Indoors vs Outdoors - What Is Best For Your Cat?
08.04.21 April 08, 2021 Health

Indoors vs Outdoors - What Is Best For Your Cat?

When most of us think of cats we probably envisage playful felines climbing trees or stalking the local pigeons. There’s no doubt that cats love the outdoors. The outside is like a giant playground for cats who love to climb, chase and play. But many of us choose to keep our cats indoors and, with the right kind of care, that can be okay too. There are pros and cons to both options and there are many things to consider when deciding whether to let your cat outside or keep them as house cats. Here we discuss some of the main things to think about when choosing whether to allow your own feline to roam outside or keep them indoors.   Should I Let My Cat Outside? The likelihood is that your cat is going to really enjoy the outdoors. There is a plethora of things for them to discover including trees to climb and wildlife to experience. Cats naturally like to roam and allowing them outdoors will give them a wider space to do just that. Some cats can become anxious if kept indoors, especially if they aren’t given enough things to do, or enough socialisation. Allowing them outdoors can relieve them of stress which can in turn stop them from doing negative things indoors such as scratching furniture. Bored cats can develop a number of other bad habits such as fouling outside of the litter box and marking their territory by spraying. These things are less likely to occur if your cat is allowed to let off steam and enjoy an open space. What are the main benefits of letting your cat outside? More space for their territory - cats are territorial by nature and allowing them outside will give them a bigger space to make their own. They can express natural behaviour - cats like to scratch and some like to spray to mark their territory. Whilst this is natural, as owners we often don’t want them doing these things in the house. Letting them outside allows them to scratch in a ‘suitable’ place without damaging the furnishings. Interesting environment - the great outdoors is full of all kinds of interesting things that will keep your cat occupied. The constantly changing environment that’s full of smells, textures and tastes will stimulate your cat in a way that won’t happen indoors. This brain stimulation is good for their brain development and will stop them getting bored. Exercise - The extra space provided outside will allow your cat to exercise more. They’re likely to climb, run and chase more outside keeping them physically fit. Rodent Control - cats have an inbuilt instinct to hunt and chase. It isn’t just about food either as even cats with plenty of food will still stalk their prey. Allowing your cats outdoors can help keep unwanted rodents, such as mice, to a minimum.   What are the risks of letting your cat outside? Injuries - this can depend greatly on where you live, but the risk of injury is greatly increased when your cat goes outside. Many cats are injured due to road traffic. This can be due to busy roads in town, but also country roads where your cat may be caught off-guard. Cats can also become injured by other animals outside. Fighting can be reduced by neutering your cat but can still occur when new cats come into their territory. Illness - Allowing your cat outside can put them at an increased risk of catching illnesses and diseases. If you do allow your cat outside always ensure they are fully vaccinated. Parasites - Any cat, whether indoor or outdoor, can catch parasites such as fleas or ticks, but the risk is greatly increased if they venture outdoors. Make sure you treat your cat to help prevent and treat parasites. Speak to your vet to see what they think is the best way to do this. Loss - Cats that go outside can go missing for a number of different reasons. It could be due to injury, getting trapped in a strange building or even theft. Sometimes cats will be taken in by someone mistaking them for a stray. Before letting your cat outside ensure that they are microchipped to help increase the chance of their return if they do go missing. Poisons - There are a number of things that can poison your cat including garden chemicals, anti-freeze and slug pellets. Make sure all of your garden chemicals are stored well out of reach of cats and make sure any spillages are always cleaned up thoroughly.  If you think your cat may have ingested poison, seek veterinary care immediately.   Ways to help keep your outdoor cat safe Collar - let them wear a collar, preferably with some kind of reflective panel for visibility and an ID tag in case they get lost. Make sure it has a safety breakaway buckle in case it gets caught whilst climbing. Microchip - all pets should really microchipped in case of loss. A collar can come off, whereas a microchip is always there They’re much more likely to be returned home if they get lost. Get them vaccinated - to ward off any unwanted diseases. Get them treated for fleas - regularly treat them for fleas and other parasites. Get them neutered - you need to reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancies as soon as possible. Enclose your garden - if you Iive in a busy town you could consider making your garden as enclosed as possible to deter them from straying any further than the boundary.   