Cats: Should I Keep Mine Indoors or Outdoors?

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 02 October 2014

The debate of whether cats should be kept indoors or outdoors is quite controversial. Some people swear that indoors is the only option to keep their kitties out of trouble, others spruik the benefits of letting their cats roam free.

So what is really the best option? After looking at the pro’s of both scenarios, it seems that a healthy mix of both might be best.

cats love playing with fluffy, moving objects

Let’s look at the benefits of both environments:

The pro’s of keeping them indoors

  • A safe environment - no vehicles or other stray animals to contend with.

  • They can’t run away or escape.

  • The indoor life gives them a longer life expectancy (due to there being less of a chance of accidents).

The pro’s of letting them outside

  • Fresh air and sunshine - it’s hard to get it any other way!

  • Exercise - some cats can be lazy, so giving them space to run around outside will help them stay fit and healthy.

  • For some cats, being confined indoors makes them miserable and sad. Letting them outdoors will keep them mentally, as well as physically, healthy.

The breed of cat you have should also factor into the equation. Some cat breeds are perfectly happy sitting indoors all day, others will get restless and need to roam outside for a bit - otherwise you might have an irritated and bored animal on your hands!

If you don’t have access to a backyard, and/or are enjoying apartment life, you definitely can still have a cat! There are certain breeds of cat that thrive indoors, and are purrrfectly content with this lifestyle.

Balls are a fun accessory for your cat enclosure

Here are some breeds that you might want to consider if you’re in an apartment or small enclosed environment.

British Shorthair

The British Shorthair is a quiet, friendly breed that is purrrfect for beginners! If you want an affectionate breed that will love to snuggle in your lap, this breed is a great choice. The British Shorthair is known to adapt well to a life indoors, so for any apartment dwellers it is an ideal cat!


The Ragdoll are a fabulously fluffy cat breed that adapt well to indoors environments. They are quite a large breed, with females weighing in at approximately 8kgs, and males around 10kgs! They are a striking looking cat, with a beautiful white coat, brown face and tail and bright blue eyes.

Persian Cat

Persian cats are a beautifully affectionate breed that are happy to live indoors, as long as they’re getting enough scratches and love from their owners! They love to lounge around in your lap, and their round faces and long fur is absolutely adorable, and they are a very popular choice for indoor cat lovers. Their beautiful long fur does require maintenance (otherwise you’ll have a matted cat on your hands!), so be prepared to dote on their luscious locks for a few minutes each day.

Himalayan Cat

The Himalayan cat makes an amazing companion for any furry friend lovers - they are affectionate, smart and love to interact with their owners. They have a lovely colour pattern on their fur, with a white body and brown paws, face and ears - most striking of all is their bright blue eyes. Again, this is a breed that will need a regular brush.

If you do want to safely give your cat access to the outdoors without letting them loose, why not give them an enclosure that’ll keep them safe? They can still catch the sunlight and run around in the grass without being in any danger. Plus, they have a cuddly place for an afternoon snooze! The Paws Parlour, Kitty Kastle and Purrfect Palace give your clever cats the best of both worlds.

Sources and further reading