Outdoor Cat or Indoor Cat? Why Not Both?

Let's face it; when you own a cat, you can quickly become overprotective about their wellbeing. Unscheduled trips to the veterinarian, organic cat food and a full line of vitamins and supplements are quite common for pet owners who care for their cats. Unfortunately, this type of behavior can quickly lead to sheltering their cat.

For some cats, a life of indoors is very satisfactory. Scratch posts, catnip and laser pointers provide enough entertainment and exercise to keep them stimulated. However, other cats long for the outdoors and they make it their life's mission to escape from their confines.

"A lot of cat owners feel guilty about keeping their cat inside," says the American Humane Society. "They worry that they are depriving their cat of natural instincts or fresh air and sunshine."

These same owners who keep their cats inside are concerned about their safety. An outdoor cat is exposed to many more risks than indoor cats, and it can be the deciding factor in keeping your cat indoors. Outdoor cats are more prone to attacks from a predator, Feline Aids, dehydration and parasites.

Yet, many cat owners enjoy giving their cat the freedom to do as they please.

    Outdoor Advantages:

  • Exercise - The amount of exercise a cat will get outside is incomparable to running around your living room. Exploring the outdoors is a great way to keep your cat at a healthy weight.
  • Mental Stimulation - Believe it or not, housecats still have their wild instincts that they can rely on. Indoor cars may become bored or anxious from too much time indoors.
  • Happiness - "You can't herd cats." By letting your cat do what they please, you make them a happier animal.

    Outdoor Negatives:

  • Parasites: Fleas and Ticks are common for outdoor cats, if you plan to let your cat outside; you need to invest in flea control products to keep them healthy.
  • Trees: It's a cliche, but many cats get stuck in trees. If your cat is a climber, you may be calling the fire department at some point.
  • Killing Birds: Once your cat reverts to its wild personality, it can quickly go on a hunting spree. Don't be surprised to have a dead bird presented at your doorstep if your kitty enjoys hunting.

Introducing Your Cat To The Outdoors

When you have a younger cat that is ready to start seeing the outside world, there are a couple of things to consider before you open your doors. First, you want to make sure that your cat has all the necessary shots and Flea Treatments before they set out exploring. Ask your vet what they recommend for an outdoor cat.

Also, when you start to bring them outside, consider using a leash or set their cage outside so you can get them used to the new environment. Once your cat has acclimated to outside life, you can start to let them travel around on their own.

One important addition to a home with an Indoor/Outdoor Feline is a Cat Door. Cat Doors allow your pet the freedom to come in and out of the house without you constantly stopping what you are doing to open the door for them. Some popular Cat Doors include:

  • Screen Pet Doors: Since the patio is already the domain of most housecats, it makes sense to give the option to go outside through the screen door. These Cat Doors install fast and easy while they allow cats passage through the existing door mounts. Plus, these ones come with a lifetime warranty.
  • Cat Flaps: With the Deluxe Cat Flap Pet Door you have four different settings of safety for your cat. You can lock it so that your cat can go in, but not out; out, but not in; fully locked; or fully unlocked. The Deluxe Petsafe Cat Flap installs quickly and easily and can fit almost any interior or exterior door.
  • Ruff Weather Pet door: Quite possibly the toughest pet door on the market, this weather sealed passage is perfect for homes with dogs and cats. The sturdy construction and weatherproof materials make it ideal for climates with intense weather. Plus, the doors can be installed in four easy steps.

So if you're thinking about making your indoor cat an outdoor cat (or vice versa), be sure you have equipped your home with a pet door. By allowing your cat entry to your home, you provide a comfort to your cat by giving them the protection of your home at any time. Plus, they will love you for the freedom and independence that you've given them with the addition to your new home.

If you're looking for a Cat Door to purchase, be sure to ask the pet experts at PetStreetMall.com by calling 800-957-5753. The cat lovers are more than happy to answer any questions about any of the products that we carry in our catalogue.

By Sean Bowes
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