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Do all domestic cats want to go outside?

Why does my indoor cat want to go outside so much? Have you ever asked yourself that? And have you ever wondered: do all domestic cats want to go outside? And why does my cat want to go outside at night?

Let’s try to answer these questions.

Why does my house cat want to go outside so bad?

The outdoor is full of exciting smells that cats pick with their sensitive nostrils. There are also fascinating sounds and movements. A chirping bird, a grasshopper jumping in the grass, a turtle, a mouse. All these movements and sounds apply to the cat’s natural hunting instincts.

In the wild, cats didn’t live in houses. They roamed in nature. This kind of behavior is in the cat’s blood, the need to explore, find hiding places, and hunt. These are evolutionary traits that often exist even in domesticated house cats. That’s why your house cat want to go outside so badly. She’s simply acting according to her curious and playful nature, walking in the steps of her ancestors.

Do all domestic cats want to go outside?

Not all. That depends on the cat.

First, it depends on whether or not the cat has ever been outside. A cat who’s used to being outdoors will want to keep going out, missing the action the outside had provided.

A cat who’s never been outside is less likely to want to go outside, and an owner of a house cat had once told me her cat is afraid of going out. Some cats don’t even show an interest in being outdoors.

However, just because the cat is afraid of going outside, doesn’t necessarily mean she doesn’t want to go outside.

I had a cat many years ago, Milky. A delicate Persian slightly mixed with Angora. She’d put her head in the bars on my first-floor, ground-level apartment’s window, then she’d pull her head back. Back and forth, for hours. Watching the yard with such intense longing. But she didn’t dare go outside. I couldn’t stand it, so I picked her up and carried her outside three times. She’d clung to me twice, and the third time she leapt out of my arms and walked the yard. After that, she’d leap out the window on her own. She’d lost her fear of the outside.

It also depends on the cat’s personality. Cats who are more playful, energetic, and curious, are more likely to want to go outside and explore, hunt.

It depends on the size of the apartment, and whether or not there are hiding places and cats toys.

Why does my house cat want to go outside at night?

Cats are nocturnal, because their wild ancestors used to hunt their prey at night, when they couldn’t be seen in the dark. Many wildcats lived in warm climates, and it was too hot to hunt during the day. Although some domestic cats sleep during the night, and many cats show some level of activity during the day.

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9 thoughts on “Do all domestic cats want to go outside?

  1. I think most domestic cats like to lie on grass, watch butterflies and birds and soak up the sun for a little while each day. Since one of my cats was run over a couple of years ago, I only let my remaining cat out of the house when I am outside to watch that she doesn’t jump over our garden wall and to out of the property. She is happy to watch me work in the garden and play with the dogs and equally happy to come back inside with us when we do.

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    1. I’m sorry to hear about your cat run over by a car. That’s horrible.

      My cats are kinda wild, being feral and having grown up on the streets. If I attempt to watch them, they’ll run, and I’ll never be able to catch them. Some cats can be watched over, and some can’t. And they won’t go back inside when being called, either.

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  2. my Angel Bobo used to LOVE to go outside on his leash, but when I got him he was a stray and he was 6 months old and I think he was outside A LOT. My Cody was adopted by me when he was around 9 weeks old, I took him out once on a leash and he wanted no part of the outdoors which is fine with me!

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    1. It’s probably safer this way, when a cat wants nothing to do with the outside. This way you know he’s safe in the house, but not suffering because he can’t go out. If he doesn’t want something, he doesn’t get depressed that he can’t have it.

      I had tried taking my Angel out on a leash once. In two minutes, he was out of the leash and running around, and then disappeared from sight. And if I should ever try to put a leash on any of my cats, they’ll kill me for sure. They’re very aggressive.

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  3. One of our cats love to join us for walks in the hills of Northern England, not on a leash, which he hated – paws down, tummy on the ground, take this off me or else.. No leash, he’d come all the way – and back… Sheep country, with lambs, dogs must be on a leash – no rules about cats…

    Our present cat was badly spooked by severe flooding five years ago, when she was quite young. Outside had become terrifying – the house surrounded by deep water, but luckily no flooding indoors. This summer’s drought suits her much better – she’s going outside again, playing in the dust, like Tom Kitten and siblings… ,

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    1. Sheep country. I love that. That means no air pollution, traffic jams, or loud neighbors. Always loved the countryside.

      And you’re lucky to have dogs on a leash! I love dogs, and love petting them, but around here dogs roam around free, although on occasions you can see a dog with its owner. And every once in a while you run into a dog who attacks without provocation! I’ve been attacked twice by free-roaming dogs, large ones, one of them a German Shepherd. And barked at once by a dog whose owner did nothing.

      Of course, I pet the friendly ones and enjoy it tremendously. But violent dogs shouldn’t be allowed outside without a leash and muzzle. Many people have been bitten. I read about it on the net. People get bitten every year.

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  4. Tel-Aviv, to the hills of Northern England – and cats – One of my friends is now married to somebody from your city.

    I love the work of the Scottish polymath, biologist, social reformer and peace campaigner – Patrick Geddes. i

    including his Tel Aviv designs… ..

    Here in the UK, dogs are hardly ever out alone, and puppies can be very expensive – £3,500. ..so would not be allowed to wander about.. . …

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    1. Some cats love the comfort of home and a sofa to sleep on, with their favorite humans.

      I had a cat who was outside a lot, but when I was home, he wouldn’t leave the house. And I had a Persian who practically lived outside, sleeping outside and coming home just for meals.

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