Should I Allow My Cat to Go Outdoors?

September 17, 2020 8:38 pm Published by

Some cats spend all their time inside homes or apartments, while others are given the freedom to roam outside before returning home to sleep inside at night. Every household is different, and each pet has unique preferences and needs, but there are some factors related to roaming that apply to all cats, and these should be carefully considered before deciding what’s best for you and your cat. Keep reading for more information about cats and roaming behavior in Alexandria, VA.

Pros and cons of outdoor play

Before determining whether it’s best to keep your cat inside or outside, it’s a good idea to consider some of the differences between indoor and outdoor cats in Alexandria, VA. Usually, both indoor and outdoor cats have access to the home at least sometimes. Many outdoor cats sleep inside to escape the elements and avoid potential predators overnight. While some indoor cats also have access to outdoor space, it’s not uncommon for indoor cats to be kept exclusively inside a house or apartment, without any access to the outdoors.

When deciding whether to keep your cat inside or outside, consider a few of the following factors:

  • Mental stimulation: One of the biggest benefits of letting cats outside is the fact that they have much more mental stimulation than indoor cats. Virtually everything in an outdoor cat’s environment has the potential to provide mental stimulation, from the sunshine and the breeze to insects and rodents in the backyard.
  • Instincts: Cats have natural instincts that are much easier to pursue outdoors. Cats enjoy hunting and chasing prey, including insects and rodents, and they often don’t have this opportunity if all their time is spent indoors. Understanding cats’ typical roaming behaviors in Alexandria, VA is also important when it comes to making a decision about whether to allow them outside. Because cats are naturally drawn to roam, it’s often beneficial for cats to have access to the outdoors, where there is plenty of room for them to wander and explore.
  • Safety: The biggest concern associated with keeping cats outdoors is their safety. Keeping a cat outside increases their risk of exposure to disease, getting lost, being hit by a car or being attacked by another cat or a predator.
  • Personality: In many cases, the decision between keeping your cat indoors and allowing your cat outdoors boils down to the cat’s personality. Some cats are overwhelmed by outdoor environments and have no desire to spend time outside. Other cats crave the stimulation and space that outdoor environments provide. It’s important to consider your cat’s personality to make a decision based on their unique needs to ensure they’re as happy as possible with their environment.

Making the right decision for your cat

Choosing to keep a cat indoors or outdoors is a personal decision, and there isn’t a right or wrong answer. If you’re having trouble making a choice on your own regarding the pros and cons of outdoor play for your cat in Alexandria, VA, reach out to Kingstowne Cat Clinic. We are a locally owned and operated clinic with extensive experience and expertise in caring for cats. Call us today for an appointment with our team.

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