2021 can be the year YOU become a hero for all animals. You’ll still need to use preventative treatments. Cats can carry any number of infectious diseases. Determined cats can escape from gardens. The explanation for this simple. It is undeniable that there are pros and cons to both sides of the argument. Do not get complacent. Most of these repellents have strong odors disliked by feral cats. A feline with no experience of other animals will be especially cantankerous. Equally, older cats are often arthritic. Even the most pampered indoor cat may face tragedy, such as an unexpected and unavoidable illness. Keeping Cats Entertained Indoors Cats need mental and physical stimulation, quite a lot of it. Get started by taking ABC's Cat's Indoors Pledge today. Larger perches can attach to the side of a house or ground-floor apartment patio. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to feline care, though. 1. Indoor cats can still develop parasites, especially fleas. This can make it slightly ill-tempered and belligerent. If you let your cat roam, stand by this unless medically inadvisable. Outdoor domestic cats are a recognized threat to global biodiversity. Play with your cat each day. Senior cats are actually less likely to be involved in a road traffic accident. Cats loathe unsanitary conditions. Some cats are allergic to bee or wasp stings, for example. This can lead to retribution. Permanently identify dogs and cats through microchip implantation. Cats who are kept indoors can reach the ripe old age of 17 or more years, whereas outdoor cats live an average of just two to five years. Even if this is not the case, a cat can be seriously injured. You can help reduce that number by keeping your pet cat safely indoors, on a leash, or within an outdoor enclosure. Equally, do not let your cat grow actively hostile to visitors or family members. Even indoor cats should still be outfitted with a collar and visible identification. Some will stalk anything that moves, others are more selective. This will typically come from consuming something inappropriate. If you're starting your cat's retraining during the winter, a warm, dry bed to snuggle in may be just the ticket to convince them to stay inside. While cats enjoy toys, Behavioral Processes finds that many prefer human interaction and food. And your cat may become frightened and make their way outside if strangers come to work on your house or if there is a fire or similar disaster. I'm Richard, the lead writer for Senior Cat Wellness. It also prevents local birds or rodents from being hunted. It may have designs on territory outside the four walls of a home, though. It is impossible to make any guarantees about a cat’s lifespan. Do not let your cat grow dominant – that is a tough habit to break. To coach your…. That includes access to multiple rooms, toys and puzzles, and exercise apparatus such as climbing trees. The cat may then flee, likely leaving the yard in the process and going missing. In addition, leave curtains or drapes open. Cars kill about 5.4 million cats each year, making them the deadliest killer to outdoor cats. There are a number of pros and cons involved in terms of cats being allowed outside versus cats being kept in the home. Remove any clumping litter and scoop any waste. If your cat seems desperate to get outside, consider whether this is the case. It provides great climbing opportunities and, in multi-cat households, creates more play and rest areas by taking advantage of vertical space. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of keeping cats inside will prove invaluable in reaching a decision. The scent of your clothing will also pique a cat’s curiosity. Privacy Policy and Consider your neighbors in this too, though. Cats … The fewer hazards a cat faces, the likelier it is to prolong its lifespan. This can make the cat particularly territorial within the home. If your cat is willing to accept living this way, it remains advisable. Make no mistake, though; cats want to hunt. Your cat cannot fall pregnant, but it can impregnate another. As cats grow older, they are typically less robust. This can be heart-breaking for owners and cats alike. So, surely this means that the only thing that could be better than owning one cat is two cats.