Whether or not to keep your cat indoors is a decision you should make before you adopt a cat. A cat who has always lived indoors is much more content at staying inside versus one who has tasted freedom. Most shelters will require that you keep any cat you adopt from them indoors. The reasons for this are numerous.
Cats are safer indoors. Cats who are allowed to roam outside face dangers on many fronts.
Outdoor cats will often fight to protect their territory. A bite wound often leads to an absess, which is a pus filled pocket below the skin that will require veterinary care. Exposure to other cats who may or may not be vaccinated puts them at risk for many diseases including feline AIDS, distemper, and possibly rabies.
Outdoor cats are also in danger of being hit by a car. Some cats learn the skills to navigate the roadways, but many do not and are seriously injured or killed. Outdoor cats are also in danger from predators. Coyotes have become more daring in suburban and urban locales.
Cats themselves pose a threat to local wildlife, especially songbirds. Some rare songbirds are in danger of extinction from these graceful hunters.
Cat shelters are full of cats who once had a home. Some were given up by people who could no longer care for them, but many more got lost and could not find their way back home. You often see signs posted, “Lost Cat – Reward” with a photo of a beloved cat who didn’t come home one night. Keeping your cat indoors will help prevent an avoidable loss.
On average, an outdoor cat lives to be 4 years old. The average life span of an indoor cat is 14. To me, that is answer enough. I want to have as many years as possible with my furry friends.