Planning on getting a cat? One of the things people tend to forget to think about is whether they should go for indoor or outdoor. Which one is right for you and your family? Here are some of the things you need to consider.
What other animals live in your area? If you live in an area with a lot of other animals, you probably want to go for an indoor cat. With other animals around, cats frequently find themselves getting into trouble, whether it's fighting with other cats- and even dogs sometimes- or killing and bringing home small animals such as mice and birds. Cats are natural predators, so this is normal, and there is nothing you'll be able to do to stop it. So if you don't think you can handle it, stick with an indoor cat.
Do you have allergies? If you have allergies, outdoor cats are probably the way to go for you. While there are some species of cats that don't upset allergies, it can be hard to find ones that specifically click with you. Some people tend to believe that their allergies mean they can never have cats as pets, this is not true. As long as your allergies aren't too bad and they are managed okay with medication, an outdoor cat (even one that comes inside sometimes, which I'll get to in my next point) can work for you. I live in a family of 6, where all of us have allergies, and we have had outdoor cats my entire life.
What is the weather like in your area?If you live in a place where it gets cold enough to snow some parts of the year, your cats will have to be indoor at least part of the time. One thing to think about is how difficult the transition from outdoor to indoor can be. If you have an outdoor cat, and you bring it in for the winter (or even just for the winter nights), it will continue to behave like an outdoor cat- up all night, stalking anything it can find- generally being a little nuisance. If you're not sure if you can handle this, you'll most likely want to just get an indoor cat.
Do you have children or other pets? If you have children or indoor pets, you'll probably want to stick with an indoor cat. Unless, of course, those indoor pets are rodents, or other small animals, in which case an outdoor cat will probably work better for you. if you have a dog, your best bet is to at least try to have the cat in the same place as the dog. If they can get along, your life will be much easier.
Do you want the cat to be around all the time? Some people are looking for a cat to spoil, play with constantly, and sleep in bed with them. If that's the case, you're looking for an indoor cat. Other people want a free spirited cat, that may come and go, but can still be very affectionate. Those people will do much better with outdoor cats.
I hope these tips help you make a choice. You just want to remember that changing a cat can be hard, so you'll want to inquire about the status of any cat you're looking to adopt. If you still can't make a choice, try meeting some cats that are up for adoption. Chances are, one will capture your heart and you will know.