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Indoor Cat Or Outdoor Cat?

All pet cats love to be around their owners, whether your cat is a lap lover who lounges in the living room, or an independent cat who comes and goes as she pleases.

However, it is advisable to keep some breeds of cat inside to protect them from certain dangers. The hairless Sphynx cat is a perfect example of an indoor cat whose skin can be damaged by hot and cold weather. The Cornish Rex is another example of a cat who struggles to protect itself from the elements.

A tired tabby cat resting its head on the sofa
A tired tabby cat resting its head on the sofa

Arguments For Indoor Only Cats

  • Lower chance of catching diseases from other cats such as the untreatable and fatal feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) - the cat equivalent of AIDS.
  • Lower chance of catching fleas or worms from vermin.
  • They will be less anxious because they will be confident in their surroundings without fear of being attacked by another cat.
  • No chance of being killed by a car.
  • No chance of any unplanned pregnancy in cats that aren’t neutered.
  • No chance of being attacked/killed by another animal.

You can argue that if a cat is never exposed to the outdoors they will never know what they are missing out on. This may well produce a calmer cat who is less anxious in the home. However this is open to debate.

Popular indoor cat breeds include the Persian, the Russian Blue and the Ragdoll due to their low activity level and relaxed temperament.

An adorable Ragdoll Cat perfect for living indoors
An adorable Ragdoll Cat perfect for living indoors

The Cat Balcony Enclosure allows your indoor cat to enjoy the outside on the balcony.

Arguments For Outdoor Cats

  • The cat will be more stimulated and exercise itself - indoor only cats will need more toys, cat trees and play sessions in order to maintain their fitness and weight.
  • If the cat has been let outside its whole life it may find it distressing to no longer be allowed this freedom.
  • No need for smelly litter trays in your house once your cat has learnt to go outside to do its business.

Two domestic cats enjoying each others company wondering outside
Two domestic cats enjoying each others company wondering outside

Popular outdoor cat breeds include the Burmese, the Siamese, the Korat, the Norwegian Forest Cat and the Oriental.

Use Our Cat Directory

You can use our cat directory to help you find the best indoor or outdoor cat breeds. To help you find a cat that’s more suited to living only indoors we have described each breed as being a typical “house cat” or “outdoor cat”. If you would like to make the decision yourself choose a cat with a low activity rating, a relaxed temperament, and low mental stimulation requirements. If you don’t do this you will be faced with a cat that will cause destruction in the house, and may become very distressed.

A ginger cat with perfect balance climbing along a fence
A ginger cat with perfect balance climbing along a fence

Outdoor Cat Run

The Omlet Cat Run is perfect for giving your cat some outdoor exercise and fresh air. It's larger than many other outdoor cat pens available, and it gives your cat the freedom to play outside safely and securely.

This spacious Omlet Cat Run is purrfect for pedigree cat owners who wish to prevent their cat mating with the local tom. It is also useful for indoor only cats or poorly pussycats that you wish to protect from the outside world. It has fantastic features and will blend into your garden perfectly.

The Outdoor Cat Run allows your indoor cat to enjoy the outside.

Accessorise your Outdoor Cat Run

You can make your catio more entertaining and exciting with a range of fun accessories. Omlet's Freestyle Outdoor Cat Tree is a completely customisable cat tree system that fits into most cat runs, and it can be built to suit your space, and your cats! Just add the accessories you know your cat will love and create the perfect space for climbing, jumping, scratching and sleeping!

The Outdoor Cat Run allows your indoor cat to enjoy the outside.

Or why not give your sun loving feline a space to fully soak up the rays? Fabric Cat Shelves are a super easy way of utilising the vertical space on your run, and will get your cat climbing as well as providing a comfy lookout spot anywhere on the run.

Black cat climbing up fabric cat shelves on an outdoor cat run
Adding fabric shelves to your catio will add both comfort and exercise opportunities

UK Cat Laws

In Britain the law states that cats are allowed to roam, and so unlike a lot of Europeans and Americans most of us like to give our cats the chance to explore. However, this isn’t to say that this is the right thing to do. It is a personal opinion that we completely respect.

If you would like to learn more about UK laws regarding cats, our section UK Cat Laws will be able to help you.

A ginger cat sitting in outdoors in the garden ready to explore
A ginger cat sitting in outdoors in the garden ready to explore

Make A Decision And Then Stick To It

Whichever you decide is best for your cat it is important that you don’t change your mind. An indoor softy is not likely to be very streetwise whereas an outdoor veteran will probably think it’s very unfair that it has had its hunting rights taken away.

Customer Images


Fiona, 31 December 2022

We had 3 indoor/outdoor cats that lived until 19, 18 & 18.5 years. They were very happy and well loved, letting them go outside didn't mean we didn't care, we feel it's cruel to keep a cat inside if it clearly wants to explore and hunt, like ours did.

Julia, 17 May 2021

What a fantastic post! This is so chock full of useful information about indoor cats and outdoor cats and I love this topic. Very ingenious. The lifespan of an indoor cat tends to be longer as it is protected from external factors like bad weather, other predatory animals, road accidents, etc. The outdoor cat has to be cautious and street smart to survive the harsh conditions outside.

Betty, 3 May 2020

The most important argument for keeping cats indoors is to stop them from killing native wildlife. 30 BILLION wildlife are killed by cats each year. Cats are pets and do not belong in the ecosystem as invasive predators. Please be responsible and keep them indoors or supervise them outdoors in an enclosure/on a lead.