The Pros and Cons of Having Indoor vs Outdoor Cats

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What is best for your cat — staying indoors or outdoors? With so much debate on this topic, it is indeed tough to conclude. Some cat owners prefer to let their kitty go out in the wilderness, while others want to keep them home. However, keeping cats both indoors and outdoors comes with their own set of pros and cons.

Are you facing trouble deciding what to do for the welfare of your furry friend? Let this article guide you! This article is a comprehensive guide to learn about the pros and cons of having indoor or outdoor cats.

Petting Indoor Cats: Pros and Cons

Are you willing to keep your cat indoors? In some situations, such as while living in an apartment or enclosed area, owners have no choice but to keep their pets indoors. However, sometimes, the owner chooses not to expose their furry friend to the outside world.

Keeping cats indoors comes accompanied by significant pros and cons, as stated below.


  • Enhanced Safety

Safety is one of the biggest pros of keeping your cat at home. It will prevent them from entering potential outdoor dangers such as stray dogs, wild cats, moving cars, electrical wires, etc.

  • Better Grooming and Hygiene

Cats that are always kept indoors are groomed better. They will stay out of the dirt and dust outside so their fur coat will not get stained, maintaining proper hygiene.

  • Better Behavioral Conduct

If you keep your cat indoors, you will spend more time with them. It will help you greatly in detecting any behavioral issues. You can also teach better manners and etiquette to kitties this way.


  • Increased Boredom

Cats are curious creatures by birth. Hence, staying in a confined space for a long time can significantly trigger their boredom.

  • Lack of Exercise

One of the biggest drawbacks of not letting your cat outside is the lack of exercise. Staying indoors, they perform no exercise at all, making them lazy.

Keeping Outdoor Cats: Pros and Cons

Are you okay about letting your pet cat outside? Since cats love to explore, many cat owners find it completely okay to let their kitty go out and explore. However, before you let your cat out, learn its associated pros and cons.


  • Better Outdoor Stimulation

Going outdoors will help them have a better understanding of the outside world. It will help in the better decision-making skills of the cat.

  • Low Stress

Outdoor cats tend to develop lower stress levels than indoor cats. Therefore, the low-stress level contributes to keeping their brain active and healthy.

  • Healthy Body Weight

Since outdoor cats move around frequently, it contributes to their exercise, prevents obesity, and helps maintain a healthier body weight.


  • Physical Danger

The outside world is full of unforeseen dangers. Outdoor cats may encounter multiple life threats from feral attacks, fast vehicles, faulty wires, stranded trees, other predators, etc.

  • More Prone to Diseases

Since the cat gets exposed to the outside environment, they become more prone to complicated diseases such as rabies, feline leukemia, etc.

Health Concerns of Indoor and Outdoor Cats

Although keeping indoor and outdoor cats has pros and cons, you’ll have to encounter their health concerns in both cases. Here is a list of common health issues observed in indoor and outdoor felines.

Indoor Cats  Outdoor Cats  
Obesity is a greater health threat to indoor cats since the calories they consume do not get burned easily.Heatstroke is common in outdoor cats due to over-exhaustion from the external heat.  
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease in indoor cats occurs as they are accustomed to using litter boxes.Rabies occurs more in outdoor cats, as they’re vulnerable to outside animals like dogs, rabbits, other cats, etc. It comes with symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, etc.
Separation Anxiety in indoor cats occurs frequently as they are more attached to their owner.Food Poisoning in outdoor cats happens due to the consumption of stale food or exposed chemical substances.

Fun Activities for Indoor and Outdoor Cats to Improve Their Lives

You can improve your indoor cat’s life by introducing them to fun activities such as stimulation toys, scratching posts, block games, new companions, small perches, etc.

However, for outdoor cats, you can introduce them to climbing small trees in your garden or install a kitty jungle gym for their entertainment. You can even hang dry cat food at a small height for them to grab, giving them a scope to exercise. In this regard, the IAMS Proactive Health Kitten Dry Cat Food can be a great choice. It is a healthy snack primarily responsible for maintaining your cat’s immunity and overall well-being.


Since keeping your cat indoors and outdoors has mixed benefits and disadvantages, you can allow it to go on supervised outings to prevent them from running into dangers. Also, for better advice, consulting an experienced vet may be fruitful.

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