Q&A with the animal shelter: Should cats be kept indoors?



There are many risks that come with allowing your cat to roam freely around your neighborhood. Not only is your cat in danger of being hit by a car or injured in a fight with another animal, but they may also harm birds and other wildlife while out and about. Being outside also increases the chances they will be mistaken for a stray, even though they have a family back home!

If you have a cat, we urge you to keep them inside. Whether they are indoors or out, double check that the contact information associated with their microchip is current and that their tag is easy to read and accurate. This will help your cat get back home if it finds its way to a shelter or into the arms of a Good Samaritan.

If you have a free-roaming cat that you would like to move indoors permanently, know that this may take some time. One idea is to start with feeding your cat indoors, gradually increasing the time you keep them inside after each feeding. Be prepared for some pushback against the new lifestyle, such as scratching at doors or window screens, meowing or yowling, and attempts to escape.

If you have the space and resources, you may want to consider adding a catio to your home. Catios are outdoor enclosures that provide a happy middle ground for cats that enjoy being outside and their owners who want to keep them safe.

To learn more about catios, check out the annual Cats Safe at Home Catio Tour taking place this September. Learn more at https://www.catssafeathome.org/catio-tour-info.


Call us at 503-846-7039 or visit www.WashingtonCountyPets.com. Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter is located in Hillsboro at 1901 SE 24th Ave.