There are a number of different cat breeds that love to spend their days indoors, occupying the comfy sofa and stealing all the softest cushions. But not all felines make perfect lap cats. Many are only happy if they can spend several hours a day outdoors.
In general cats thrive on a mixture of indoor and outdoor time. There are plenty of people who are unable to let their cats out, for various reasons. If you are in this situation – living in an apartment, for example – it is best to opt for a breed that will be happy to live indoors.
This Balinese cat is outdoors, dreaming of indoors!
Indoor Cat or Outdoor Cat?
As a general rule it is fair to say that cats should be allowed to spend time outside if possible. It is in their nature to love the great outdoors, and if you are unable to provide them with al fresco fun, make sure they have plenty of stimulation indoors, and choose one of the more docile breeds.
Most cats will get used to a life indoors, but there are certain breeds that are pretty much made for a cosy life of coaches, laps and rugs-in-front-of-the-fire. The Sphynx breeds, for example, being hairless, can be damaged by extremes of hot cold weather. They're quite happy if the outdoors is just something that they can look at through a window. The same applies to the super-shorthaired Cornish Rex and Devon Rex.
If you are adopting a cat that has previously enjoyed being outside, it would be cruel to lock her up. The equation works the other way round too – a cat who has been happy with her indoor life might get stressed if suddenly made to fend for herself outside. Some previously indoor-only cats might relish the opportunity for fresh air, though, so watch how they behave and judge the situation as best you can.
A Black Burmese cat is able to relax anywhere, indoors or out
Benefits for Indoor Only Cats
- Lower chance of becoming ill as a result of eating infected or worm-infested food, or poisoned rodents.
- Lower chance of catching diseases or parasites from other cats.
- Less stress and anxiety: no aggressive neighborhood cats or dogs to worry about.
- No chance of being killed on the road.
- No unwanted pregnancies, if your cat hasn’t been spayed (neutered).
- No potentially fatal encounters with wild animals.
- No neighbors complaining about cat poop and dug-up gardens!
This Birman is fond of her cosy corner indoors
The list of indoor-loving cats is long, and includes the following:
- American Curl
- American Shorthair
- American Wirehair
- British Shorthair
- Cornish Rex, Devon Rex
- Egyptian Mau
- Exotic Shorthair
- Havanna Brown
- Maine Coon
- Russian Blue
- Scottish Fold
- Turkish Angora
Benefits for Outdoor Cats
- Freedom. An odd concept in a pet, you might think, but throughout history the human/cat relationship has been based on the independence of the cat.
- Opportunity for natural behaviour: cats are born hunters and explorers, and being outside taps into their inbuilt urges and instincts.
- Stimulation and exercise – without the need for a room full of toys, indoor exercise to burn calories, and on-tap human attention.
- Cats are not pack animals like dogs, but they like to stake out their own territory, and that involves interacting with other cats whose territory crosses – or overlaps with – theirs. A lot of it might be face-offs, arched backs and a bit of yowling, but that’s all part of being feline.
- No litter trays or smelly kitty litter – your cat will discretely see to her toilet business outside.
This Manx Cat loves the outdoor life
These breeds all thrive outdoors, and would not be too happy if they were denied access to a bit of wilderness:
- American Bobtail
- British Longhair
- European Shorthair
- Kurilian Bobtail
- Norwegian Forest Cat
- Selkirk Rex
- York Chocolate
Outdoor Cat Run – Perfect Compromise between Indoor and Outdoor
If you buy an Omlet Outdoor Cat Run your pet will be able to enjoy fresh air and exercise, with the added safety and security of a fence between them and the dangers beyond. Think of it as a kind of cat conservatory or walled garden.