Why is my indoor cat obsessed with going outside? Guess what… You’re not alone! 

Once my cat went missing for two whole weeks, and I knew she wouldn’t survive the winter weather.

Since that scare, I’ve done a lot of research on this cat obsession. So if you’re also hesitant about letting your furry friend out due to safety concerns, read on.

READ MORE: Why Isn’t My Cat Sleeping With Me Anymore?

Do All Cats Want to Go Outside?

No, not all cats don’t want to go outside. It differs from cat to cat.

So, why does my cat want outside so bad?

House cats are bossy and prefer to be in control. When they see another animal outside, they get intrigued by the thought of being the king or queen of the outdoors.

It’s common to see your kitty dashing outside whenever he spots one of his kind. Apart from proving his presence, your kitty needs to socialize and get a break from his monotonous indoor habitat.

On the other hand, some cats enjoy basking in the sun or taking a nap in their favorite spot in the house.

cats chilling around in their cat trees

Cats with this personality are content with what they have and feel no need to go outside.

Why Does My Cat Keep Trying to Get Outside?

Why does my cat keep going outside? There are several different reasons for this behavior.

You may have realized that your kitty is always with you whenever you step outside. This can make you keep wondering, “Why is my cat always with me?” 

Your cat is always with you is one way to satisfy his urge to get outside. Or, it may be out of curiosity or the desire to explore something new.

In addition to that, cats are natural hunters. When a cat sees another animal outside, his predatory instincts will take over, and he’ll want to give a chase.

Let’s take a closure look at the main reasons your cuddle bug keeps trying to get outside:

1. To Bask in the Sun

cat basking in the sun

Like humans, cats love sunbathing. (1) Because they love cozy places, cats will want to go outside in the sun where they enjoy the warmth.

If you observe your cat when he dashes out, you’ll realize that he often heads to a specific comfortable, sunny spot.

Just like humans, it is “conceivable that pets can get SAD”, so it is possible that relaxing in the sun improves their mental health. But we can’t know for certain. (2)

2. To Get Fresh Air

Cats enjoy the outdoor time because they can breathe fresh air. If you live in a big city, the chances of your cat getting fresh air are, unfortunately, slim.

As a result, your kitty is always trying to get outside to enjoy the fresh air and escape the stuffy indoor air. Inhaling fresh air helps to improve your cat’s blood circulation.  (3)

When his blood circulates appropriately, he’ll be more active and have more energy.

3. To Get Away From It All

If you have a big family or live in a crowded home, your cat may feel overwhelmed. In such situations, cats try to get away from it all by going outside.

Your cat may also be trying to escape if he’s not getting enough attention from you. If you’re always busy and never have time to play with him, he’ll look for ways to get your attention.

One way to do this is by going outside where he knows you’ll have to come looking for him.

4. To Hunt

cat playing with the mouse outside

Do indoor cats want to go outside to hunt? Yes, all cats have this natural instinct. Domestic cats are predatory species. As such, they have a natural urge to hunt.

When your cat sees another animal outside, his predatory instincts will take over, and he’ll want to give a chase. This is especially true if your cat is bored and has nothing to do.

Galaxy, a cat behaviorist, says, “I think that depression and anxiety for a prey animal, like a cat, comes from not having the outlet of what I call the raw cat,” “Raw cat” is his term for a feline’s hunting instinct. (4)

5. To Explore

Cats are exploratory creatures. They love to explore new places, and the outdoor time is full of new sights and smells for them to discover.

Your kitty may also be trying to get outside because he’s curious about what’s happening. If he hears strange noises or sees unfamiliar people, he’ll want to investigate.

It’s worth noting that as he explores, your kitty isn’t aware of the impending dangers.

6. To Socialize

cat and dog playing

Socialization among pet cats is crucial. If your kitty isn’t getting enough social interaction, he’ll try to get outside to find other cats to socialize with. (5)

While it’s not advisable to let your cat roam freely outdoors, you can take him for walks on a leash so he can get fresh air and meet new friends.

What to Do if Your Cat Wants to Go Outside

Why your indoor cat is obsessed with going outside creates quite the dilemma about what to do?

It’s a common problem. Many pet owners have to deal with it at some point. You may feel guilty about confining your cat indoors because he may need sunshine, fresh air, and an outdoor ambiance.

Apart from experiencing the outdoor life, your cat is at risk of exposure to potential dangers. Therefore, it’s your responsibility to ensure he is safe.

What do you do when your cat meows to go outside? The best solution is to create a safe haven for him.

