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Home > Cats > 6 Reasons Why Your Cat Wants to Go Outside Immediately & What to Do

6 Reasons Why Your Cat Wants to Go Outside Immediately & What to Do

cat near door at home

Is your indoor cat obsessed with going outdoors? Cats love to explore, and it’s not unusual for an indoor cat to barrage their owners with requests to be let out outside. If you want to keep your cat exclusively indoors, though, this can lead to frustration due to the constant meowing at the door. Here are the reasons that your cat wants outside and a few things that you can do to deal with the situation.

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The 6 Reasons Your Cat Wants to Go Outside

1. They want to get fresh air

Cats love the outdoors because they like fresh air. Sometimes indoor air gets stuffy, so they seek clean air outside. Fresh air can rejuvenate your cat and give them more energy. Evidence also suggests that fresh air improves your cat’s overall blood circulation, enhances their respiratory health, and reduces the risk of lung and heart disease.


2. They want to lie in the sunshine

Have you ever noticed that your cat loves to bask in places where the sun shines through the window? Many cats like to lounge around in warm, cozy places. This includes outside on a sunny day. If your cat darts out the door, you may find that they head straight to a warm, sunny spot and lie down.

While we don’t know for sure, it’s also possible that sunshine exposure improves your cat’s mood. The sun gives off vitamin D, which has a significant impact on the mood of humans, so much so that it can help ward off symptoms of depression. It’s unclear whether cats get sad the same way that we do, but it’s quite possible that the sun still improves their mental health and decreases anxiety.

cat is sleeping while basking in the sun heat
Image by: qimono, Pixabay

3. They want to enjoy peace and quiet

If you have a busy household with a big family or plenty of activity, your cat might just be seeking time away to relax. Noise and activity can overwhelm cats that want to enjoy peace and quiet.

Cats can also feel like they’re getting too much attention or not enough. Either way, they will do their best to convey the message that their needs aren’t being met. Charging outside can be an escape from children that bother them or a way to get your attention if they feel ignored.


4. They want to hunt

As natural predators, cats need to act on their natural hunting instincts. If they see other animals or birds outside, they instinctively want to chase them. This urge becomes even stronger if your cat isn’t getting enough stimulation indoors. They must be mentally engaged and have outlets for their drive to hunt.

cat hunting
Image by: katya-guseva0, Pixabay

5. They want to explore

Outside is full of sights and smells that indoor cats don’t get to experience. Cats love to explore new things, so this may be the reason that they want out. They are also curious creatures that simply want to know what’s going on outside. Maybe you have a dog that gets to wander out with you, but your cat doesn’t, and they want to know what’s so exciting beyond the door.


6. They want socialization

While we don’t think of cats as social animals, they do require a certain amount of social interaction. If your cat isn’t getting this need met, they may try to head outside to find other cats to socialize with. Unfortunately, your cat doesn’t always understand that they may encounter something dangerous. They just want to hang out and play.

two cats touch each other's noses
Image by: Sandeep Gore, Shutterstock

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Ways to Stop the Meowing to be Let Out

If your cat is annoying you with their constant requests to go outside, there are a few things that you can do about it. Here are six ways to stop (or at least reduce) your cat’s demands.

1. Leash train your cat and take them for walks

If you’re not inclined to let your cat roam outdoors alone, there is one way that you can let them explore safely. It is relatively easy to leash train your cat, and you can take them for daily walks while keeping them safely attached to you. Scheduling a daily outdoor walk will satisfy your kitty’s need for fresh air, sunshine, and curiosity and keep them safe from lurking dangers.

bengal cat on a leash walking
Image by: Amerigo_images, Shutterstock

2. Don’t reward undesirable behavior

Cats easily understand which behaviors are rewarded (i.e., get them what they want) and which behaviors are not rewarded. If something has no payoff, your cat won’t continue doing it. You may be unintentionally causing the incessant meowing by rewarding it. Rewards can be in the form of petting, giving your cat attention, or even taking them for a walk every time they demand it.

