Is it cruel to keep a cat indoors?

Years have passed since felines have become a steady choice of fur companions for humans at home. If you are a cat-fanatic, you must, at one point, wonder if it’s okay to keep your cat indoors. The earliest evidence of cat domestication happened way back in the Neolithic period. Archaeologists have unearthed ancient cat DNA from all over the world, with ancient Egypt being a large historical tombstone.

Cats: Indoors or Outdoors?

Cats can be found both inside and outside the home. In the United States alone, there are approximately 60 million feral and homeless stray cats according to the American Feral Cat Coalition’s report on August 25, 2016. In most circumstances, domesticated cats have proved to be in better health and wellbeing than those whose cats reside outdoors. Scientifically, indoor cats live longer than their feral and homeless counterparts. Indoor cats, on average, can live up to 17 or more years, whereas at most, their outdoor equivalents only live up to two to five years.

Nevertheless, just because a cat can live longer indoors doesn’t automatically mean that it has a far better, happier life than its outdoor match. A cat’s right to roam and play in the wildlife has its own pros too. Letting a cat roam around freely, express, and discover its natural cat instinct is very rewarding. However, you must also keep in mind that certain cat breeds have distinct personalities that make for the great outdoors. The same is true for several cat breeds that were intended for the home. Many of them aren’t born to be natural explorers and aren’t as curious about their taste of outdoor freedom.

Some cats will be timid and wary when out in the wildlife and will find the unfamiliar sensory to be alarming. Some cat breeds are intentionally developed for domestication so they don’t have as much natural instinct to hunt in the wild. For them, they are just happy and content observing the outdoors from a distance or in a much more relaxed state. If your cat has a knack for the world outside, lovingly allow it to explore. Keep in mind that as it ventures out, your cat will also be exposed to risks that may harm its wellbeing. Keep it protected and ensure that it will not be able to carry certain diseases from any wildlife it comes into contact with outside.

Common Asked Questions

👉 How did cats become domesticated?

All current housecats share a common wildcat ancestor called Felis silvestris lybica. These cats were from the Near East Neolithic period and the Classical period in Egypt. Since then, several cat breeds have evolved.
They all have certain genetic traits, which make them adapt to becoming more of a home companion. According to a 2019 article published in Cosmopolitan Magazine, here are the best cat breeds with the sweetest personalities: Rag Dolls, Maine Coons, Siamese, American Shorthairs, Sphynxes, Scottish Folds, Somali, Persians, Abyssinians, Birmans, Exotic Shorthairs, British Orientals, and Shorthairs.

👉 Is it cruel to keep your cat indoors?

Did you know that outdoor cats are much more exposed to infectious or potentially fatal diseases? Outdoor cats commonly have conditions such as feline leukemia (FeLV), feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), feline distemper (panleukopenia), upper respiratory infections (URI), and abscesses that harm their health. With all these unwanted conditions lurking in the outdoors, be happy about keeping your cats indoors.
Although, if you still feel guilty about keeping your cat in the four walls of your home, Here’s a safer alternative you can do.
If you live in a secure neighborhood or if you own some garden space, you can create a “catio” enclosure for your feline to roam around. Good fences will allow your cat to taste the outdoors without the risks that come with it. A way to ‘catproof’ your pet’s outdoor experience is to keep your yard free from toxic plants, garden chemicals, wildlife creatures, and other dangerous objects.

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👉 How can you keep your indoor cat happy?

Indoor cat life isn’t entirely dull and lifeless –– as long as you offer your pet ample space to still roam and play. To ensure your feline’s domestic happiness, ‘catify’ your house, so it becomes a safe haven for them to enjoy. For instance, ensure that you offer your cat a clean litter tray, a nice scratching post, cat toys, and maybe a place by the window with an outdoor yard view.


In summary, both indoor and outdoor cats need a clean, safe, and stimulating environment. If your cat lives indoors, make sure you play with it regularly. Playtime should incorporate agile movements such as running, chasing, and pouncing to still simulate outside fun. Secondly, feed the cat in suitable food portions to ensure that it doesn’t become too obese. Regularly, take your cat to the veterinarian for their vaccines and health checkup to have a well-lived lifespan.