House cats outside is a good concept as cats have a reputation of being self-sufficient and low maintenance….I have to say they don’t need the attention that a dog does but they do need to be fed, groomed and played with…unless you want a bored cat shredding a couch or some other item.
Allowing your cats outside access to feel the breezes, see the birds while safe within window enclosures, cat cages. Remember that balls and catnip toys can only hold your cat’s attention for a limited period of time before he figures it out…..he needs interaction .
He wants to play Ferocious Feline conquering birds of prey and fur mice with you seeing his prowess. Without something to keep his mind occupied, chances are your cat will find something to do on his own…..you don’t need him deciding how to decorate your house….with shreds on furniture and soiled carpets.
House cats outside can work off excess energy and enjoy being part of a larger world as long as you are protecting them with the right safety devices such as cat cages or cat pens. You don’t need your cat bounding over a fence and getting hit by a car or becoming the object of a dog’s attention, or worse yet, coyotes.
Civilization has encroached on the wildlife domains and predators have become a serious threat to cats. House cats outside without safety devices become snack food for coyotes and other predators.
These predators are just trying to survive as best they can so safety is paramount. Dog packs and coyotes attack cats all the time but cars are the highest level of danger to house cats outside that haven’t learned to be wary as feral cats have.
The feral toms can threaten your cat and a fight could result in abscesses. Once the abscesses are healed he could still develop feline leukemia (FeLv), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), or feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). Unspayed females can bear unwanted litters.
However, is it wise to let your cats go outside despite the risks of predators and cars? If you’ve made a decision that your cat is allowed access outdoors then this won’t apply to you but if you’ve made a choice that your cat will be an indoor cat hoping to give your cat a long and healthy life inside, there will be times when you might feel guilty that at times, it’s a boring life for them.
Cats are best kept in pairs as long as they get along and then when you are not available they still have a companion. You also need to spend time with them playing so they get their exercise. Rotate the toys so they don’t get old and boring when you aren’t there to liven it up.
Make sure your cats have scratching posts and try to have a window that they can look out of to see things like a bird feeder or other activities that will keep them amused and interested.
Or, you might be able to have your house cats outside without the dangers. There are different kinds of enclosures available such as a sunroom over the patio, a lounging area in the window or an inescapable backyard cat enclosure. For many cats it’s the answer to a prayer….and for others it’s a trip to purgatory. Some cats respond adversely to partial confinement. For them it’s worse than complete confinement because they see all the fun stuff and can’t get at it.
High strung, active and curious cats with a high degree of sociability may not respond well to a strictly indoor cat enclosure because they want to be doers not watchers. A window enclosure probably isn’t a good idea if the cat urinates around the window but other options can satisfy even the most discriminating cat.
If you are a handy person you can build a frame and roof leading off of a bathroom window (or other window) so the cats can return when they feel threatened. The frame can be made of pressure-treated 4” X 4” beams with vinyl-coated wire fencing and aluminum screening, one screen being strong enough to protect your cats from dogs and other predators and another that is fine enough to keep out mosquitoes.
A corrugated fiberglass roof offers shade and allows the cats to enjoy the great outdoors even during rain or other unpleasant weather as well as preventing predators to get in from the top.
I have seen some really fun enclosures where people have put in elevated platforms and small cat trees and even a baby monitor to listen for threatening sounds. Cat cages in imaginative areas can spark their interest. Some are a little over the top, but it can be a fun project and your cat will love it.
A good example of a man who built his own cat enclosure is seen at Brad’s Cats. Of course if money isn’t an object you could have something built for you but for most of us cost is an important consideration.
Or……….you can buy a cat cage and although they aren't cheap there is a lot of variety. Amazon has a selection that runs from the low end of the price scale to the high end.
CatsPlay is a company with some imaginative outdoor kittywalks that range from the low to high end of the scale. Click on the link to the left and take a look at the variety. When you get to the site, click on "cat furniture by type" and you'll see pet containment systems listed that you can view.
I'm sure there are other options out there that I haven't thought to
mention, or perhaps that I am not aware of, so use your imagination to
enhance the life of your indoor house cat by allowing safe access to the