Outdoor Cats

Keeping your cat safe outdoors

Outdoor Cats

Monday, October 12, 2015 | NHS Behavior Department

Being able to explore the outdoors certainly has great appeal for a cat. It’s full of new smells, sights, sounds and texture­ – things bring great joy to most cats. While letting your cat run free outdoors is not recommended, there are ways for your cat to safely spend time outside.

Cat Harness

Taking a walk with your cat can be a great way to spend time together. Allow your cat time to get used to walking with a harness inside first, then start with short walks close to home to build your cat’s confidence.   

Outdoor enclosures and Tunnels

Whether you buy or build them, outdoor enclosures can provide your cat with a great outdoor environment. They come in a variety of styles and sizes, so they are able to suit most needs. Tunnels can be linked together to create a system of safe walkways for your cat to explore. Many enclosures are also connected to the home via a window or door to allow your cat outdoor access anytime.  

Enclosed porch

A fully enclosed porch or sunroom can easily be turned into a cat-friendly retreat. Provide him with places to perch, climb and lay as he takes in the view. If you’re going to let your cat spend time outdoors, speak with your veterinarian about the necessary shots and medication to keep your cat healthy.

Free roaming cats

Cats allowed to run loose outside typically live only 4 to 5 years, whereas an indoor cat has an average lifespan of 18 to 20 years. There are also many dangers your cat might encounter while roaming outside:

  • Disease and parasites
  • Automobile traffic
  • Other animals
  • People: Not everyone is cat-friendly. Someone may try to hurt your cat.  

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