Millions of UK households own a cat, with a big number owning more than one. Just like their owners, all cats are different, they all like to live differently and all like to scratch different parts of the sofa.

Just how each cat likes different things, whether a cat prefers to stay outside or indoors is different in each cat as well. While cats are naturally explorative animals and they generally express their most natural behaviour outdoors, they can live just as happily indoors. So, indoors or outdoors cats…

So, whether your cats prefers the great outdoors or the warm indoors, here's a breakdown of indoor cats vs outdoor cats.

Indoor cats…

Ideally most cats would be allowed even occasional access outdoors to express their natural behaviour, but they can adapt and live perfectly happy indoors.

  • Make sure indoor cats have enough to keep them occupied, whether that's lots of toys to keep them stimulated or even another cat to stop them from becoming bored.
    • If you do have two indoor cats, make sure they've got enough room to have space from each other, so they don't get irritable.
  • Cats need to exhibit hunting behaviour, it released feel good endorphins in their brain and keeps them active, toys can help with this.
  • Keeping your indoor cat active is vital, not only to keep them healthy but also to keep them mentally stimulated.
  • Remember that your cat's play time is more fun if you get involved, in the wild they would hunt in small, short bursts, try to mimic this.
  • Cats love to hunt, playing with toys that allow them to mimic this is great. Fast, small toys which catch your cat's attention is a great way for them to pretend hunt.
  • Using puzzle balls or toys to give food is also great, cats in the wild don't normally receive their whole meal for the day in a bowl. So mimicking their wild behaviour by making them work for food throughout the day is good for them. You can do this by hiding biscuits or treats, or using puzzle balls so they have to work for their food.
  • Remember that cats are very athletic, they love places to hide or places to sit up high. Providing spots like these for your indoor cat is a great way to allow your cat to feel more at home.

Outdoor cats…

Whilst being outdoors is more natural for your cat, it is also full of dangers. Being outdoors allows your cat to express its most natural behaviour. Cats are naturally explorative and inquisitive so being outdoors provides great mental and physical stimulation. But in some built up areas or cities, the outdoors can become too dangerous for many cats.

  • Outdoor cats are more likely to come into contact with diseases, parasites or poisons which can cause them harm. This cannot be helped but noticing the signs if your pet acts strangely can help with diagnosis. If you've got any concerns get in touch with your vet or for more information, check out our pet advice section.
  • Cats love to climb, they're great at it. But sometimes when they're outdoors, they can fall and injure themselves. It just happens sometimes. This can happen in loads of ways, from falls to traffic accident. Fighting other animals like dogs are other wildlife can also cause injury. Again, if you notice strange injuries on your cat, consult your vet for further advice.
  • Outdoor cats can go missing as well. They can get lost, become trapped somewhere or can even move in with someone else. Keeping your cat microchipped is essential for getting your cat back should they ever go missing.

Despite all these outdoor risks, there are some things you can do to help:

  • Keep your cat indoors overnight to protect from traffic. If not, a bright fluorescent collar would help your pet be seen and safe.
  • Making sure your cat is microchipped is essential, also keeping up the microchip contact details is needed.
  • Regular treatments for fleas, worms and other parasites. It won't stop your cat coming into contact with these critters, but will stop them harming your cat.
  • If all else fails, you can consider only allowing your cat in a smaller area, maybe your garden. Enclosing the space will prevent your cat from wandering.

So, indoors or outdoors?

For the most part, this choice is up to the owner and the cat. Seeing how your new cat prefers to act and live can help your decision. Being accommodating for your cat and giving them freedom and care can help greatly. Whether your cat is outdoors or indoors, they can still live happy, healthy lives as long as their needs are catered for.

What's your choice? Is your cat an indoor or an outdoor cat? We'd love to hear your opinions and choices on this. You can get in touch on Facebook and Twitter and let us know your comments. You can also use the buttons below to share with your friends.

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