How Long Do Indoor-Outdoor Cats Live
Cats are usually considered indoor pets, but it’s also possible to keep them as indoor-outdoor cats. This can be a great way to let your cat enjoy some fresh air while still ensuring their safety, but many people wonder if having an indoor-outdoor cat is healthier than keeping one inside full time. In this article we’ll explore the health benefits of keeping your cat inside and out, including how long indoor-only versus outdoor-only cats live and how to keep your feline friends safe when they go outside.
The benefits of indoor-outdoor cats.
Indoor cats live longer than outdoor cats, but if you have an indoor-outdoor cat, it’s still important to keep them safe. Indoor-outdoor cats have lower risks of being hit by a car or attacked by wild animals like coyotes or raccoons. They also have less exposure to diseases that can be spread by other animals (like fleas). However, they may get hurt more often because they aren’t as used to human contact and don’t know how to react when someone tries touching them unexpectedly. Having an indoor-outdoor cat is still better than having no cat at all!
The risks of indoor-outdoor cats.
Indoor-outdoor cats are more likely to get fleas, worms and diseases from other animals and humans.
- Fleas and worms: Outdoor cats are exposed to fleas, ticks and worms that come into the house on their fur. These parasites can cause discomfort for your cat, but also can spread to you or your children if you scratch at the bites.
- Hit by a car: Cats that go outdoors may run into cars along with other hazards such as antifreeze poisoning or dogs in search of territory protection.
- Diseases from other cats: Outdoors, an indoor-outdoor cat is exposed to local wild felines such as raccoons or feral cats who may carry diseases like feline leukemia virus (FeLV). Your indoor pet will be exposed if it goes outside for any reason—even just for a potty break!
What is the life expectancy for an indoor-only cat?
For the most part, indoor cats are safe and tend to live longer lives than those who spend time outside.
- The average life expectancy of an indoor cat is 12-15 years.
- Indoor cats are less likely to be hit by a car or contract diseases such as feline leukemia virus (FeLV). They’re also less likely to get fleas or ticks if they stay inside all the time.
Is it ever okay for a cat to go outside?
In short, if you are a responsible pet owner and your cat is spayed or neutered, it may be okay for your cat to go outdoors. However, there are many risks that come with letting an indoor-only cat out of the house.
The following are the three main considerations that should be made before taking your indoor kitty outside:
- How much time will they spend outside?
- Where will they be spending their time outdoors?
- How often will they be going outside?
What’s the average life expectancy for a cat who comes and goes?
The average life expectancy of an indoor-outdoor cat is 12-15 years, while the average life expectancy of an indoor-only cat is 15-18 years. For a cat who comes and goes, you can expect 8-12 years. The average age at death for cats that are allowed to come and go is 12-15 years.
Indoor cats live longer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t let your cat out sometimes.
It’s true that indoor cats tend to live longer than outdoor cats. The reason for this is twofold:
- Indoor cats are less likely to get hit by cars, attacked by other animals, or contract diseases (like feline leukemia).
- They’re more likely not to get fleas, ticks, and worms.
Your cat will probably be happier if she stays inside 100% of the time—she won’t have to worry about getting lost or hurt outside. But if you do let her outside every once in a while, just make sure she’s wearing a collar with identification tags! And don’t forget that it’s important for her health that indoor and outdoor environments be kept separate so they don’t share parasites like fleas and worms.
The bottom line is that indoor cats live longer, but you don’t have to keep your cat indoors if you don’t want to. Just remember that the risks of letting your cat roam around outside can outweigh the benefits.