Cats love to take a stroll in the neighborhood, but unfortunately, there are a lot of reasons for limiting their free movement. Some of these animals are expensive pedigree cats, and owners are afraid that they might get stolen. In this case, it is easy to understand why a cat owner does not want to give their cats more freedom. Some of the pedigree cats have special characteristics, that make them vulnerable, therefore owners will try to stop them from getting outside, to prevent their cats from getting health problems. It is the case of hairless cats, who can get sunburns. The Persian cats also raise problems, because their fur gets matted. Therefore living outside the house, would make it very difficult to care for their fur.
Except for hairless cats, most cats are naturally suitable for free movement outside the house, just like their ancestors, the wild cats. If we have a cat-proof fenced garden or yard around the house, the problem of running away is easy to solve. The cat will have its freedom, although the area it can roam is small and limited. Anyway, a garden or a yard is a good alternative to the open spaces, as it allows the cat to move and play outside the house.
Some cat owners live in big cities, in places with many busy streets. In this case, there is a justified fear of losing the cat in a traffic accident. Unfortunately, a traffic accident is the most common cause of death in young cats, who are up to two years old. There are also cat owners who do not want to give their cats the freedom to roam, to prevent them from catching domestic animals. Anyway, if you have the guarantee that nothing will happen to your cat outside, then you can choose a free-roaming cat. However, there are cases where it is preferred to allow the cat to roam freely, despite all the dangers.
When choosing an adult cat, the first thing you need to know is whether it is a former free-roaming cat. Such an animal must never be kept only inside the house because it cannot get used to the limited living space of a small house. Deprivation of liberty usually leads to behavioral problems (such as messy behavior, aggression towards the owner, or an annoying marking behavior) because it makes the cat feel frustrated. In such cases, it is advisable to allow your cat to be free to roam the area outside your house.
If you work full-time and have little or no time to care for your cat and if your children attend school and are absent from home for a long time, it is not advisable to keep a single cat, because cats feel the need for social contact. In such a case it is advisable to allow your pet to roam freely. This way the cat can go hunting during the day, make a lot of movement and maintain social contacts with neighboring cats, which compensates for the loneliness that it would otherwise have to endure being alone inside the house.
In such cases, the installation of a cat flap is the best solution to enable your pet to roam freely, even if there are potential dangers in the area. It is important for your cat to be able to return to the house at any moment, or to find a suitable retreat outside, should it be scared and want to hide. For such a free-roaming cat, the owner's apartment is something like a refuge, a place to sleep and get food, rather than their real “home”. The possibility to roam freely should always be given to the cat as an alternative to living inside if your house is located in a suitable, residential area.
But when the owner lives in high-rise buildings, or in other urban areas, he can only offer the cat a strict and limited space. That will transform it into an obedient domestic cat, that spends most of its life within the walls of its house. Many cats quickly get bored with the crowded place, especially if they have no other cat around them and the owner is absent from home most of the time because the apartment and the walls always remain the same and offer no diversity. Such boring loneliness can even lead to behavior problems in the cat. In this case, if you live in a small apartment, it is advisable to adopt or buy a cat that was also born in an apartment. Cats that grow up in an apartment and have never known free-roaming can get used to living in the house more easily and tolerate the small space better.