Ignoring your cat when they meow to go outside, and rewarding quiet, calm behavior will help reduce the behavior. Take your cat for a walk only when they are quiet and not meowing at the door. Your cat will quickly learn that making demands doesn’t get them what they want.


3. Provide an enriching environment

Cats that are well-stimulated indoors are less likely to want out. This can include having puzzle toys, scratchers, and playtime. Creating comfortable relaxation spaces where your kitty can lie in the sun or a spot where they can watch a bird feeder outside the window will meet their needs without them leaving the house.

Small changes in the environment can make a big difference. Rotate your cat’s toys to avoid boredom, or try catnip or cat grass to make things more exciting.

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4. Create a safe outdoor space

A catio or an enclosed outdoor space can enable your cat to experience the outdoors without wandering out of your yard. There are many options to keep your cat contained and still give them the ability to explore safely.


5. Spay or neuter your cat

Cats that aren’t spayed or neutered have a natural desire to roam in search of a mate. Males in particular will do to escape outside the first chance that they get. Spaying or neutering your cat can prevent these instincts from kicking in altogether.

spaying cat
Image by: De Visu, Shutterstock

6. Give your cat adequate love and attention

Even the most independent felines want love and attention at least some of the time. How much attention a cat needs depends on the individual. Some cats are happy to be alone and only interact with you for a few minutes each day, while others want to be your constant companion. Regardless of their personality, making your cat part of the family and regularly offering playtime, petting, and cuddles will make them want to stay rather than leave. In many cases, cats just don’t realize that you want to hang out with them. Make sure they know that they are loved.

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Pros & Cons of Outdoor Cats

We can’t tell you whether to let your cat outside or keep them in, as everyone has different preferences. We can give you the information that you need to make an informed choice about doing so. There are advantages and disadvantages to letting your cat out and vice versa.

Pros of Outdoor Cats

  • They have greater opportunities for exercise.
  • Cats that roam outdoors are less likely to become overweight.
  • They have the freedom to engage in hunting behavior.
  • Outdoor cats can indulge their natural curiosity.
Brazilian Shorthair cat outdoors
Image Credit: Wirestock Creators, Shutterstock

Cons of Outdoor Cats

  • Outdoor cats have shorter lifespans due to the dangers outside.
  • There is more exposure to contagious diseases.
  • They are more likely to pick up parasites or experience flea and tick infestations.
  • Outdoor cats face dangers from predators, humans, and vehicles.
  • Unspayed cats risk pregnancy.
  • Stray cats often fight with other cats.
  • Outdoor cats are a danger to bird populations.

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Pros of Indoor Cats

  • You don’t have to worry about your cat getting hurt.
  • Indoor cats are less likely to contract a disease or pick up parasites.
  • Indoor cats live longer and are less likely to get lost.
  • There are little to no risks of exposure to poison or inclement weather.
two cats on a tree looking in one direction in front of a white wall
Image Credit: Teixeira, Shutterstock

Cons of Indoor Cats

  • Indoor living can cause boredom.
  • Some indoor cats suffer from anxiety and depression.
  • It’s more work to ensure that they are adequately stimulated.
  • Indoor cats are at high risk for obesity.

divider-cat Are Cats Happier Outside?

No, not all cats are happier outside. Some are, but this differs between individual cats. As a rule, cats that have never been outside will be happier than cats that have been. It’s difficult to take a cat that has had the freedom to explore outdoors and make them an exclusively indoor cat. One that has been indoors from birth is much more likely to enjoy their time inside.

Most cats enjoy time outdoors, but they are unaware of the impending dangers, especially if they have never been exposed to them.

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Conclusion

If your cat constantly demands to go outside, there are a few different reasons for it. Also, there are pros and cons to keeping your cat indoors or letting them outside, and only you can decide which option is best. Providing proper stimulation, exercise, and playtime for an indoor cat will help prevent the constant demands of going outdoors. Another option is to take your cat for walks or create a contained outdoor space for your cat. This gives them fresh air and sunshine without exposing them to the potential risks of outdoor life.

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Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

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