Why outside access can enrich your cat’s life
2nd April 2020
Outside access can offer a cat important enrichment and keep them happy and healthy. Here we take a look at why outside access is important.
Cats like to choose the boundaries of their territory as much as possible. If they are confined to the indoors, then this forces their territory to stop at the four walls surrounding them. Given the freedom to roam, cats can mark the boundaries of their territory freely and patrol their territory in a way that suits them.
In order to have free access to the outdoors, it’s important to have a secure cat flap installed. A Microchip Cat Flap will prevent any intruder animals entering your home, whilst allowing your cat to come and go. If you are concerned about letting your cat outside at certain times of the day, some Microchip Cat Flaps offer a curfew mode that will automatically lock and unlock the door at the times of your choosing.
Having a cat flap means that the cat doesn’t have to wait to be let outside. Cats usually like to patrol their territory in the same direction, as this limits possible interactions with other cats in the area. Therefore, installing multiple cat flaps would allow your cat to patrol their territory more freely. For example, they might like to leave the house by the back door and then come into the house through the front door.
The outside world gives cats access to the changing seasons and places to explore. Changing sights and smells will keep your cat occupied and entertained. Make sure your garden is cat-friendly so that your cat can get the most of their time outdoors. A cat-friendly garden will also encourage your cat to stay closer to home, rather than venture into neighbouring gardens.
Having outside access can allow your cat to exhibit natural behaviours such as hunting, scratching and scent marking. A cat will scratch and scent mark the edges of their territory as a warning to other cats in the area to stay away. Hunting might not be a behaviour that all cat owners appreciate, but cats can become frustrated if they don’t have the opportunity to hunt, as it’s in their nature to do so. So, the outside world is the best place for them to practise their hunting skills, where prey items, such as mice, may be present.