Give Your Inside Cat a Little (SAFE) Outside Time!

by Melissa R. on July 22, 2011

Do your cats go outside?

Do your cats go outside?

Recently, I was checking out one of my favorite blogs ( and noticed a photo of her cats sitting outside on the deck, enjoying some sunshine… in a dog crate.

This intrigued me very much! Our three cats DO NOT GO OUTSIDE. Ever. They are shooed away from any door and any time we have guests coming first thing we tell them is to make sure no cat goes near any outside door. Why? Well, it is a personal decision on our part. Our cats are very important to us, and in fact, like kids. We adore them and the thought of letting them outside where who knows what might happen is inconceivable to us. We live in the woods, with various hawks, eagles, wolves, bears, coyotes, foxes and more around. No way are our cats going outside. Especially considering they have never been outside – I think they’d be scared to death and run off, never to be found again.

So, I have always wished they could at least get a taste of the outdoors, aside from what they get at the windows or sliding doors. When the idea to allow them outside, but safely contained in a dog crate finally entered my head, I couldn’t wait to try it! Luckily, I have an enormous dog crate from when I owned an Irish setter (Molly). I dusted it off and set it up on the deck.

Cirrhi enjoys the fresh air

Cirrhi enjoys the fresh air

We first put Cirrhi (our 2-year-old Chocolate Spotted Silver Ocicat) in the crate. She is the bravest, and most curious. She poked her way around the crate, tried climbing up it, batted at a few nearby leaves, and was entranced by a Hummingbird that flew by. She seemed quite happy. Next, we put in our 1.5-year-old Chocolate Spotted Chocolate Ociciat, Ritter, in the crate. He is a bit more skittish. He seemed reluctant at first, but after awhile was looking quite content as well. So far, we haven’t introduced our oldest cat, Kai (he’s 8, a black domestic) to the crate but will soon!

When we take them out, we are sure to have LOTS of treats ready inside so coming inside the house is a super-happy thing – just in case they DO ever get loose, we hope this sticks in their minds.

Update: I think we’ve created a monster in Cirrhi. She constantly begs now to go outside in her crate. Meowing and scolding us nonstop if we are sitting on the deck without her! Uh oh!

We do sell a large variety of Kitty-Specific outdoor products which look pretty cool – but I already had the crate which worked for us! Check them out, some of them are pretty fun! Outdoor Cat Supplies

About the author: Melissa is a devoted pet owner with several cats: Kai, Cirrhi & Ritter; and the newest addition, Emme a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Melissa is an avid dog agility enthusiast, and hopes her new pup will someday be an agility champion! She is a Graphic Designer and Project Coordinator for the and websites. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Michigan State University and is a lifelong pet lover and owner. See more articles by Melissa R.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

brittany July 22, 2011 at 11:32 am

I have found that once kitties know they _can_ go out, they become escape addicts – be careful with cirrhi! Microchip just in case!

Snowladyds July 23, 2011 at 3:35 pm

I also live in the woods – however, Softey has been allowed to go out since she was a kitten. She IS a big chicken and that helps. I never let her out unless one of us is out and can keep an eye on her. I feel quite safe – heaven forbid if something does happen – but if it does, it was meant to be and she lived a very full and happy life.

Animals Away July 24, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I think it is a good idea. I would put the Cat in the crate inside the house and then take the Cat out in the house as well, or the Cat will be trying to get out of the house always!

Nel September 14, 2011 at 2:21 pm

For cats that do go outdoors, you might try this special kind of collar that I use for our cats. It’s called Birdsbesafe and they have a website that sells them. The cat wears this bright (also sort of dorky looking) fabric collar and then the cats cant catch birds because birds see the cats’ collar. Birds see bright colors, that’s what they say about it anyway–and it really does work for us. Doesn’t make the cat entirely safe but helped alot with the bird-catching–basicaly no more dead birds on our doorstep. yay.

Lindsay February 27, 2012 at 11:45 pm

My cat is a inside cat and a outside cat. I live out in the country away from the rd so i am never worried. she usually goes outside 3 times a day for about a hour at a time. she gets under the porch and catches the mice! 🙂 she stays in at night though. she comes back in when she is ready. make sure they have their shots!

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