Let’s face it, most cats love being outside. The Great Outdoors is a place for kitties to exercise all of their feline instincts. The question is, how safe are outdoor cats?
Statistics show that outdoor cats live an average of 2-5 years, according to UC Davis, while indoor cats live up to 15 years. That stat in itself should lead one to believe that it’s best to keep your cats inside, however, is their quality of life as good inside?
Many would argue that bringing cats inside our homes robs them of their feline-ness, if you will. And I don’t disagree completely. Many cat parents simply have their indoor cats as decorations, accessories or convenience pets. Indoor cats are often left without anything to exercise their feline instincts and they end up just sleeping all the time. Without any interaction with their humans and/or exercise, indoor kitties will often suffer from stress induced diseases.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Kitties
That being said, the statistics are still clear that indoor cats live much longer lives. This is because outdoor cats are exposed to dangers that indoor kitties are shielded from. Even if you don’t live in the woods, there are predators that roam outside that can attack and kill cats that roam free outside. We once had a hawk in our front yard that had killed and was consuming a duck. If one of our kittens had been outside, it could have been the death of them.
There are also poisons that cats can get into outside. Roundup is unfortunately still widely used by homeowners and exposure to this can be deadly to felines. Antifreeze in the winter is another poison that can be fatal to kitties. We cannot control the environment in which our outside cats choose to explore, and the Great Outdoors isn’t always so great.
Vehicles are another posed risk to our outside cats. Even though they may be quick, people still speed and studies show that 5.4 million cats are hit by cars each year. Speaking of people, humans also pose a risk to outdoor cats. While we don’t want to believe that anyone could harm an animal, it happens all too often.
To offer your kitties the long lives they deserve, consider bringing them inside and only allow them outside when under your supervision. 🙂