Cats are active creatures, both physically and mentally. They are curious animals with bundles of energy. While every cat is unique, each one is subject to different pros and cons, whether they live indoors or outdoors. Below we will discuss the factors of each lifestyle, as well as what a lifestyle comprising the two might look like.
Indoor cats have a life expectancy of 15-17 years, or even longer. Owners can provide for everything the cat needs, from food to toys to a litter box. Indoors, a cat can keep clean, safe, and healthy.
On the other hand, it may be difficult to meet all the needs of an indoor cat. Owners need to supply their cat with everything, and this requires a significant input of time, energy, and expenses. While food and cleanliness may be easy to give, exercise and mental stimulation may be harder, especially if you have a busy schedule. Thankfully, one can rotate cat toys to refresh its excitement and give it a scratching post, places to hide, and places to perch and look out at the world. You can even provide another cat or a suitable dog as a companion.
Outdoor cats have a shorter lifespan, but have a mentally rich life and plenty of exercise. There is no boredom in the outside world. However, there is also a plethora of dangers and risks.
Risks and dangers of the outdoor world include fleas, ticks, fights with other animals, diseases, and cars. Cats are dramatically more susceptible to harm from other insects and animals like dogs, other cats, and raccoons when left outside. They also do not have the instinct to avoid vehicles, so a significant percentage of outdoor cats do get run over, whether they live in the city or the country. Conversely, stray cats kill hundreds of thousands of small rodents and birds each year. Both the ecosystem and your cat are at risk of harm when a cat explores the outdoors.
The best your indoor cat can enjoy the outdoor world is to sit from a safe perch and watch the birdbath or the sidewalk. If you want to give your cat the benefit of the world, do so with supervision in a reasonably safe area. You could even walk your cat with a leash and harness. Tell your veterinarian about your cat’s living habits so that he or she can inform you on the health concerns to look out for.
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