If you’ve decided on owning a cat—congratulations! Bringing a cat into your life can be extremely rewarding, and finding a perfected-matched pet will bring you a lifetime of love and joy. However, there are several factors to consider when selecting your new furry friend, including time, financial investments, and lifestyle changes. One question you should ask yourself is whether you want your cat to be an indoor or outdoor animal.
Pros of Indoor Cats
- While your house could still contain some harmful chemicals and germs that could pose health risks to your cat, it’s generally safe to say that indoor cats are less likely to suffer from diseases, especially ones that they could catch from other animals.
- Keeping your cat indoors can help you spot any behavior changes that could be a symptom of a serious medical condition.
Cons of Indoor Cats
- It can be difficult to keep your indoor cat active. They tend to become very dependent on playtime with you, so it can be difficult to keep your indoor cat stimulated and entertained, especially if you tend to be away from home. Be ready for lots of daily playtimes!
- While some pet owners believe that indoor cats are low maintenance, they should still not be left alone for long periods of time.
- Indoor cats can still scratch, hunt, and stalk, which might lead to some ruined furniture, curtains, and clothes.
Pros of Outdoor Cats
- Plenty of outdoor space allows outdoor cats to thrive physically. You don’t have to play with them for hours at a time for outdoor cats to get enough exercise. Outdoor environments can also keep your pet mentally stimulated. Overall, an outdoor cat will be less prone to behavioral or weight issues.
- While your outdoor cat might also take out some of his survival instincts on your furniture, keeping them outdoors will likely minimize damage to your personal belongings.
Cons of Outdoor Cats
- Read up on your city’s pet laws. Some may require your outdoor cat to be on a leash at all time or to stay within a private enclosure.
- While cats are generally hygienic animals, outdoor cats can catch fleas and ticks from outside and bring them into your house.
- Outdoor cats are more susceptible to getting lost, encountering vehicles, or brawling with other animals. If your cat has been declawed, make sure to supervise your cat at all times.
- Because your cat might encounter other animals, be prepared to take your outdoor cat to regular vet check-ups. You will probably have to get your outdoor cat spayed and neutered. You will also have to keep up on all vaccines, flea and tick preventatives, and heartworm medications.
Deciding how much indoor versus outdoor time your cat gets is ultimately up to you as the owner. Remember: finding a cat that suits your lifestyle will keep both you and your pet happy!
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