So you've just brought a new cat into your home and you're deciding whether you want your cat to be an indoor cat or an outdoor cat? Firstly, check with your local council/territory regarding the laws of outdoor cats as some councils have curfews and other restrictions for these pets. Then, it is time to consider the pros and cons for each and decide which is better suited to your lifestyle. This blog is based on the blog written by I Love Veterinary Medicine.
Since there aren't a lot of things in a house that pose a risk to a cat's health, it is safe to say indoor cats are less likely to suffer from infectious diseases. They don't encounter motorised vehicles, have a very low risk of contracting Feline Leukaemia virus (FeLV) or Feline Immunodeficiency virus (FIV), or cat flu pathogens and have a low risk of picking up worms. However maintaining proper vaccination protocol and de-worming protocol is still of utmost importance.
Some of the issues we run into with indoor cats include maintaining a healthy body weight, maintaining a stress-free environment and ensuring the cats are mentally stimulated enough. Indoor cats become more dependent on owners for stimulation via toy-playing etc. Stress can be a big contributor to diseases for cats, therefore creating an enriching environment that is free from stress will be key.
As opposed to indoor cats, outdoor cats usually are able to maintain their body weight better as they are more active and also can provide their own stimulation. Outdoor cats usually experience less stress as they are able to go and explore their environment and interact with other animals.
Vaccination will be of even more importance in outdoor cats as they will likely encounter non-vaccinated or infected cats in the outdoors. Additionally, de-worming protocols will need to be enforced more regularly and there is even more reason to de-sex the cat to prevent unwanted pregnancies and also reduce risks of certain diseases.
As long as you have a collar on your cat with ID and take your cat for regular check ups to the veterinarian, this will help ensure your furry friend remains healthy.
Check out the original blog written by I Love Veterinary Medicine here.