My Indoor Cat Wants To Go Outside (Solutions)

There are plenty of reasons why we want to make our cats stay indoors, but what about when they think the time is right for an adventure outside? Is your cat getting itchy paws?

Naturally, a cat wants to explore their surroundings, Afterall they are curious and confident animals. So even tho indoor housecats don’t know any better than being confined inside there instincts can prove hard to squash.

But what can we do as indoor cat owners when we know they should stay indoors but feel slightly guilty when they want to go outside.

Firstly, let’s find out if your cat even wants to go outside. The list below is the most common indication that a cat wants to go out and try the outside world.

Signs your cat wants to go outside:

  • Scratching at the door
  • Trying to pull on the door handle
  • Pulling up the carpet by the door
  • Running crazy around the house
  • Meowing at the door
  • Trying to make a run for it every time the door opens

Cats love doing this outside:

  • Hunting for prey, birds, and mice
  • Walking across fences
  • Exploring
  • Meeting other cats
  • Rolling around in the dirt
  • Basking in the sun
  • Looking after their territory


You either spend your time running around after your cat when the door opens, or you can try the below solutions. First, of course, letting your cat out when they want on their own would be the immediate solution. However, due to some rare breed types, house location, safety, or disabilities are just some of the few reasons why just letting your cat outside on their own is not feasible.

With the help of the solutions below, you can continue to protect your cat from vehicles, predators, poisons, diseases or from getting lost whilst still letting them get some fresh air outside.


Try putting a harness on your cats and letting them feel the outside fresh air, you will need to train your cat on the leash inside the house first, but eventually, you can take your cat for a walk outside in the garden. Using a harness is safe as they can’t runoff. Your cat will get some new places to explore as well as some fresh air.

Carrying Your Cat

If your cat is happy to be picked up, then walking your indoor cat around the garden in short bursts can get them some nice fresh air and different scenery. However, be careful; they dont scram to get away.

A Cat Carrier/Cage

If your cat does mind being in the cat carrier, you could always pop it outside for a while. Your cat will be safe in the cage whilst getting some fresh air. Never put the cage in direct sunlight for long periods.

Wheeled Walker or Stroller

A bit like a cat carrier but on wheels. You could, in theory, pop to the shops with your cat or even down the park using the pram.

Outdoor Enclosures (Next Best Thing to Being Outside)

If you have room for it, then a cat enclosure is the ideal solution. Your cat will be free to roam within the large enclosure, and some are even attached to the back door, so when you open the door, it leads straight into the caged section. 

I Don’t Want My Cat Outside Ever

Two black cats looking out of the window
Indoor cats love watching the outdoors

If you do not want your cat to step foot outside the house, for whatever reason, that is okay. However, it will help if you provided your cat with everything they need inside in the hope that they will get disinterested in wanting to go outside. 

  • Good tasty food
  • Tasty treats
  • Their own space
  • Scratching post
  • Catnip toys
  • High climbing frames
  • Playtime with you
  • Plenty of Smooths
  • A playmate

Problems that can occur if you let your cat outside

  • Fighting with other cats, leading to infections, bites and scrapes. Diseases such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)
  • Pregnancies
  • Depending on where you live, a threat from other animals
  • Cat thefts
  • Other people feeding your cat, which can result in your cat wanting to change households.
  • The killing of birds, mice and other small animals
  • Fleas and ticks
  • Road accidents
  • Getting lost
  • Toxic plants
  • Complaining neighbours because your cat is using their garden as a litter box

If you want to avoid all of the risks above, it’s best to keep your cat indoors. Whether or not you let your cat outside is ultimately your decision, but indoor cats have been known to live longer lives, but on the other hand, cats are more in their element being outside. 

Benefits to letting your cat outside

  • Exercise
  • Much more space to enjoy
  • Natural freedom
  • Happier

How to stop my indoor cat from wanting to go outside?

You can stop your cat from wanting to go outside by providing them with an outdoor experience, plenty of space, climbing frames and playing with toys that resemble outdoor prey.

Should I let my indoor cat outside?

Every cat parent has their preference of keeping cats indoors or letting them roam freely outside. Depending on your location and the health risks, you’ll have to weigh whether it’s safe or not for your cat’s individual needs.

Is it cruel to keep cats indoors?

No, it’s not cruel to keep a cat indoors. Most people do so for their safety, and you can provide that same safe environment with mental stimulation and space inside the home.

Are indoor cats depressed?

No, indoor cats can live just as a fulfilling life indoors. However, to make the inside more enjoyable for your cat, you can create an outdoor experience such as climbing frames or plant some of their favourite things like catnip to simulate being outside.

Will my indoor cat run away if I let him out?

Cats are clever animals and know their way back home. Even if they don’t, most stay close to their home anyway! If you have your cat chipped, this will help in case it goes missing so that it can be returned back safely.

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By Teresa Mine

Teresa has studied canine behaviour and canine nutrition. She loves sharing her knowledge and educating through her articles. She loves binge-watching animal documentaries. Teresa has some pets; she adores two dogs, two cats, and one hamster.