Should I keep my cat indoors? Ideally all cats would be given at least a bit of time to experience the outdoors. However, some cats adapt very well to living an indoor lifestyle, especially if they do so from a young age. Some cats will need to live indoors due to certain medical conditions and some actually prefer living indoors. There are many pedigree breeds, such as Ragdolls, that will benefit from being kept indoors. The key is to give your indoor cat a healthy environment to live in and replicate a cat’s outdoor habit indoors. As long as your cat is given plenty of socialisation, areas to climb and scratch as well things to play with, they will probably lead healthy fulfilled indoor lives.   What are the main benefits of keeping your cat indoors? Protected from loss - indoor cats are much less likely to get lost or stolen. Be aware of open windows around the house so they don’t escape! Less risk of catching fleas or other parasites - there is still a slight risk they could parasites, but the risk is greatly reduced if they don’t go outdoors. Less risk of disease - The reduced contact with other animals means they will be less likely to catch certain diseases and infections. Less likely to hunt - Unless you have mice in your house, your cat probably won’t hunt. This means you won’t find ‘presents’ on your doorstep in the mornings!   What are the risks of keeping your cat indoors? Risk of boredom - Indoor cats are more likely to grow bored if not given enough things to keep them occupied, which can result in negative behaviours such as spraying, aggression and scratching furniture. It’s important to give your cats plenty to do in the house with a good scratching tree and plenty of toys to keep them stimulated. Can become more dependent on routine - A static environment can lead your cat to fear change. They can become sensitive to even slight changes in their routine which can lead to stress. Lack of hiding places - if your cat can’t get outside, it may not give them many places to hide from visitors or other pets. Even sociable cats like their own space sometimes. If you do choose to keep your cat indoors make sure they have places that they can retreat to when they want some alone time. Houseplants - Just as there are some hazardous plants outdoors there are also some that we keep as houseplants. Be aware of these and keep them out of reach of your cats.   Enhancing your house for an indoor cat All cats need some indoor stimulation, but house cats need even more than outdoor cats. Here are some top tips for setting up the home for indoor cats: Toys - Make sure they have lots of things to play with. A variety of different types of toy will keep their bodies active and their brains working. A place to scratch - All cats need to scratch to keep their claws healthy. A scratch post or two around the home will encourage them not to scratch your furniture. Places to climb - This could as part of the scratching post if you choose something with platforms and multiple posts for them to explore. Cats like to be high up and giving them a tall scratch post to do this is ideal. A place to hide - Many cats will naturally flee from strangers and giving them, some hiding places is the perfect way to do this. A quiet place for their litter tray - cats are quite private creatures and will appreciate a bit of privacy when going to the loo. Keep their litter tray in a secluded spot so that they are encouraged to use it. You could consider a covered tray too which will give them even more privacy than an open one.  Places to roam - indoor cats should have access to a number of rooms that they're allowed to explore. Also think about leaving room on a windowsill for them to sit as they'll enjoy looking out of the window and watching wildlife.   Should your cat be an indoor or an outdoor cat? This really does come down to the individual pet owner, the cat that they own and the kind of lifestyle that they live. Both indoor and outdoor cats can live happy, healthy lives with the correct care, and there are pros and cons to both lifestyles. Whichever you choose for your cat, make sure you have read through our lists of benefits and risks and choose the right lifestyle for you and your cat. If you’re rehoming a farm cat who has lived outside their whole life, then you’ll probably need to consider continuing with an outdoor life for them. On the other hand, if you are getting a pedigree breed who tend to live more sedate lifestyles and have grown up indoors, then you may wish to continue with that. Heed all the advice and make the correct choice for you. If you want further advice, you can always talk to your vet.

