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Why You Should Keep Your Cat Indoors

Updated on March 21, 2012

The decision to keep your cat indoors can be tough for some owners to make. Owners may fear their cat is being deprived, if they are kept indoors. This should not be a matter of what the owner is comfortable with. It should be about what is best for the animal. The issue here is quality of life. The picture of kitty frolicking in a meadow is the ideal for some. But the reality is outdoor cats have a significantly shorter lifespan than indoor cats. Outdoor cats encounter more dangers than indoor cats. If you looking for the best quality of life your cat then you should consider keeping them indoors. Here are some very real dangers outdoor cats encounter.


Outdoor cats will most likely die from getting hit by a car. More cats die this way than those euthanized at shelters. Not only are cars dangerous to cats, but cats can be very dangerous to motorists. No one wants to hit a cat. Most drivers will avoid hitting a cat. This could result in car accidents.

Cat fights

Cats are very territorial animals. Outdoor cats tend to get in fights. These fights can result in “cat bite abscesses”. abscesses are localized infections that can be deadly, if not treated. In addition to bites and scratches, fighting cats can contract FIV.

Annoyance to Neighbors

Picture your beautiful garden or back yard. Now picture it covered with cat feces. You would be pretty upset, I imagine. Well that’s how your neighbor is going to feel, if their yard becomes your cat’s new litter box.

Lost or Stolen

It’s unlikely that your neighborhood is filled with “cat nappers”. But some people steal cats. Just because your cat has a collar and tags, doesn’t mean it will be returned. If you have a rare or expensive breed, it will be a target.

Wild Animals

Coyotes, Stray dogs, Snakes, Mountain lions… These types of animals sometimes prey on domestic cats. Even the toughest of kitties are no match for a coyote.

Fleas and Ticks

Outdoor cats often become infested with fleas. Not only is this uncomfortable for your kitty, but fleas can infest your home and bite you!

Older cats can get what is known as fly strike. This is when cats become infected with maggots. This can be deadly if not treated.


Weather related deaths are entirely preventable. Some would think keeping a cat outdoors during summer is perfectly fine. They would argue that cats are animals, and know how to fend for themselves. This idea is faulty. Imagine a hot summer day with no AC. Now imagine if you were trapped outside, wearing a long wool coat, for several hours. You would probably end up with heatstroke at the ER. My point is: if you wouldn’t be comfortable in 90 degree heat, than neither would your cat.


Anti-Freeze is a common poison ingested by outdoor cats. Anti-Freeze is deadly to cats. And once a cat has ingested this toxin, it is unlikely that he will recover. This poison trashes cats kidneys. It leads to renal failure in a matter of hours.

Everyone one has seen little puddles of this in parking lots and drive ways. It only takes a little Anti-Freeze to kill a cat.


Cats are domestic animals and rely on us to care for them. Outdoor cats have an overall poorer quality of life than indoor cats. If you’re worried that your friend will get bored indoors than buy him toys or get another cat. there are a lot of options for enriching your cat’s life. Bottom line is, If you want your friend to live a longer and healthier life, than indoors is the way to go.


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    • Cat Wisdom profile image

      Cat Wisdom 5 years ago

      I agree with this and voted it up! Many people feel that their pets should be able to run wild and similarly feel that they should not get their cats fixed because that is the way they were made. However, studies show cats will lead longer lives if they stay inside and are fixed. If you give them trees, toys, and attention, they wouldn't have it any other way!

    • DonnaCosmato profile image

      Donna Cosmato 5 years ago from USA

      Excellent set of tips on how to keep cats safe by keeping them indoors. Voted up.