Can Domestic Cats Survive Outside: 7 Dangers To Know

As a cat owner, I often get the question can domestic cats survive outside, which is funny and interesting, so in this post, we will be discussing reasons why domestic cats can’t survive outside for too long.

Yes, indoor cats can thrive outside since they are all born hunters who feed on their inherent impulses.

However, the first few months will be difficult, but they will eventually learn to live and survive on their own.

Many factors play a role in an indoor cat’s ability to live outside, and we’ll look at all of them to see how long an indoor cat can stay outside.

So, Can Domestic Cats Survive Outside?

Yes, domestic cats can survive outside for a limited amount of time because all cats are born hunters who feed on their inherent impulses, however, how long domestic cats survive outside is determined by the number of predators, parasite attacks, weather conditions, and climates of the environment.

A domestic cat is unlikely to live in the wild for an extended period of time on its own. There are many reasons you shouldn’t let your cat outside.

Cats that haven’t spent any time outside lack the essential skill set to live in the wild on their own.

Even a cat with up-to-date vaccinations is vulnerable to predation by other animals, parasitic illnesses, poor food, unclean water, and so on.

Because cats, like many other mammals, are territorial, this particular cat must find and defend a territory without knowing what kind of fatal competition he or she could face.

Approximately 80% of indoor cats who survive outside end up becoming wild cats and establishing their own territory; nevertheless, it might take a long time for an indoor cat to thrive outside.

For the record, an indoor cat has a 30/70 % chance of surviving outside, but its survival is contingent on a number of circumstances.

These circumstances are what we will be discussing for the remaining part of this article, so read through.

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Why domestic cats don’t survive outside for long

Here is the list of factors that could determine if an indoor cat can survive outside and how long it can live:

Too many predators around

Predators are creatures that hunt tiny animals for sustenance, and they may be found in and out of the forest, shrubs, and in the wild.

When discussing an indoor cat surviving outside, it is important to examine the number of predators in the region into which the cat is walking.

The quantity of predators influences how long a cat may live in a particular habitat; the greater the number of predators, the worse the cat’s chances of survival.

The fewer the number of predators in a specific region, on the other hand, the better the odds of the cat surviving there.

Of course, an indoor cat that wandered into the woods will not live a day if there are hungry wolves in the area.

There are lots of animals or predators that can kill domestic cats outside which are as follows:

  • Coyotes
  • Porcupines
  • Skunks
  • Raccoons
  • Cougars
  • Scorpions
  • Snakes
  • Hawks
  • Foxes

The Age of the cat

When it comes to an indoor cat thriving outside, the age of the cat is also essential.

This is because the cat has no concept of survival at this age, and the owner goes to great lengths to ensure the cat’s survival.

It may be argued that as a cat gets older, it learns more methods to avoid danger and even hunt mice in its area.

To demonstrate this concept, consider that an 8-week-old cat has a lesser probability of surviving than a 5-year-old cat; hence, the cat’s age is crucial when determining whether an indoor cat can live outside.

A 5-week-old kitten, for example, has no idea when its life is in danger or that it should flee if it comes into touch with a predator; in fact, the kitten has no idea what a predator is.

As a result, the older the cat becomes, the better its odds of surviving outside become.

The availability of food or prey in the area

A prey animal is a tiny mammal that may be utilized as food by a larger animal, such as a cat. The amount of prey in the area is critical for an indoor cat’s survival outside.

When an indoor catwalk outside, hunger will catch up with it quickly; with or without hunting abilities, a hungry cat will pursue down any available mice for food.

Food is essential to the survival of all living things, including cats; without a large quantity of prey nearby, it is impossible for an indoor cat to thrive outside.

As a result, the greater the amount of prey in the area, the more likely an indoor cat is to wander outside.

There are lots of reasons why indoor cats run away from home, and they should be addressed.

The level of the cat immune system

Natural, some animals have a stronger immune system and are better at adapting to new environments than others; this also applies to cats.

When you take your indoor cat to the doctor for a checkup, some physicians will give them immune boosters, which can assist an outdoor cat to survive as long as it can outside.

A cat with a more resistant immune system has a better chance of surviving than one with a weak immune system.

Keeping indoor cats is not easy because indoor cats need a lot of things that can keep them healthy and happy.

Geographical location or weather conditions

There are harsh weather conditions an indoor cat can not survive for long.

Outdoor cats are used to different environments and weather conditions.

Some geographical location has a higher number of predators than other locations.

So if an indoor cat is allowed to go outside in a geographical location that houses a larger number of predators, the chances of survival are low.

On the other hand an indoor can has higher chances of survival in a geographical location with lower number of predator.

Outdoor cats stand a high chance of surviving in harsh weather conditions than indoor cats, this is because the outdoor cats are already adjusted than the indoor cat.

Therefore, when considering factors that may influence the survival of an indoor cat it is important to also look at the geographical location and weather conditions.

Level of diseases and parasites in the environment

Some settings are more polluted than others; a dirty environment, for example, is more hazardous to an indoor cat than a clean environment.

This means that the fewer parasites in a certain habitat, the better the odds of an indoor cat surviving in that environment.

On the other hand, the greater the number of parasites and infectious illnesses in a given environment, the less likely an indoor cat is to survive.

The Breed of Cat

Different breeds of cats are bred for different purposes or reasons, breeds that are bred for a specific purpose might not fit into other purposes.

Some breed of cats is bred as a human companion not as outdoor cats, while others are bred to hunt small birds, some are also bred to keep our environment free from rodents.

For example, Ragdolls are bred as human companions, therefore, letting a Ragdoll go outside is a perfect recipe for disaster and definitely, a Ragdoll cat survives outside for too long.

On the other hand, the American Shorthair is a cat that is known to be good at hunting birds and has natural hunting instincts which gives it an edge over the Ragdoll when you talk of surviving outside.

Taking a look at these two cats I mention above, you can see a clear difference between them when you talk about a cat that can survive outside. Male cats run away for different reasons which should be addressed.

However, we are looking at an indoor cat surviving outside, and to make things easy we will tell you that how long an indoor cat can survive outside is partly dependent on the breed in question.

A breed that was bred for outdoor activities but happens to find itself indoors stands a higher chance of surviving outside than a breed that was bred for indoor activities.

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How long can an indoor cat survive outside

How long an indoor cat survives outside is determined by the number of predators around, parasite attack and infestation, availability of food or prey, however, on average an indoor cat can survive outside for 4 to 7 years if there are no predators around.

A cat that has never been outside will have no idea how to defend itself, seek food, or live in the weather.

The threat of other animals is the first danger that an indoor cat encounters when attempting to thrive outside.

Other than other domesticated cats and dogs, an indoor cat is unlikely to have been introduced to any other animals.

In terms of everyday danger levels and food availability, the lives of domestic cats and wild cats are vastly different.

While feral cats can survive in the wild on their own, the situation is completely different for a domestic cat that is forced to live outside and has never lived in the wild before.

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