As someone that grew up with dogs and never had a cat, I never understood why people let their cats roam around at night, or simply live outside full-time. Even now, after talking with people that do this, I still don’t understand why.

I’ve heard a variety of reasons including being allergic to cats but loving them, thinking they are happier to roam and use their ‘hunting instincts’, and more. No matter what excuse you might have to let your cat roam around your neighborhood, I simply can’t get with the program. Especially knowing all the bad that outweighs any potential good.

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To start, cats are domesticated species, meaning that they are not naturally a part of any ecosystem, other than your home. So, letting them outside is a threat to the natural environment. Some cats kill up to 20 animals a week, including native birds and mammals. This creates an imbalance in the ecosystem because there is an unnatural predator threatening the balance.

Letting your cat outdoors also puts them at a much higher risk of getting and spreading diseases, parasites, and other health conditions. Not to mention, many outdoor cats living in the suburbs are run over by cars, killed by other animals, get heat exhaustion, or simply go missing.

So, if you want your cat to live a long, healthy life, letting them roam around outside is not in their best interest. If you really want to let them experience the outdoors, do so in a monitored space, on a leash, or build a ‘catio’ for them to safely be outside without harming animals around them or being harmed themselves.

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