By Zac Girdlestone

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When most of us think of cats we probably envisage playful felines climbing trees or stalking the local pigeons. There’s no doubt that cats love the outdoors. The outside is like a giant playground for cats who love to climb, chase and play. But many of us choose to keep our cats indoors and, with the right kind of care, that can be okay too. There are pros and cons to both options and there are many things to consider when deciding whether to let your cat outside or keep them as house cats. Here we discuss some of the main things to think about when choosing whether to allow your own feline to roam outside or keep them indoors.

 

Should I Let My Cat Outside?

Outdoor cat sat in the grass

The likelihood is that your cat is going to really enjoy the outdoors. There is a plethora of things for them to discover including trees to climb and wildlife to experience. Cats naturally like to roam and allowing them outdoors will give them a wider space to do just that. Some cats can become anxious if kept indoors, especially if they aren’t given enough things to do, or enough socialisation. Allowing them outdoors can relieve them of stress which can in turn stop them from doing negative things indoors such as scratching furniture. Bored cats can develop a number of other bad habits such as fouling outside of the litter box and marking their territory by spraying. These things are less likely to occur if your cat is allowed to let off steam and enjoy an open space.

What are the main benefits of letting your cat outside?

  • More space for their territory - cats are territorial by nature and allowing them outside will give them a bigger space to make their own.
  • They can express natural behaviour - cats like to scratch and some like to spray to mark their territory. Whilst this is natural, as owners we often don’t want them doing these things in the house. Letting them outside allows them to scratch in a ‘suitable’ place without damaging the furnishings.
  • Interesting environment - the great outdoors is full of all kinds of interesting things that will keep your cat occupied. The constantly changing environment that’s full of smells, textures and tastes will stimulate your cat in a way that won’t happen indoors. This brain stimulation is good for their brain development and will stop them getting bored.
  • Exercise - The extra space provided outside will allow your cat to exercise more. They’re likely to climb, run and chase more outside keeping them physically fit.
  • Rodent Control - cats have an inbuilt instinct to hunt and chase. It isn’t just about food either as even cats with plenty of food will still stalk their prey. Allowing your cats outdoors can help keep unwanted rodents, such as mice, to a minimum.

 

What are the risks of letting your cat outside?

  • Injuries - this can depend greatly on where you live, but the risk of injury is greatly increased when your cat goes outside. Many cats are injured due to road traffic. This can be due to busy roads in town, but also country roads where your cat may be caught off-guard. Cats can also become injured by other animals outside. Fighting can be reduced by neutering your cat but can still occur when new cats come into their territory.
  • Illness - Allowing your cat outside can put them at an increased risk of catching illnesses and diseases. If you do allow your cat outside always ensure they are fully vaccinated.
  • Parasites - Any cat, whether indoor or outdoor, can catch parasites such as fleas or ticks, but the risk is greatly increased if they venture outdoors. Make sure you treat your cat to help prevent and treat parasites. Speak to your vet to see what they think is the best way to do this.
  • Loss - Cats that go outside can go missing for a number of different reasons. It could be due to injury, getting trapped in a strange building or even theft. Sometimes cats will be taken in by someone mistaking them for a stray. Before letting your cat outside ensure that they are microchipped to help increase the chance of their return if they do go missing.
  • Poisons - There are a number of things that can poison your cat including garden chemicals, anti-freeze and slug pellets. Make sure all of your garden chemicals are stored well out of reach of cats and make sure any spillages are always cleaned up thoroughly.  If you think your cat may have ingested poison, seek veterinary care immediately.

