Updated by Sheryl on Sep 30, 2021
Studies have shown indoor cats can live 10-15 years which is significantly higher than outdoor cats who can live only 2-5 years because of the countless threats they encounter from being outdoors.
Cats are exposed to life-threatening risks when you let them roam outside freely. Busy roads pose the most danger for outdoor cats. He may get attacked by dogs or predators or start a fight with stray cats. And there’s a chance that your cat may get lost or picked up by animal control authorities.
Besides catnapping, torture, and killing by psychopaths, serious health problems by ingesting poisonous plants or chemical substances are common for cat parents. Therefore, it’s not the best idea to let an indoor cat go out without you being around.
Yet, some cats can feel bored when cooped inside. For example, if you have adopted a stray cat who was used to the freedom outside, will find it difficult to get the stimulants inside a house. If you see symptoms of stress in your cat from being indoors, it may be because he cannot exercise his brain. Here are a few things that you can do to make your cat stay indoors without getting bored:
If all else fails, you may need to take your kitten outside to relieve boredom and anxiety, but make sure your kitten is the right age. Because of the potential risks of infectious diseases, you should not let your kitten go outside unsupervised until it’s 6 months old. It’s crucial to neuter your cat by this time because cats can become pregnant at 4 months old.
In any case, don’t let your kitten outside before its first course of vaccination, which is around 9 to 12 weeks (depending on your kitten and the vaccine), and it’s advised to wait at least a week after the vaccination.
If you have adopted a cat recently, it’s advised to give him at least 2-3 weeks to make himself comfortable with the new place before you allow them outside.
Choose a quiet, sunny day when introducing your cat to the outside world to avoid stressful situations in the first encounter.
Apart from vaccination and neutering, there are also a few preparations to take before you allow an indoor cat go out:
Microchip your cat so that you can reach him if he ever gets lost. A microchip is a grain size device that is linked to your contact details. It is scanned to get information about a lost cat. Besides a microchip, you should also tag your cat with your identity. Attach a tag with the cat’s collar that contains your name, address, and phone number. Prepare a pet leash for your cat if you want to take him for a short walk.
Enclose the yard so that the cat cannot escape by any means. Block any holes in the fence, cut down branches that can help them climb up and jump outside, cover up ponds and remove sharp objects, pesticides, and plants that can be dangerous for cats. You can also consider installing a cat fence.
Training is important if you have decided to allow your cat outside. Teach your cat to come to you when you call their names. Call them and give them a treat when they respond. You can also use sound cues such as shaking their favorite cat food container or using bells to let them know you will offer a reward. Practice this training until your cat spontaneously responds to the cues. Also, try to schedule a mealtime and allow them outside shortly before the mealtime. Hunger will always make them come indoors.
It might be scary if an indoor cat suddenly gets lost in the outside. So, it’s always advised to microchip your pets to avoid any such circumstances. But don’t need to panic if you haven’t; here are some tips to get your cat back home safely:
Indoor cats will not be comfortable being outside. Most probably, he’s hiding somewhere. Search everywhere in the garden in the bush, behind the bush, above the trees. Take a walk around the neighborhood; an indoor cat who has never been outside is likely to be found within a 3-4 house radius.
Shake his bag of treats, open a fishy wet cat food, or make sounds of their eating bowls. Cats can recognize sounds from a great distance. So, if your cat is within his hearing range, he will come running to you.
Cats can smell things from far away; their smelling power is 100 times stronger than ours. So, if your indoor cat goes outside, you can use familiar scents to guide them back home. Putting the cat litter box will give you the most stick, which is gross, but it actually works. You can also put his favorite blankets, toy, or food bowl around the place.
If you haven’t found your cat yet, make everyone aware of your missing cat. Show them a picture or put of a poster with photos. Call a local shelter; it might be possible that someone has already found your cat and has taken them to a local shelter to a vet for assistance.