Improving the Health of Indoor vs Outdoor Cats: Pet Owners Can Offer Better Options to Their Feline Best Friends

Several generations of pet owners now living may never have had an outdoor cat, nor are they aware that anyone but a barbarian would permit such a thing. The idea of their sterile little cat eating an icky outdoor mouse, or pooping in real outdoor dirt, is an unthinkable concept.

That was only allowed back in the days when cats were permitted to be loose, sleeping on the front porch with the warm sun shining on their fur, and pooping outside like dogs do. When they did have indoor litter boxes, it contained real sand. They occupied their time and curiosity learning, playing, and stalking big game. Then came the cities and apartment houses.

Indoor Cats Miss Wild Nutrition and Sunlight

Cats kept inside miss fresh air, wild food, and direct unfiltered sunshine that they need for strong bones. If they are lucky, their owners know they need to eat grass for digestion, but if they get any, it is sprouted indoors from sterile seed, or purchased potted at pet or plant stores. Wild grass is forbidden.

Many modern cats are caged in small apartments, declawed to protect the good furniture (which continually exudes formaldehyde into their small indoor worlds), isolated while their owners work, and sometimes they may poop on the rug because deep down inside their little kitty psyches, they know that the dusty junk they are expected to use for a bathroom gags them so they can’t breathe if they bury everything properly. A quick internet search brings up dozens of links to cats and asthma or allergies, something unheard of in outdoor cats.

But in this modern age of convenience-related items, cats have become like live toys, mediocre in comparison to their former real counterparts.

Loving Owners Can Give Their Cats What They Need

  • Pet owners shouldn’t start letting indoor cats outside. If they have been brought up indoors, that would be dangerous to them. But it’s important to upgrade their unhealthy closed environment so they can live to a ripe old age without years of stressful vet care for conditions that are easily avoidable. It’s good for their owners, too.
  • Cats need frequent access to unfiltered sunshine – direct from an open window or screened porch. A screen allows UVA and UVB rays through, but window glass filters out UVB that cats need to make Vitamin D. Window sunshine may have mood enhancing qualities for cats, but they also need supplements such as occasional cod liver, salmon, mackerel, or unsalted sardine oil to keep their bones strong into old age.
  • A screened porch is a larger and much more interesting cage for a cat – where it can watch the motion of cars, people or squirrels through the windows. Intelligent animals, like intelligent people, can get brain-dead from lack of mental stimulation.
  • Catnip mice and responsive toys that encourage the cat to keep up play for some time, or another cat buddy to chase around, will keep cats physically healthy.
  • A transition to healthy raw food, more readily available today and recommended by holistic practitioners, improves overall nutrition.
  • Cat litter is a big purchase because the prices are constantly going up, but people have forgotten they have the choice of real dirt or sand. However, the possibility of digging up outdoor dirt that’s polluted is very real. Check prices at Home Depot for 50 lbs of fine construction-grade sand and mix it half and half with scoopable litter.
  • Perfumes and additives may make kitty avoid the box – their noses are much more sensitive than humans’.
  • Dusty clay and silica-based litters have been implicated in asthma and allergies of both cats and their owners. For health reasons, avoid them. They don’t save money.
  • Scoopable litters do save money because they don’t need complete changing as often and contribute less to cat breathing problems. Just remember that this is not an option for kittens. Kittens eat everything, and scoopable litter can choke and kill a kitten that unknowingly ingests it. Wait until they are older and bored with their litter box.