 

Ways to help keep your outdoor cat safe

  • Collar - let them wear a collar, preferably with some kind of reflective panel for visibility and an ID tag in case they get lost. Make sure it has a safety breakaway buckle in case it gets caught whilst climbing.
  • Microchip - all pets should really microchipped in case of loss. A collar can come off, whereas a microchip is always there They’re much more likely to be returned home if they get lost.
  • Get them vaccinated - to ward off any unwanted diseases.
  • Get them treated for fleas - regularly treat them for fleas and other parasites.
  • Get them neutered - you need to reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancies as soon as possible.
  • Enclose your garden - if you Iive in a busy town you could consider making your garden as enclosed as possible to deter them from straying any further than the boundary.

 

Should I keep my cat indoors?

Indoor cat sat with two bowls

Ideally all cats would be given at least a bit of time to experience the outdoors. However, some cats adapt very well to living an indoor lifestyle, especially if they do so from a young age. Some cats will need to live indoors due to certain medical conditions and some actually prefer living indoors. There are many pedigree breeds, such as Ragdolls, that will benefit from being kept indoors. The key is to give your indoor cat a healthy environment to live in and replicate a cat’s outdoor habit indoors. As long as your cat is given plenty of socialisation, areas to climb and scratch as well things to play with, they will probably lead healthy fulfilled indoor lives.

 

What are the main benefits of keeping your cat indoors?

  • Protected from loss - indoor cats are much less likely to get lost or stolen. Be aware of open windows around the house so they don’t escape!
  • Less risk of catching fleas or other parasites - there is still a slight risk they could parasites, but the risk is greatly reduced if they don’t go outdoors.
  • Less risk of disease - The reduced contact with other animals means they will be less likely to catch certain diseases and infections.
  • Less likely to hunt - Unless you have mice in your house, your cat probably won’t hunt. This means you won’t find ‘presents’ on your doorstep in the mornings!

 

What are the risks of keeping your cat indoors?

  • Risk of boredom - Indoor cats are more likely to grow bored if not given enough things to keep them occupied, which can result in negative behaviours such as spraying, aggression and scratching furniture. It’s important to give your cats plenty to do in the house with a good scratching tree and plenty of toys to keep them stimulated.
  • Can become more dependent on routine - A static environment can lead your cat to fear change. They can become sensitive to even slight changes in their routine which can lead to stress.
  • Lack of hiding places - if your cat can’t get outside, it may not give them many places to hide from visitors or other pets. Even sociable cats like their own space sometimes. If you do choose to keep your cat indoors make sure they have places that they can retreat to when they want some alone time.
  • Houseplants - Just as there are some hazardous plants outdoors there are also some that we keep as houseplants. Be aware of these and keep them out of reach of your cats.

 

Enhancing your house for an indoor cat

All cats need some indoor stimulation, but house cats need even more than outdoor cats. Here are some top tips for setting up the home for indoor cats:

  • Toys - Make sure they have lots of things to play with. A variety of different types of toy will keep their bodies active and their brains working.
  • A place to scratch - All cats need to scratch to keep their claws healthy. A scratch post or two around the home will encourage them not to scratch your furniture.
  • Places to climb - This could as part of the scratching post if you choose something with platforms and multiple posts for them to explore. Cats like to be high up and giving them a tall scratch post to do this is ideal.
  • A place to hide - Many cats will naturally flee from strangers and giving them, some hiding places is the perfect way to do this.
  • A quiet place for their litter tray - cats are quite private creatures and will appreciate a bit of privacy when going to the loo. Keep their litter tray in a secluded spot so that they are encouraged to use it. You could consider a covered tray too which will give them even more privacy than an open one. 
  • Places to roam - indoor cats should have access to a number of rooms that they're allowed to explore. Also think about leaving room on a windowsill for them to sit as they'll enjoy looking out of the window and watching wildlife.

 

Should your cat be an indoor or an outdoor cat?

This really does come down to the individual pet owner, the cat that they own and the kind of lifestyle that they live. Both indoor and outdoor cats can live happy, healthy lives with the correct care, and there are pros and cons to both lifestyles. Whichever you choose for your cat, make sure you have read through our lists of benefits and risks and choose the right lifestyle for you and your cat. If you’re rehoming a farm cat who has lived outside their whole life, then you’ll probably need to consider continuing with an outdoor life for them. On the other hand, if you are getting a pedigree breed who tend to live more sedate lifestyles and have grown up indoors, then you may wish to continue with that. Heed all the advice and make the correct choice for you. If you want further advice, you can always talk to your vet.