Creating a Safe Haven for Your Cat

fluffy orange cat looking outside the window while it's raining

A safe cat haven should allow him to enjoy the outdoors without putting himself in danger. You can set up a catio or install a window perch.

A catio is a screened-in porch or enclosure that allows your cat to enjoy outdoor access without roaming freely.

It’s the perfect solution if you want your kitty to get some fresh air without worrying about him getting lost or getting into fights with other animals.

Alternatively, you can install a window perch if you don’t have the space or budget for a catio. A window perch is a platform that attaches to your window and allows your cat to sit in the sun and watch the world go by.

It’s an inexpensive way to give your cat access to the outdoors without putting him in danger. See an example of this pet owner building a catio from start to finish in this video.

How Do I Get My Cat to Stop Wanting to Go Outside?

Although it seems impossible, implementing these tips to make your cuddle bug more comfortable indoors. Let’s take a look.

Spaying or Neutering Your Cat

If your cat isn’t spayed or neutered, it may be one of the reasons why he’s trying to get outside.

Intact cats (not spayed or neutered) have a strong desire to mate and will do whatever it takes to get outdoors so they can find a mate.

Providing Plenty of Stimulation

A bored cat is more likely to want to escape. Make sure he has plenty of toys or cat trees to keep him amused, a scratching post for his claws, and a place to perch so he can survey his kingdom.

You should also consider getting another cat as a companion for him. This video gives you lots of ideas for creating a stimulating indoor environment for your cat.

Giving Him Lots of Love and Attention

Giving your feline lots of love and attention will make him feel like part of the family. Being loved and as if they are part of the family will make the cat less likely to want to leave.

Spend plenty of time playing, petting, and hanging out with your feline.

Is It Ok for Indoor Cats to Go Outside?

cat looking outside the door

Cats will always scratch and meow to go outside. However, this does not mean that going out is safe for them. It’s not okay for indoor cats to go outside and roam freely.

You shouldn’t let your cat outside for the following reasons:

  • To prevent accidents and keep him safe: Moving an indoor cat outside is risky as hundreds of roaming cats are hit by cars daily.
  • To eliminate fights with other cats or wild animals: You will always worry whenever your cat is out and probably ask yourself, “Will my indoor cat come back home? He may get injured or become a victim of animal cruelty.
  • To keep diseases at bay: If your cat goes outside, he gets exposed to contagious diseases, including rabies, feline leukemia, and infectious peritonitis.

FAQS

Are cats happier outside?

Yes, cats are happier outside, but they lack knowledge of impending hazards like cars, wild animals, and toxic plants.

Do indoor cats get depressed?

a cat walking around her cat tree

Yes, indoor cats can get depressed just like humans. The main reason is a lack of mental stimulation. (6)

Conclusion

If you’re among the cat parents who keep saying, “My indoor cat is obsessed with going outside,” you now know the reasons behind this behavior and what you can do to stop it.

You can help anyone asking you, “Why do cats like to go outside?”

You also know that it’s not safe to let your indoor cat outdoors, so the best solution is to provide him with plenty of stimulation and attention inside your home.  I hope you found this helpful!

cat looking outside the glass windows

Does your cat want to always go outside? Please share your experiences below!

Resources

  • 1. “Help Your Cat Seek out & Lie in the Sun | Fancy Feast Lounge.” Www.purina.com.au, www.purina.com.au/fancyfeast/thelounge/articles/joy/fun-in-the-sun. Accessed 28 May 2022.
  • 2. “Does Seasonal Affective Disorder Affect Pets?” Www.petmd.com, www.petmd.com/behavior/does-seasonal-affective-disorder-affect-pets.
  • 3. “Lung Ailments: A Widespread Source of Feline Woe.” Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, 4 Oct. 2017, www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/lung-ailments-widespread-source-feline-woe.
  • 4. “Should Your Cat Get to Go Outside?” WHYY, whyy.org/segments/should-your-cat-get-to-go-outside/. Accessed 28 May 2022.
  • 5. “Socialization and Fear Prevention in Kittens.” Vca_corporate, vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/socialization-and-fear-prevention-in-kittens.
  • 6. “Cat Mental Stimulation – Keep Your Indoor Cat Happy | Purina.” Www.purina.co.uk, www.purina.co.uk/articles/cats/kitten/play/cat-mental-stimulation.
Andreea Juganaru
Andreea Juganaru

Andreea is a very passionate content creator and her purpose is to provide you with the most interesting articles, while constantly discovering new facts. She’s been freelance writing for the past five years and has created numerous articles and educational materials while managing her own business.
FIND HER ON: FACEBOOK.
Read her latest articles.

Learn more about Andrea here