Cats: Indoors or Outdoors
should be kept indoors, unless you can
provide them with an area enclosed by a
While cats who live strictly indoors
live an average of 12 -15 years (and can
live up to 18 or even 20 years), most cats
that are allowed to roam outdoors usually
don’t live for more than a few years.
Some estimates are that the average
life span of a free-roaming cat is less than
3 years. Cats who are allowed to go outside are placed at great risk
from many dangers which can cause injury,
illness and death.
These dangers include:
Being hit by a car
Being poisoned by chemicals such as
lawn care products, antifreeze, rat poisons, and others.
Contracting diseases such a feline
leukemia, feline AIDS (FIV) and feline infectious peritonitis
Being abused by humans – being
shot, killed or beaten
Being killed by outdoor wildlife such
a coyotes, wolves, etc.
Being injured or killed by dogs
addition to the dangers they face
themselves, there are other good reasons to
keep cats indoors:
Neighbors may complain about your
Cats may kill wildlife such as baby
rabbits, small moles and birds.
are, of course, many cats, whose humans thought
their cats knew how to protect themselves,
who have died from injuries or diseases that
they have contacted outdoors.
Cats cannot see ahead at the dangers
that they face.
You must see ahead for them.
cats live long and happy lives without ever
Kittens who are kept indoors usually
show no desire to go outside when they grow
are many things that you can do to enrich
their indoor environment.
Provide plenty of cat scratch posts
and/or exercise condos.
Play games with your cats.
This will not only provide them with
good exercise, but will strength the
human-animal bond that you have with your companion animal.
Put a soft seat by a window where
your cat can look out and bask in the sun.
You may want to plant a dish of grass
or catnip in your house for your little buddy to enjoy.
Consider getting your friend an
A screened porch is an excellent
bonus for a cat.
Provide your cat with plenty of toys.
Cats especially enjoy toys that
recreate a hunting or chasing experience.
These include toys that you can move
along the ground and in the air and toys
that are on the end of a string that you can
pull so that the toy disappears under
a rug or towel.
Open paper bags and boxes are also favorites.
you do feel that you must let your cats
outdoors at times, a cat-safe fence will
keep your pet safe from most dangers.
The Humane Society of the United
provides a list of companies that
manufacture ready-made cat fencing systems.
Other companies and organizations
have developed similar plans for
In addition, cat “sun rooms” are
now available from multiple companies;
several also provide blueprints and building
instructions for those who want to construct
their own cat-safe sun enclosures.
The following list put out by The
Humane Society of the United States lists
several companies and organizations that
Cat Allies Do-It-Yourself Cat Fence
Pet Products Cat Enclosure Kit
Classic Pet Enclosures
4 Cats SafeCat Outdoor
that you still need to keep a watch on your
cat when she is in the cat-safe fence area.
Be sure to cat-proof the fence to
ensure that there are no open holes where
she can get out. Also, be sure that the fence is in area free of toxic plants,
garden chemicals and dangerous objects.