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Waggel also offers flexibility by allowing you the ability to adjust your Annual Coverage and Excess each year to suit your financial needs. There are, however, other types of puppy insurance available such as maximum benefit, time-limited and accident-only policies. Maximum benefit puppy insurance policies refer to a mid-level type of cover for injuries, accidents and illnesses. With a maximum benefit policy in place, you can continue to claim per condition up to a pre-specified limit. Once this limit is reached, you won’t be able to claim for the condition anymore until it resets or the policy is renewed. Time-limited policies may seem more affordable than Lifetime and maximum benefit but they can be limiting in terms of what they offer. Essentially, they allow you to claim for conditions your dog has developed up to a timed limit. Once this timeframe has passed, you’ll be unable to claim. It’s commonly used for short-term illnesses and injuries, though health conditions can be unpredictable and reappear at any time throughout your dog’s life. With a time-limited policy in place, it’s unlikely you’d be able to claim for the same condition again which can be worrying for many owners. Accident-only policies are considered one of the more cost-effective forms of pet insurance simply because they only cover treatment and medical expenses related to accidents. Whilst this may be tempting for new pet owners who haven’t experienced ownership before, pets are very unpredictable and can develop health conditions at any point during their lifespan which an accident-only plan is unlikely to cover. For peace of mind, flexibility and continuous protection year after year, a Lifetime policy is sure to provide everything your pet needs and more. What Puppy Insurance Can Cover So, you’ve decided to take out puppy insurance but what’s really included in your policy? Most comprehensive policies like Lifetime and maximum benefit include coverage for veterinary fees such as diagnostics, surgery, medication and procedures, third-party liability in the event your dog is involved in a legal matter for which you’re deemed legally responsible, and the purchase price if your pet passes away, is stolen or goes missing. All of the above can go a long way in providing your pup with the best start to life. Some policies go even further, like Waggel’s Lifetime policies that also include dental and travel cover for pet owners. Dental health is a very important aspect of canine health and shouldn’t be overlooked. As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure your dog’s teeth are annually checked and deemed healthy by a vet. Your vet will be required to note down on their records that your puppy’s teeth are in optimal health in order for you to submit a dental-related claim in the future. Without a record of good dental health, insurers will be unable to determine the original condition of your dogs when they were young. With travel cover included as part of your policy, you can rest assured that your puppy is protected even when you’re both out of the country. Waggel offers coverage for emergency treatment when you’re on holiday outside of the UK and within a country of the Pet Travel Scheme for up to 90 days each year. No one wants to think of a time when their pet isn’t here anymore, especially in the excitement of bringing home a puppy. However, as a pet owner it’s something you want to know is covered during a time of sadness. When searching for pet insurance, it’s a good idea to look for policies that include death cover and benefits such as coverage for the purchase price of your pet if they pass away from an accident or illness. Exclusions In Puppy Insurance Whilst we wish puppy insurance covered everything, there are some things that are excluded. As mentioned above, most pet insurance providers exclude pre-existing conditions from policies which is why it’s so important to get your pet insured as soon as possible. Other things that aren’t typically covered in puppy insurance policies include routine, preventative and cosmetic treatments. Routine treatments such as vaccinations and flea and worm treatment are typically excluded as insurers focus on specific treatments instead. This also means you’ll be unable to claim for the cost of neutering or spaying your puppy. Fortunately, lots of vets have health plans in place which, by paying a monthly cost, can help you secure discounts for routine and elective treatments. Health plans often work in conjunction with pet insurance policies so you can continue to get the best price for treatment and protection for your pet at the same time. Conclusion Puppy insurance is a vital part of pet ownership that can ensure your pet is protected from as little as 8 weeks old. Choosing the right kind of policy is important as you want to ensure you get the most comprehensive kind of coverage. We recommend Lifetime insurance like that offered by Waggel as it includes cover for things such as vet fees and dental treatment. Insuring your puppy early means you can skip the worry of pre-existing conditions and rest easy knowing you can claim back the cost of treatment for any condition your dog may face in the future. Taking care of your new addition also extends beyond insurance and includes incorporating high-quality pet products from Lords & Labradors. To ensure your new furry friend gets the best start to life, why not explore Lifetime policies and get a free, no-obligation quote from Waggel? As a Waggel member, you’ll have access to an exclusive membership platform where you can book free vet, behaviour and nutrition consultations. So, when they say they’ve got your back, they really mean it. Once your insurance policy is live you can gain immediate peace of mind knowing your pet is protected for life. And if you’re thinking of celebrating this little win, why not explore even more premium pet products with Lords & Labradors offering comfort and luxury for your dog throughout every phase of their life?