…, Cat are born hunters that usually have wide open, alert eyes. The cat may happen across a dangerous human food. Of greater concern are conditions like ringworm and even rabies. If you do not want your cat to go outside, it is your choice. This can include aggression and destructive behavior. This is how cats end up visiting other homes – sometimes growing reluctant to return. Yes. If the cat has somewhere it can cool off without being disturbed, it will remain happy. These include traffic accidents, contagious sickness, toxicity and intervention from humans with ill intent. It also keeps local wildlife safe! Some cats will be happy to lay on your clothes to experience these smells. Cats can be trained to accept your decisions, though. With indoor cats, a common spray target is either at the window where the outdoor cat was seen or on the wall opposite the window. Altering Your Cat’s Behavior Spay or neuter your cat. You just need to provide an appropriate lifestyle. Try different types of toys that allow your cat to stalk, chase, pounce and kick. This can lead to health and behavioral problems. For extra insurance, consider having your cat microchipped and keep your contact information with the microchip registry up to date. This is typically related to indoor cats, though. With the cold weather upon us, here are some tips for making the great indoors an interesting, feline-friendly environment that meets all of your cat's needs. This will provide limits to how far your cat can wander. Most cats are already resistant to sharing their home. Some cats will just get sneakier and make mischief when you are not home, but some will dev… He is the proud owner of 5 adult cats (all adopted strays), including a senior cat who is now 20. All felines have different levels of predatory drive. You should still supervise this. According to one source, more cats are killed by cars annually … Advantages and Disadvantages of an Indoor Cat. A cat keeping one eye closed all…, Cats are solitary creatures, often unused to sharing. You could also work to satisfy your cat’s wild instincts in the yard. and are at far less risk of contracting parasites and infectious diseases such as the feline immunodeficiency virus. 03 января 2017 Sue Hartley ответила: I think my answer to that would be that it’s much more difficult to meet a cat’s needs when they’re kept purely indoors. They also require more maintenance and must have hunting instincts satisfied. A senior cat may not detect a vehicle approaching until it is too late. If humans spend too much time alone, we become set in our ways and less tolerant. The average lifespan of a domestic indoor cat is 17 years while outdoor cats statistically live less than five years. Potentially just as dangerous are stings and bites from insects. Keeping a cat indoors for its whole life is very cruel and extremely unnatural. Cars. Protect your kitty from other cats. Photo: Fotolia In multipet homes, redirected aggression is a potential risk if an indoor cat spots an unfamiliar cat in the yard. A lack of stimulation can lead to behavioral issues. Consider building or purchasing a "catio" or similar enclosure to allow your cat to get a taste of the outside without the risks. What it does not know is what you do. You may not know this until it is too late. If your cat is home all day, it will grow used to being alone. Your cat may need more stimulation. Be sure to cat-proof the yard by checking that your fence has no escape routes and by making toxic plants, garden chemicals and other dangerous objects inaccessible. If your cat stays inside, it will not meet other animals – domesticated or wild. That means every room, every piece of furniture and everything you own. The onus is upon you as an owner to meet your cat’s needs, though. If you retain a strong bond, your cat is unlikely to turn on you. Cats who stay indoors have longer lifespans than those who are left to roam outdoors. Hunting games, played at least twice a day, should satisfy a cat’s instincts. In addition, indoor cats are less likely to develop worms. But I don't think it is cruel to keep cats indoors. The scientists concluded that keeping cats indoors could cut the risk of the pets picking up infections, but also passing illnesses on to humans, other pets, and wildlife. Cats can be master hiders and disguise themselves in the home. Buy a ready-made cat tree (often called a "kitty condo"), or make your own. At the very least, stir cat litter multiple times a day. If it cannot claim more land, it will take everything within an acceptable radius. For your cat to express fondness for you physically…, Onychectomy is the process of removing a cat’s claws. An indoor-only lifestyle for a cat is often chosen by an owner, mainly due to fear for their own cat’s welfare and concern for wildlife populations. If the cat was ever box trained, she will likely fall right back into the habit. If you constantly interrupt a cat, though, it will look to leave the home for some peace and quiet. Terms of Service apply. As per Veterinary Record, the likelihood decreases by 16% for every year of age. Your cat will look for, and seize upon, any opportunity to escape. Sharing your home with a cat is a very rewarding experience. An unspayed female that shows sudden interest in going outside usually has one explanation. In addition to hunting, cats are instinctively driven to climb, dig and claim territory. You have to follow cats where they want to go. Try to eliminate the factors that are attracting cats in the first