Skip to content

How to Train your Cat to be an Outdoor Cat

  • 10 min read

Are you about to introduce your cat to the outdoors? Well, this article is absolutely for you!
You’re getting a new cat family member and don’t know whether your cat should be a house cat or an outdoor cat? You already have a cat with a strong need for freedom, but you are afraid it will get lost? Find out the advantages and disadvantages, as well as tips and tricks on how to get your cat used to being outdoor.

Should I let my cat outside?

There are controversial opinions on whether cats should be kept indoors or outdoors. For many cat owners, letting the cat go outside is a matter of course. Others are afraid for their beloved cat. You haven’t even thought of some advantages and disadvantages. Below is a comparison of the advantages of outdoor and indoor cats that might make your decision easier.

Advantages and disadvantages of outdoor cats and indoor cats

Benefits of outdoor cat Advantages of indoor cats
Your cat can follow its natural urges and instincts.Low risk of poisoning from plants or poisonous baits
Your cat has enough to do.Low risk of ticks , fleas another parasites
Your cat is getting lots of exercise and is likely to be fitter and healthier.Usually lower vet bills
Your cat is less at risk of obesity or other diseases.Your cat can not be fed by others or escape
Your cat won’t sit bored at home when you’re out.No danger from cars or other means of transport
You’ll need to clean the litter box less often.
No risk of being injured in contact with other four-legged friends (e.g. in turf wars)
Your cat will be much more balanced physically and mentally when it comes back indoors and will break down less.

Taking Your Indoor Cat Outside for the first time

Cats are very independent and freedom-loving animals. Compared to indoor cats, outdoor cats can like their natural instincts:

  • to hunt
  • sneak up
  • lurking

Live it out optimally. However, indoor cats have a longer life expectancy because they are not exposed to the above-mentioned dangers.

You must weigh the pros and cons and decide whether to keep your cat outdoors or indoors. Include the character and breed of your cat in your decision! Is your cat active and constantly looking out the window, or is it quiet and anxious? Research breeds if you want an indoor cat. Some species, such as Abyssinians and Balinese, do particularly well indoors. 

Also note: If a cat has always been used to going outside and you now want to keep it as an indoor cat, it won’t make it happy in the long run.

If you only want to give your cat limited outdoor access because you don’t want to subject it to the dangers outside or you’re afraid it will get lost, a walk together with a leash and harness is a good compromise. While it’s not necessarily for every cat, you’ll both enjoy it. Give it a try; you both will gain enough security and trust that your cat will soon be able to explore the area without a leash.

A cat trying to climb a tree

Things to consider before taking your cat outdoors


Your cat should be vaccinated, microchipped, and neutered before going outside. The chipping is significant because if your velvet paw disappears, the finder can have it read in the veterinary practice using a reader and find the owner. If you want to get your cat used to outdoors, it will also need more vaccinations such as deworming.


It would help to have your outdoor cat chipped, neutered, and vaccinated. Especially when vaccinating your cat, there are not only one-off costs but ongoing costs due to the upcoming booster vaccinations.


Suppose you live in a dangerous area (like next to a freeway) or an area with little to no green space (e.g., downtown), and you have adequate indoor space. In that case, training your cat as an indoor cat may be better. In this case, your cat would be exposed to too many dangers outside and may not feel comfortable.

It can be problematic for your cat if your new home is close to your old one. Although cats have a perfect sense of direction, your cat will try to return to its old territory and stay away from its new home. If you move, keep them at home for a while.

How to Train your Cat to be an Outdoor Cat

Before you let your cat outside, you can set up a cat flap. So she can come and go whenever she wants. With the help of a chip, the flap can be accessible only for your house tiger so that no unwanted guests can enter.

An essential requirement: A good relationship between animals and humans is necessary. Build trust with your little big cat.

Step-by-step adventure cat training 

Feed your cat indoors

If you want to train your cat for outside, feed your cat less for the first few days than indoors. Hunger will drive them home faster. Moreover, establishing a feeding schedule will help your cat adjust to the outdoor routine. She will be inclined to go back home at the feeding time. 

Make a routine

Cats love routines. Create a routine for your feline friend and stick to it. Don’t make unnecessary amendments to the routine. For instance, please don’t take her outside during the night. 

