The benefits of outdoor cat enclosures

There is an ongoing controversy among cat owners over what is best, indoor or outdoor cats. It has been well proven that cats that live exclusively indoors live longer lives than those that roam outdoors. For some, that is reason enough to bar their pet from ever going outside. But others argue that longevity is not the only issue. What about quality of life? What of living a possibility shorter, yet much happier life outdoors? While the two sides may never come to an agreement, there may be a middle road that can satisfy everyone; an outdoor cat enclosure.

Indoor cats are safe from many cat borne diseases, from dog attacks, from cars, cat fights, and malicious cat-hating neighbors. They are also prone to obesity, and can occasionally develop bad habits that are inappropriate for house life, like clawing carpeting, or urinating outside their liter boxes. Some cat owners believe that safety is of primary importance, and any other issues that arise from keeping a cat confined can be dealt with as needed. They make a convincing argument. If keeping your beloved cat safe and happy is only a matter of keeping him indoors, why wouldn’t you?

The other camp argues that cats are natural roamers; hunters that need to get out an remain active for their physical and mental well being. They site the rising obesity problem among pet cats as an exactly of the indoor-only cat problem. Furthermore, cats that claw the furniture or urinate on beds or clothes are much more likely to end up abandoned at a shelter or euthanized. Some argue that these behavior problems are symptoms of boredom or more serious mental problems resulting from confinement. Although most veterinarians recommend cats stay indoors, many allow their own cat outdoor access exactly because it encourages exercise and good mental health.

The compromise: an outdoor cat enclosure. There are a variety of different types of enclosures that offer different levels of freedom. Some are simple cages that allow a cat to experience the sights and smells of the outdoors while keeping them confined to a small space where they cannot wander or get hurt. Others, such as the cat fence-in system, allow more free access to a whole yard, while keeping the cat away from streets, wandering dogs, and other cats. They can have the freedom to run and even do some limited hunting,while minimizing the dangers of the outdoors.

Some enclosures are safer than others. A cage-style enclosure will keep a cat more restricted, and theoretically

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