place. Keeping cats indoors removes access to these hazards. The use of repellents is also known to be effective in keeping stray cats away. Outdoor cats eat or drink from these sources and find themselves infested. Cats are governed by survival instinct. Cats that live indoors need to be cared for appropriately. This will not reduce hunting instinct, though. It's a myth that going outside is a requirement for feline happiness. Some cats are happy to be submissive, while others will fight back and…, If your cat kisses you on the lips, it is expressing significant affection. Be sure your cat does not end up stuck in a tree, either. Consider building or purchasing a "catio" or similar enclosure to allow your cat to get a taste of the outside without the risks. Plant cat grass (available from pet supply stores) in indoor pots so your feline can graze. The Humane Society of the United States is registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Get rid of the bird feeder, put a lid on the sandbox and keep tight fitting lids on the garbage cans. More importantly, it will ensure your cat does not start eliminating outside the litter box. As discussed, indoor cats typically live longer. Shelter workers can give you tips on getting your pet back home safely. Introduce new sensations and scents to capture the imagination. If your cat is desperate to hunt, it can become frustrated by inability to do so. This could be a local pet with owners that cannot cope with kittens. Indoor cats are at lower risk for injuries associated with the outdoor environment (cars, trains, dogs, predators, humans, etc.) A cat that stays inside cannot run away and get lost. A regular fence may not prevent other animals from entering your yard, so you should always be present when you allow your cat outside in your yard. The way to resolve this is through play. There are four primary explanations for this shift in priorities. Our Cats Indoors program educates the public and policy makers about the many benefits to birds, cats, and people when cats are maintained indoors or under an owner's direct control. Few animals are more determined than a feline in heat. Please enable Javascript and refresh the page to continue Message and data rates may apply. A feline's front and back claws may seem insignificant, but they are essential for climbing, hunting, defending, and territory marking. The Journal of Veterinary Behavior confirms that prolonged playtimes reduce the likelihood of unwanted behaviors. It may have lost its bearings and found itself stray. Indoor cats can experience behavioural problems, but our advice can help Whether your cat lives inside permanently or is on strict instructions to be kept indoors for a period of time due to an injury or illness, our advice will help you make sure they are happy and healthy. You can find low-cost spray bottles online(link to Amazon) or at a local hardware store. What’s more, you’ll need to be vigilant. This keeps your cat healthy, reducing the risk of bacterial urinary tract infections. Cats that do not embrace their natural instincts grow distressed and bored. There are negatives to keeping cats at home. When you can't be there to supervise, leave out "toys" such as paper bags (with the handles removed) or cardboard boxes. CATS INDOORS PLEDGE. These cats are protected from traffic, disease and aggressive animals. If you want some respite, you could reach a compromise with your cat. Do not handle animal feces or urine with bare hands, and wash hands immediately after incidental contact. Kittens who are kept indoors are usually happy to stay there as they grow up. Although only about 10% of pet cats in the UK are believed to live permanently indoors, this figure is increasing, and is already much higher in the USA, where keeping cats indoors is encouraged. This is especially common if you have a strong bond. To keep your cat safe in the yard, you could set up a play pen. The less your cat interacts with other animals, the less likely it is to grow sick. Playing regularly with a cat and providing their entertaining toys can easily satisfy their stalking instinct, keep them stimulated and provide the exercise they need to stay healthy and happy. It also prevents a cat hunting and killing birds. This is the classic cat “training” technique. A cat left unsupervised may inadvertently poison itself. While keeping a cat indoors is not cruel, indoor cats aren't entirely immune to problems and dangers. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Forget what you may have heard – it is not, “cruel” to keep a cat inside. Keeping your cat as a house cat will help keep them away from busy roads, but some indoor environments can become predictable and boring, leading to stress, inactivity and obesity. This does not necessarily need to be a problem. Lack of stimulation and exercise can lead to obesity and behavioral issues, including over grooming, over eating, picking on companion pets, and self-mutilation. You will need to combat this within the home. Be sure to switch the toys from time to time so that they seem "new" and more interesting to your cat. You must be aware of this and remain vigilant about cleaning. My husband, an engineer, once built one for our gang out of scrap wood and chicken wire. Factor this into your decision. The biggest danger of keeping cats at home is boredom. If necessary, bring a little of the outside to your indoor cat’s life. Top 20 Reasons to Keep Cats Indoors To Protect Wildlife and Humans. This suggests that older cats understand the danger of traffic and moderate their behavior accordingly. There are certainly more benefits to this decision than drawbacks. They will not appreciate your cat attacking birds on their property. When letting your cat out for the first time, you must stay calm. Some cats can even be harnessed and tied to a stationary object to enjoy the outdoors while you are gardening nearby (but be sure to never leave your cat alone while they are tethered). If your cat stays inside, it will soil its litter multiple times per day. Create the ideal environment for your cat. A cat will be fertile for her entire natural life and continue to enter estrus cycles. If this turns physical, bites and scratches are inevitable. There are clear positives of keeping a cat inside permanently. All cats need a little time to themselves on occasion. Owned, free-roaming cats kill over 700 million birds in the U.S. each year. This does not mean that felines always make the best decisions, though. These range from the comparatively minor to the gravely serious. It can be particularly hard for cats to cope with living indoors if they have lots of energy, love to explore and have previously been allowed time outdoors. Whether a cat should remain indoors depends on a range of factors. The same applies to unfixed males, too. It will become an issue if you ever decide to adopt a second pet, though. This means your cat will not be able to go into hiding. It’s safer for all concerned to keep the cat inside. The occasional open window (make sure your windows have secure screens) or door offers a tempting opportunity for your cat. Equally likely is the potential to eat a poisonous plant or berry. Outdoor cats, meanwhile, can become grizzled veterans, learning how to survive over time. It does mean that you must respect your cat’s need for space, though. Provide a screened porch for your cat to experience the outdoors safely. 8. All being well, you will meet these needs in the home for an indoor cat. Also read our tips for finding a lost pet. For some people, keeping a cat indoors permanently is considered cruel. 2. As a result of this, I had many many cats come and go as a child. Prevention – or, in this case, protection – is always better than cure. This is preferable to attempting to track down a lost cat and fearing the worst. But…, Cats can develop a sudden phobia of using a cat flap. When you've tired out your cat, store toys that could harm them (such as toys with strings attached) out of reach. If your cat does not venture outside, it will not find itself disoriented and disconnected. It will also, theoretically, protect your cat from predators and wild animals. This can lead to wounded skin and diseases of the blood. If you cannot physically tend to your cat, ask a friend or neighbor to help out. Reply STOP to opt out. Animals claims that 15% of cats are lost and never recovered within five years of adoption. Indoor cats can grow bored and territorial. If you live in a peaceful neighborhood in which you can walk without encountering loose dogs, consider buying a harness and training your cat to walk on a leash. A cat that previously roamed will struggle with a change in the status quo. How Do Cats Show Dominance To Other Cats. This means that cats attempt to dominate each other. With dominant cats, this can take some time. If your cat is female and unspayed, pregnant is a lifelong possibility. My friend Linda also got a cat enclosure. If your cat does go outside while in heat, there will only be one outcome. These include: These are just some of the considerations that you’ll need to make. Fleas, for example, will happily leap from one animal to another. This is because remaining inside offers a cat a measure of protection. If you want an indoor cat, keep your cat home at all times. If your cat has assigned territory in the home, this should not be a concern. To decide whether to keep your cat indoors, think about the pros and cons of this lifestyle. The HSUS's tax identification number is 53-0225390. Expect to be scratched, clawed and hunted. Your cat will likely wail and howl near constantly. Be sure to keep your house full of exciting gifts for them, and spend as much time as you can keeping them company. Once a cat is in heat, instinct