How do you train indoor cats to become outdoor cats?

Asked by Member 804013 on Feb 18th 2009 in Cats & Kids
Report this question Get this question's RSS feed Send this question to a friend


  • Cast your vote for which answer you think is best!


Mr. Fez (Angel Dreamboat #25)

Why do you want your cat to be an outdoor cat now? This is a very heated subject here... The great outdoors can be VERY dangerous for cats: cars, unfriendly dogs and wild animals, mean people, poisons and chemicals left out... this list is endless. Outdoor cats only have a life expectancy of 3-5 years. Well cared for indoor cats can easily live into their late teens and even 20's. Please reconsider letting your indoor cat stay indoors. My 3 cats are all strictly indoors and are all very happy.

Mr. Fez (Angel Dreamboat #25) answered on 2/18/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Izadore (Izzie)

I totally agree with Mr. Fez.. Cats who have lived indoors are not 'street-wise' and will have a very short "shelf-life" outside. They do not know how to handle themselves outside and what dangers to look out for and you cannot "train" them to have these skills. That's a job the mama cat undertakes when the kittens are born and only she knows how to do it. Young cats especially are not street smart and will certainly get hit by a car, captured and sold into research or worse, get lost, meet unfriendly people or other animals, etc. I lost a cat on the road in summer and am still in mourning for him. Please reconsider putting your cats outside, especially if they aren't spayed or neutered.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 2/18/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I don't know if you mean a strictly outdoor cat or an indoor-outdoor cat, but no matter what your misgivings about depriving a cat from going outside might be, the fact is that keeping a cat indoors is the single most important factor in prolonging its life. A few years ago in Japan, where we live, a psychopath captured a cat who was taking a stroll, took it home, tortured, mutilated, and killed it, and put pictures of the whole process on the Internet. Fortunately, he was caught and sentenced...but there are other psychopaths out there, and I for one will never again let any of my cats go outside.

Chibi answered on 2/20/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


While I agree cats live safer lives indoor, I have a problem with two neutered male cats spraying in the house and after trying EVERYTHING to stop the problem have given up and my only option is to put them outside. I would give anything if I didn't have to make this decision but they are destroying my home and my sanity. I hope to fix a safe place in my barn until they become used to the change. This is a sad choice but nothing I have tried has made them stop.

Member 816666 answered on 3/17/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Joined this site to point out some misleading information.

"Outdoor cats only have a life expectancy of 3-5 years."

EVERY person I know who had outdoor cats had them live at LEAST into their teens. Two of them even into their twenties. My Aunt's cat Cleo was declawed (in front) and lived healthily to 23 and went out every day, sometimes fighting other cats or hanging out with a pack of racoons (no joke). In your statistics, the compiler probably took a "dissapeared" cat as dead for the life expectancy to be that low.

Things to do or ask:
1. Do you have cat-friendly neighboors? Do they have dogs?
2. what pesticides are used locally?
3. what is traffic like?
4. take the cat to the vet every 6 months
5. get it a micro-chip as well as collar

If all these things are done, then a cat should be relatively safe in the outdoors (a more natural and rewarding environment). However, I am unsure about an indoor cat becoming an outdoor cat. I would look into a leash first.

Member 1001743 answered on 8/24/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer