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Should You Keep Your Cat Indoors Or Out?

Aug 13, 2008
There has long been a great debate about how to properly keep a pet as a cat. While some believe it is best to keep them indoors in order to prevent the spread of feline disease and to save the lives of birds, others believe that keeping cats indoors contributes to feline behavior problems and does not allow cats to express their natural tendencies. So, which choice is best for you and your pet? In order to make the right decision, there are many things that you need to consider.

Why Do You Have a Pet Cat?

In the past, cats were primarily kept in order to help farmers keep the mice out of their grain. Therefore, keeping the cat outdoors made sense. After all, how is your kitty going to act as a mouser if it is kept indoors? Today, however, many people keep a cat simply for companionship. If you view your kitty as a family member rather than a mouser to help keep pests away, you might want to consider keeping it indoors. This way, it will live a longer and healthier life. In fact, outdoor cats only have an average lifespan of about five years, while indoor cats live an average of 16 years.

Where Do You Live?

The place where you live also has an impact on whether your cat should stay indoors or if it can live outdoors. If you live in the city, allowing your cat to roam outdoors may not be a good idea. The population density of humans is quite thick in the city and outdoor cats can easily and quickly spread disease to one another when allowed to live freely outside. Even if your vaccinated your cat, the vaccines will not be able to fully protect your feline friend. If you live in the country, however, the spread of disease may not be as big of a concern. Of course, you still need to be concerned about traffic and your kitty getting killed on the road.

Are You Allergic?

If you love cats, but you are allergic to their dander, you may not have any other choice but to keep your cat outside. Many people with cat allergies can handle spending time with their feline friends if that time is spent outdoors. Once inside, however, the dander throughout the house can make life very uncomfortable for someone that suffers from allergies. Even if you are not allergic to cats, the fur and other messes left behind by indoor cats may be undesirable to you. In this case, keeping your cat outdoors may be the best answer.

For the overall health of your cat, keeping it indoors is certainly the best option. If circumstances make it so your cat must be an outside pet, however, be certain to provide it with plenty of shelter and attention. If you live on a farm with a barn, the barn can certainly serve as your pet's shelter. In the absence of a barn, you should construct some sort of building or home for your cat so it can get out of the sun, wind, rain, and snow when necessary.
About the Author
CS Swarens is the president of Find a Pet Online. 800 998-7065 For additional information on dogs, cats, birds, horses, and exotic pets visit the internet's pet resource including pet classifieds at http://www.findapetonline.com. Research over 430 pet breed profiles at http://www.findapetonline.com/breeds.html
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