takes over. Jacque Lynn Shultz from the ASPCA notes that indoor-only cats live an average of 10-12 years, while outdoor-only cats survive only an average of 2 years. Eventually, though, a cat can be tempted out of hiding. Indoor cats are less likely to struggle with parasite infestations, though. The female wants to mate, and any intact male will be willing to oblige. Take her to the veterinarian at least once every year for lifesaving vaccines, as well as parasite screening and treatment. Feline herpesvirus or calicivirus, for example, spread like wildfire among cats. When it's cold outside, help your kitty discover the great indoors, Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity. Indoor cats typically enjoy a longer life expectancy and better health. For the former indoor/outdoor cat, a two-box system filled with fine-grain, clumping litter works best. Others want to see them firsthand. Many owners also sleep better at night knowing their cat is home. It just drastically reduces the chances of success. The outside world is where a cat can embrace its natural instincts. You should also ensure your cat is not alone for too long. Cats who live indoors live longer and healthier lives since they’re exposed to less threats like aggressive animals, cruel humans, toxic or poisonous substances, and diseases. Cats do not experience a menopause. There are clear positives of keeping a cat inside permanently. If you can, locate the cat tree next to a window so your cat can watch the action outdoors. 2. The latter can irritate a cat’s nasal passages. Assign your cat territory in the home and respect its boundaries. © 2020 The Humane Society of the United States Privacy Policy & Terms. Feed your cat indoors. There are certainly some disadvantages to preventing a cat from roaming. Estrus is a challenging time for both feline and owner. Under some circumstances, I accept that there are strong arguments for keeping cats indoors permanently. Indoor Cats Do Not Get Hit by Cars. It causes felines no end of distress. Cars kill more cats per year than the number of cats that are killed … This means that your cat will want to follow you, doing as you do during the day. Allow your cat to roam around your back yard. You just need to help the cat understand that you are in charge. This does not mean that felines are anti-social loners. What matters most is that you are consistent. Instead of letting your cat back outside as soon as they're finished eating, keep them inside for increasing periods of time. Other repellents include eucalyptus, citronella, and … Many are struck by vehicles while crossing the road. The cat has entered estrus, aka heat. By keeping a cat inside, it is less likely to fall foul to aggressive insects. A domesticated cat is unlikely to be this ambitious. Keep her on a leash or secured in a cage or other confined space where she can’t get out (and other cats can’t get in). Indoor cats do not get hit by cars. Your cat is unlikely to return home until she has mated. What’s more, it’s a chance to check up on you. Cats can be neat freaks, so clean the litter box regularly. My reasons for keeping my cats indoors is due to being traumatized from owning outdoor cats while growing up. Too late human interaction and food not fall pregnant, but it can not come into contact her... Are stings and bites from insects cruel and extremely unnatural dogs on a leash or behind a and! A lost pet just as dangerous are stings and bites from insects receive our exclusive e-book full of exciting for. Off without being disturbed, it will take everything within an outdoor Enclosure hiding! Are clear positives of keeping cats indoors can also save you a lot of it birds is cruel! Outdoor cat will look to leave the home cats where they want follow. Of it just some of the outdoors safely to decide whether your cat roam, stand by this unless inadvisable. See, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to feline care, though kitty discover the great indoors better! 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Result of this lifestyle eventually male will be fertile for her entire natural life and continue to enter or the! And healthy still need to consider that cats attempt to dominate each.! Factors that are attracting cats in the yard sleep better at night their. Toys, behavioral Processes finds that many prefer human interaction and food equally, do not want cat! Respect your cat is watching birds and considering how it would stalk and capture them shelter immediately to a. Heard – it is impossible to make of protection least, stir litter... ; padded perches can attach to the veterinarian at least once every year of age factors that attracting. For them, and wash hands immediately after incidental contact these sources and find themselves infested will stop! Strong arguments for keeping cats inside will prove invaluable in reaching a decision litter.