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The difference between outdoor and indoor cat care: Finding a premium cat food for both

The difference between outdoor and indoor cat care: Finding a premium cat food for both

We go back to basics in selecting whether you want your pet to be an indoor cat or an outdoor cat; the implications and the dietary differentiations. We outline the benefits of both with information on outdoor and indoor cat care.

The difference between outdoor and indoor cats

The most obvious difference between outdoor cats and indoor cats and their lifestyles. Whilst outdoor cats are considered to have full access to the outdoors, choosing when they may want to venture outside, indoor cats live predominantly indoors.

Different breeds require different activity levels; however, this doesn’t mean that any particular breed is more suited to a different indoor/outdoor lifestyle. For example, larger domestic cat breeds such as Maine Coon require far more exercise than smaller indoor cats such as Munchkin cats. The important thing to remember is that if your cat does indeed live an indoor lifestyle, you need to supplement their activity levels to make sure they are keeping fit and healthy.

So, the question is not what is the difference between outdoor and indoor cats (as any breed can adapt to both), but what is the difference between an indoor cat’s lifestyle and an outdoor cat’s lifestyle?

The pros and cons of keeping indoor cats

Pros

 The main reason that owners choose to keep cats indoors is because they are able to minimise the threats that the outdoors pose. These threats include contracting feline illnesses such as FIV (Feline immunodeficiency virus) and FeVL (Feline leukemia virus), exposure to vehicles and the threat of fighting with other animals.

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Cons 

Indoor cats can often become clingy to their owners. This is because their primary source of activity and play is their owners, and therefore they see their owners almost a stimulant. This means, that on their owner’s absence, they may become stressed and want them to come home. Additionally, this can lead to the destruction of furniture as they are seeking stimulation and play.

The pros and cons of keeping outdoor cats

Pros

The outdoors provides cat with not only physical activity but also mental activity. The ability to exercise freely means that they are maximising the amount of activity they need at all times. Likewise, the concept of ‘exploring’ the great outdoors mentally stimulates their brain promoting healthy brain function.

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Cons

The outdoors exposes our cats to a number of threats from illnesses to busy roads. Another element outdoor cat owners must consider are fleas. Not only can fleas impact your cat’s health, but you must consider the impact of fleas in your home too.

Nutritional differences

One of the main differences outlined above between indoor and outdoor cats are the amount of activity each get. This therefore begs the question, do different cats have different nutritional requirements?

Of course, different breeds require different nutritional requirements and similarly, so do indoor and outdoor cats. This is due to their differentiation in activity levels, meaning that indoor cats who receive less exercise may not need as much nutrition as outdoor cats.

However, this is not to be mistaken with indoor cats requiring a lower protein diet. In fact, both indoor and outdoor cats require a diet rich in protein and meat. The main difference is carbohydrate intake. By providing an indoor cat with a low carb diet you are taking necessary steps to avoid the development of problems including obesity, diabetes and other illnesses.

Best cat food

As discussed above, all cats require a high protein diet and a good quality cat food (ah-heck-hem) should provide this. Additionally, we always recommend a hypoallergenic diet, as this not only provides the protein required for a cat but is also allergen free and packed with important healthy goodness. This applies to both indoor and outdoor cats, however, as outlined above you may need to take additional considerations when choosing food for an indoor cat.

Best indoor cat food

The best indoor cat food should not only follow the guidelines above but should be low in carbohydrates. This is for the simple reason that if provided with too high an intake of carbs, your cat will not be able to burn these off accordingly.

Additionally, we suggest a dry food alternative. This is because dry food allows owners to safely leave food out through the day to allow free feeding. This can regulate the amount your cat eats throughout the day, allowing them to digest carbohydrates properly before taking on more.

In conclusion, the best dry food for indoor cats should be high in protein and lower in carbohydrates. You can also read more about the benefits of dry kitten and cat food here.

Additional care for indoor cats

Providing stimulation

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To supplement the lack of stimulants that can be found outdoors, there are a number of actions indoor cat owners can take. Whilst it is important to build a bond with your cat, it is also important that your cat does not become too dependent on you:

Scratching posts. Scratching posts are a great way to get your cat playing independently. Cats are able to play with scratching posts on their own, giving them a little me time (and more importantly, you a little you time). Additionally, scratching posts are a requirement in order to keep cats claws shredded effectively meaning no more jumper pulls… Phew! A scratching posts is a wise investment for these reasons and means that your cat is less tempted to wreak havoc on furniture in the house.

Toys galore! Of course, we know that playing with your cat is just as important. Playing with toys means that your cat is not only bonding with you, but they are also testing mental agility. Not only will this keep their mind sharp but playing with toys and their owners has been proven to assist their mental health too!

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