    By Megan Willis

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  • The Importance Of Correct Nutrition For Dogs And Cats!
    29.01.24 January 29, 2024 Health

    The Importance Of Correct Nutrition For Dogs And Cats!

    Ensuring optimal nutrition for our beloved pets is paramount for their overall health and well-being. As responsible pet owners, it is crucial to understand the significance of providing nutritionally complete and balanced meals to our furry friends. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of dog and cat nutrition, exploring the importance of the right food choices, nutritionally complete homemade recipes, and the best commercial options available.   Understanding Dog and Cat Nutrition Your pet's nutrition plays a pivotal role in their vitality and longevity. Just like humans, dogs and cats require a balanced diet that fulfils their specific dietary needs. A well-rounded diet supports their immune system, maintains a healthy weight, and promotes optimal organ function. Pet food ranges from being more processed to being raw and rich in natural ingredients, finding the right fit for your pet is important!   Dog Food Nutrition Choosing the right dog food is a key aspect of canine care. With an abundance of options available, it's essential to prioritise nutritionally complete choices. To make an informed decision, consider using a dog food nutrition calculator and comparing different products. Look for the best nutritional dog food that meets your pet's unique requirements, taking into account factors such as breed, size, and age. Our favourite nutritionally rich dog foods are Orijen, Carnilove and Acana, they are all designed with your dogs nutrition in mind.     Dog Nutrition Facts and Guide Understanding dog nutrition facts is imperative for providing the best care. Refer to a dog food nutrition guide to navigate through the plethora of choices available in the market. Learn about your dog's daily nutritional requirements and make informed decisions that contribute to their overall health and happiness.   Cat Food Nutrition Cats, being obligate carnivores, have unique nutritional requirements. The best cat food for nutrition considers their need for high-quality protein and essential nutrients. Explore dry cat food nutrition labels to ensure your feline friend receives a balanced diet that supports their specific dietary needs. For a cat food which is high in protein and great for fussy felines we love Carnilove, they all have at least 80% wild origin meat content and contain No grains, potatoes, GMO, soy, sugar, preservatives or colourants.   Daily Nutritional Requirements for Cats Cats require a carefully balanced diet to thrive. Knowing the daily nutritional requirements for cats is essential for choosing the right cat food. Consult with your vet to understand the specific needs of your cat, such as the importance of taurine and other essential nutrients crucial for their health. In conclusion, the importance of correct nutrition for dogs and cats cannot be overstated. Whether choosing commercial options or crafting homemade recipes, prioritising nutritionally complete meals is key to ensuring your pet's health and happiness. Stay informed about dog and cat nutrition, consult with professionals, and make choices that align with your pet's unique requirements. By providing the best nutritional dog food or cat food, you contribute to a longer, healthier life for your furry companions. Here at Lords & Labradors we have a large range of both cat and dog food so you can pick the best option for you and your pet

    By Megan Willis

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