How much outdoor time does a cat need?
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How long should a cat be outside for? That depends on the cat. Letting a cat out is dangerous, but if you have a cat-proof fenced-in yard, you can let your cat roam for as long as it wants in a warm weather.
Every cat is different. An adventorous, playful cat will need more outdoor time than a couch potato.
Kittens, being hyper by nature, need more outdoor time.
Feral cats who are used to living outside will need more outdoor time than house cats.
Cats who live in a tiny apartment will need more outdoor time than cats who live in a large house, especially if there are other pets to keep them company, and they get along with and like the other pets.
Cats who are left alone for most of the day may need more time outdoors than cats who are surrounded by their human family most of the time.
I once had a cat who spent all her time outside, slept outside, and only came in for meals. The cats I have now spend most of their time indoors. Every cat varies in the amount of time they want outside. For most cats, an hour or two outside every day is enough.
Filling the house with vegetation in vases, realistic cats toys that act like real prey, cats beds, and cats window seats near large windows may limit the amount of time your cat wants to spend outside.
This cozy window seat will keep a house cat entertained, providing an exciting scenary of trees, running grasshoppers, birds, and squirrels. The cat’s equivalent of a cinema and enjoying the sunshine.
5 thoughts on “How much outside time does a cat need”
We have lots of indoor-outdoor cats. In summer, they are out and about a lot unless it’s very hot, and in winter not out half as much. Stimulation is the key to a happy feline, be they indoors or out. One size certainly doesn’t fit all, as you rightly point out. Cats being sentient, need as many challenges, as much exercise and mental stimulation as a human.
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I think cats should stay inside where it is safe. They can enjoy the outside through windows. None of mine even attempt to go outside once I rescued them.
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True, the outside is dangerous for cats, but if you have a cat-proof, fenced-in yard, the cats will be safe.
I once had a cat who got depressed because I wouldn’t let him out. He lost interest in life, and I had no choice but to let him roam.
i like it…
These are all excellent points, my friend. We currently have 5 rescues indoors, one being a foster. Only one goes outside and we only really let her out because she gets mean if we don’t. However, here lately, she has not been wanting to go out due to lots of feral kitties roaming about.
We do prefer indoor cats because it keeps them healthy, saves wildlife (which we love to watch), and it’s just generally safer for all involved. But, like you said, cats are individuals and it’s important to know what kind of personality you have. As you also mention, there are options (like catios) for letting our kitties out while keeping them safe, which is a great way to go when they just need to go out sometimes.
You are correct about this though: “Filling the house with vegetation in vases, realistic cats toys that act like real prey, cats beds, and cats window seats near large windows may limit the amount of time your cat wants to spend outside.” —— There are definitely things we can do to enhance our kitties lives inside. We should all strive to keep them happy & healthy! 🙂
Sending love to you and yours. ❤️ Have a blessed day!