Let me preface this post by acknowledging that the issue of whether cats should be kept indoors or allowed to go outside is a hotly debated one, with most people coming down firmly on one side or the other of the debate. I’m a firm believer that all cats should be kept indoors, but I respect the fact that there are not only different points of view, but also cultural differences. In the United States, most cats tend to be kept indoors, whereas cats are allowed outside in most European countries.
In my opinion, there is no question that indoor cats live longer, healthier lives. To ensure that they also live happy lives, it is imperative that cat guardians provide a stimulating environment. Jackson Galaxy has coined the term “catification” for this purpose. Catification, as defined by Jackson, means creating a cat-friendly environment that provides outlets for a cat’s natural instincts to hunt, catch, kill and eat his prey, followed by grooming and sleeping.
If you know that the cats who visit your yard belong to neighbors, try educating them about the issue of indoor vs. outdoor cats. But even if you can convince your neighbors to keep their cats indoors, you may still have stray or feral cats visiting. No matter how much you love cats, you may not want your yard used as the giant neighborhood litter box, especially if you enjoy gardening.
Roaming cats can cause problems for your indoor cats
And there’s another, perhaps far more important reason why you may want to keep free roaming cats out of your yard: Cats are territorial animals, and even if your cats never go outside, they consider what they can see through the window part of their territory. The sight of a strange cat in that territory can cause all sorts of stress-induced behavior, including inappropriate urination inside your home and redirected aggression.
Fortunately, there are a number of humane ways you can deter roaming cats from your yard. In a recent article for Answers.com, I offered some suggestions. Click here to read the full article.