life. Why not? Outdoor life is very risky. Why? Cars. Accidents. Fights with other cats. Fights with other animals. Contagious diseases. Parasites. Repeated pregnancies that result in sickly kittens. Have I scared you enough?

All of these can be very, very dangerous and often deadly to our cats. It is because of all these factors that outdoor-only cats live an average of 1 to 5 years, while indoor-only cats live 12 to 20 years.

So Catvocates, to keep them safe, we keep our cats inside only. But that means we need to understand what they are missing from their outdoor world. A happy, safe indoor cat needs MORE than food, water, and a litter box.

In the posts on this blog, I’ll give you up-to- date information on cat behavior and Feline Environmental Enrichment (FEE). I am a big believer in FEE, and I’ll be showing you how to use FEE to make your indoor cat happier and healthier at the same time.