Let’s say you live in an apartment and you have an indoor cat who has never been outside. Yet now it is constantly looking out through the window, meowing and scratching for you to let it out.
While you and your family members may be confused by this unusual cat behavior and sudden desire for fresh air, there are some good explanations for why your cat is acting this way.
If you have been asking yourself why my indoor cat is obsessed with going outside, you are in the right place, because we can provide you not only with reasons but also with the solutions!
Keep reading to find out!
5 Reasons My Indoor Cat Is Obsessed With Going Outside
Cats are naturally attracted to the outside world.
Throughout history, cats have been wild animals and used to only living outside, and even though they have been domesticated and have now evolved into house pets, they still can’t get rid of their natural instincts.
Here are the top 5 reasons why your indoor cat could be obsessed with going outside:
1. Curiosity Killed The Cat
You have probably heard the saying “Curiosity killed the cat”. Cats are notoriously inquisitive and curious creatures.
They are so curious that this curiosity often gets them into danger, which is where this saying comes from. Your little friend likes to explore the unknown.
When they have been indoor cats their whole life, they may have an especially strong desire to go out, explore, sniff everything, play, and be wild.
2. Protecting Their Territory
Cats are also territorial animals. All cats are very protective of their territory, and it is in their nature to fight anyone who roams around the area they consider to be theirs.
This is why your cat marks some parts of their territory by scratching, rubbing, or urinating.
Even if you have an indoor cat, they might also consider the outdoor world part of their territory, since most cats actually consider their territory half a mile away from their actual living place.
So if your cat is constantly meowing for you to let it out, it might be that it has some patrolling business to take care of outside.
3. In Search Of Love
If you don’t neuter or spay your cat, as soon as they reach reproductive age, their instinct for mating will kick in.
Cats mating instincts are so strong that they might even escape if they get even the slightest opportunity.
Male cats will usually go far beyond their territory in search for partners, while female cats will usually stay within their territory.
4. Chef Mr. Cat
Cats are predators and natural hunters. No matter how much you feed them, they will still have natural instincts that make them want to hunt for food.
You may have experienced your cat bringing you ‘gifts’. Your cat may have delivered a dead mouse, bird, or other prey to your front door. By bringing this to you, they want to thank you for everything you do for them.
Some also say that your cat brings you food because it considers you incompetent to provide yourself with food!
5. Dying Of Boredom
If you work almost the whole day and your cat is all alone in the house, it might be that your cat has aspirations of being an outdoor cat because of pure boredom.
The confining environment of the house or apartment can be extremely boring for your furry friend, and everything outside can seem much more exciting.
A clear sign of boredom is if your cat is constantly lying beside the window and sadly looking outside watching what is going on.
My Indoor Cat Is Obsessed With Going Outside: Solutions
Now that you know why your cat is obsessed with being an outdoor cat, here are some solutions that can help you:
1. Keep Your Cat Entertained
If your cat is bored and you know that you can’t spend as much time with your cat as you would like to because of work or other responsibilities, maybe you should consider getting your cat a little furry friend.
Having a little brother or sister will give your only cat a friend to play and interact with all the time without you worrying that they are bored.
If that is not possible, provide your cat with different toys to play with, add a cat tree and scratching posts, catnip, and schedule lots of play time and cuddles whenever it is possible.
2. Spay Or Neuter Your Cat
Neutering or spaying your feline friend is very important. Not only does this help curb those natural mating instincts, it also means your cat should have fewer health issues.
Most stray cats are not spayed or neutered and your cat can get several diseases if it is in contact with them.
You must wait for your kitten to be old enough for this simple operation. In general, spayed and neutered cats live happier, healthier and longer lives.
3. Bring Outside Inside
Making your indoor environment more comfortable for your cat is also one of the solutions. Make sure your cat’s litter box is always fresh and clean so they don’t feel the need to go out to relieve themselves.
A lot of cat owners these days opt for making a catio. A catio, or enclosed outdoor space or “cat patio”, is the perfect solution to give your indoor cat an outdoor cat experience that will keep your cat safe, happy and healthy.
You can also try to bring a lot of plants inside the house (make sure you choose those that are safe for cats!), give your cat a cat tree and position it next to the window, so they can look outside.
A cat hammock or window perch that attaches to the window will provide your floof with a lookout to outdoor life and lots of sunlight.
4. Train Your Cat
Leash training your cat will enable you to go out for a walk with your feline friend without being scared that it will run away.
Leash training is especially helpful with high energy cat breeds like Bengal, Sphynx, Abyssinian, etc.
Walks offer your cat enrichment and exercise, and will provide your cat with the possibility to explore the outside world, interact with other pet owners and animals, and smell a lot of different things.
5. Prevent Escape Attempts
One of the ways to stop your house cat from going outside is making its escape route really unpleasant. For example, making the doorway area a place they really don’t like.
You can use cat repellents or smell deterrents such as orange or lemon scents because cats don’t like citrus smells.
Also, many cats don’t like the feeling or sound of walking on aluminum foil, so placing it in front of the doors can make your cats stay away from it.
What Are The Dangers Of Letting My Cat Outside?
Outdoor cats are much more prone to contracting infectious diseases or getting into danger than house cats.
Due to the serious risks of contracting infections, diseases and injuries, the lifespan of outdoor cats is 5 years, while an indoor cat can live for 15 years or more.
Here are some of the dangers of letting your cat outside and why it is not necessarily a good idea:
- Feline Leukemia Virus (FELV)
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
- Risk of ingesting toxic plants or pesticides
- Fleas, ticks, and parasites
- Predators like foxes, coyotes, bobcats, bears, mountain lions etc.
- Cars and other vehicles
- Cat thieves
Keep your cat’s vaccinations up to date and give it regular anti-flea and worming medications, so if your cat does manage to escape outside, at least you are not worried about those risks.
Many pet parents choose to microchip their pets, since sometimes it is not possible to completely prevent escape attempts.
Letting your cat outside may seem like a good idea when they are annoying you with constant meowing and scratching, but keep in mind that the outside world can be a really dangerous place for a house cat.
However, if you keep your cat entertained, neuter it, take all protective measures, and train it well, your question why my indoor cat is obsessed with going outside will be forgotten.
We all just want what is best for our furry friends, and I am sure that all of us would do anything to secure them a long, healthy and happy life.
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