Start with shorter periods outside

  • Allowing your cat to stay outside for a short period will make it easy for her to get accustomed to the great outdoors. 
  • Keep an eye on your cat throughout. Never leave your kitten unattended when you’re outside.
  • When it’s time to go back, lure her back with treats.
  • Repeat the steps every day and expand the area and time duration day by day.

Outdoor litter training

When your cat is trained to stay outside longer, you should get a travel litter box and start litter training. This way, your cat can perform the business anywhere without any hassle. 

A cat with harness and leash standing outdoors

How to keep your adventure cat safe outdoors 

You can do a few more things to keep your four-legged friend safe outside.

Train your cat to wear a harness

Your cat is allowed outside for the first few days; you can use a harness if you want her to go outside safely. Once the cat gets used to the harness, you can increase the time outside daily until you finally let them roam free. She’ll likely expand her territory and explore new areas, but many cats love it when you spend time with your cat and will stay close to you.

Put a safety collar 

If your cat allows it, putting a safety collar around his neck with a tag that says your contact information is a good idea.

Name training for an outdoor cat

Make sure your cat answers her name before you let her outside. That way, you can always call their name and bring them back to you when not around. You should also have a good photo of your furry friend if you need to create a wanted poster or ask someone if they’ve seen them. 

Install a GPS tracker for your cat

So that your cat doesn’t get lost in the first place, equip it with a GPS tracker or microchip for cats. This allows you to follow your furry friend’s every step, get to know their territory, and mark dangerous zones on the map that your cat should avoid. You will receive a notification directly on your mobile phone if she enters these areas.

When your worst nightmare ever comes true, and your cat goes missing, you can count on GPS. Additionally, you can monitor your cat’s well-being by looking at their sleep and activity metrics. A good idea? Then strike today and let your cat outside carefree.

I hope you this article will prove helpful in training your adventure cat. Feel free to share it with your friends and family and keep following for some more exciting cat travel content!

Training Your indoor cat to stay outside – FAQs

Q: What time of day is best to go outside?

The best time to take your cat outside is during daylight hours, ideally in the morning or late afternoon. This avoids the extreme midday temperatures, reduced visibility, and increased risks of nighttime.

Q: What age should my cat go outside?

Cats should be at least 6 months old before they start exploring outdoors. By this age, they’re typically big enough to defend themselves and have received necessary vaccinations.

Q: What are the dangers of letting your indoor cat go outside?

Outdoor cats face risks such as traffic, predators, poisonous plants, and diseases from other animals. They also risk getting lost or injured.

Q: Can a house cat become an outdoor cat?

Yes, a house cat can become an outdoor cat with proper training and acclimatization. It’s important to gradually introduce them to the outdoors and ensure they are comfortable and safe.

Q: When not to let your cat outside?

Avoid letting your cat outside during extreme weather conditions, if they are sick, or if there’s increased traffic or activity in your area that could pose a risk.

Q: My kitty wants to be an outdoor cat: what do I do?

Start by allowing supervised outdoor time in a safe, enclosed area. Gradually increase their outdoor time as they become more comfortable and confident.

Q: How do you train a cat to go outside and come back?

Begin with short, supervised outings, gradually increasing the duration. Use treats and call them by name to encourage return. Consider training them to respond to a bell or whistle.

Q: How do you train a cat to stay in the yard?

Training a cat to stay in the backyard involves supervision and reinforcement. Use a leash initially and reward them for staying within boundaries. Consistency is key.

Q: How do I train my cat not to run away outside?

Keep initial outdoor experiences positive and stress-free by letting them explore independently while keeping an eye on them. Always supervise and incentivize your cat to stay close, such as treats or toys.

Q: Why every adventure cat needs a backpack

A backpack is essential for carrying supplies like water, treats, a first-aid kit, toys to play with, and identification tags. It also helps in transporting a tired or scared cat safely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Anum Basit

Anum Basit

Anum Basit is the founder of PurrfectJourney, a cat travel blog that provides expert insights and advice for cat owners who love to travel. As a lifelong cat lover, Anum has gained extensive knowledge and experience in the field of cat travel. She understands the unique challenges that cat owners face when traveling with their feline companions and is committed to providing informative and engaging content that helps them navigate these challenges with ease. Anum's passion for cat travel has inspired her to create a platform where cat owners can find valuable information and resources for traveling with their furry friends. Follow her on PurrfectJourney for the latest insights and tips on cat travel!