Everything You Need to Know: Having an Indoor/Outdoor Cat

Everything You Need to Know: Having an Indoor/Outdoor Cat

Raising Your Babies - Human and Puppies - Together Reading Everything You Need to Know: Having an Indoor/Outdoor Cat 5 minutes Next Managing Your Dog’s Allergies

I am a self-proclaimed cat lover, but I also love dogs too. One of the things that makes me jealous of dog parents is getting outside and being social with their pup. Who’s to say cats can’t do these fun activities, too?? 

I was once stopped in my tracks when I was on a hike and passed a cat on a leash exploring the trail similar to all the dogs I had seen. This feline’s owner seemed to catch the attention of passer-byers – myself included – asking him about his unexpected +1! 

Similarly, I fangirled when I came across a cat in their owner's backpack at my local farmer’s market. How precious! 

Having a cat doesn’t mean you and your pet are confined indoors. In fact, I know of plenty of cats that are indoor/outdoor roamers – supervised and unsupervised. So, let’s discuss: being the parent of an indoor/outdoor feline. 

Step One: Know Thyself

Let’s be honest – an indoor/outdoor cat may not be the pet for everyone. I know I personally would get very nervous to let a cat out, even if I knew that was their MO. Furthermore, living in an apartment means I am not just going to have a pet that roams outside unsupervised.

That being said, I have friends with several cats and dogs – all of whom love to explore the outdoors! The cats get let out into their yard with the pups, and they love to romp in the grass together. My friends made sure, though, that their pets’ were equipped with a collar with identifying information in case they ever got out of the yard (see step three: be prepared). 

Step Two: Know Your Animal 

It is important to know that not all cats may like being outside. Now, odds are they will love to let their primal side show and explore a new place, but it is possible this would be overwhelming. Maybe you have a bit of a scaredy cat that would rather stay curled up indoors. 

If you want to test it out, you can try introducing your pet to the outdoors slowly. It might sound silly, but open up your windows. Maybe take them outside in a controlled environment with a leash if you can. Cats can be trained – it just might take some patience. 

Step Three: Be Prepared 

If you want to take your kitty friend outside, make sure you and them are both prepared. First, ensure they are up to date on all their shots, are chipped, and have an identifying collar on. 

Second, you may want other supplies for their outside experience. Maybe you want to keep them on a leash as they start to explore especially depending on your living environment. If they are a bit of an escape artist, you may want to consider a harness to ensure there is no Houdini magic! 

I recently heard a story about a cat whose owner keeps an air tag on their collar– that way, there is some form of tracking device in case they ever wander off. Personally, I am not super in support of unsupervised outdoor time. 

I know there are many cats that do their own thing outdoors. I know that would make me nervous as I would not want to put them at any unnecessary risk. But, maybe that’s the lifestyle your cat is used to! 

For The Social Cat

If you want to be like the farmer’s market feline and take your pet out and about, cat backpacks are in! These backpacks look like a little spaceship with a bubble window siding so the furry friend can see. Make sure your furry friend gets good ventilation. 

It is a good idea to take things slow if you are new to a cat backpack. Your cat may freak out being in a confined space and taken from their usual environment. Make sure they get comfortable with the backpack before putting them in it.

For any new kitty accessory, lay it out in an area your pet frequents so they can get used to it and explore it on their terms. If you do try out the cat backpack, consider doing so in calm environments before jumping to something like a large social gathering to get them comfortable. 

The “Catio” 

Have you heard of the “catio?” If not, allow me to introduce you to the cat-patio! Catios are all the rage right now. People are making confined enclosures in their backyard so their feline friends can spend time outside safely and unsupervised. Catios can be a fun project for you DIYers with an adventurous cat! 

In closing, our feline friends are bound to have a desire to explore the outdoors thanks to their primal roots. Having a cat doesn’t mean you are stuck inside! Ultimately, it is important to prioritize your cat’s comfortability. A harness or a backpack may be a big no-no for them. Maybe, though, it’s time to try to get outdoors with your feline! 

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