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Can Tabby Cats Be Indoor Cats?

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Tabby cats are some of the most interesting pets you’ll find in the world. The habitat a tabby cat lives in has a great effect on their personality, how they grow, and their overall health. A common question that gets asked is about whether tabby cats can be indoor cats. The answer is actually a simple one.

So, can tabby cats be indoor cats? Yes, tabby cats can be indoor cats. Keeping a tabby cat indoors protects them from injuries, dehydration, fleas, and potential diseases. Tabby cats that live indoors have longer life expectancies and are easier to train.

While raising a tabby cat indoors is preferred, there are a couple of strategies that take to make it stress-free for the cat and for the owner. Especially if you’re transitioning a tabby cat from outdoors to indoors, the process needs to be done carefully for best results.

can tabby cats be indoor cats

Reason To Keep A Tabby Cat Indoors

If you’re interested in a tabby cat or already have one, it’s best to make them indoor cats. Below are a few reasons to keep a tabby cat indoors.

  • Reduces the risk of injury
  • Prevents illness
  • Requires less monitoring
  • Limits exposure to fleas
  • Protects cats from fights
  • Stops cats running away
  • More confidence and comfort inside the home

Cats who stay indoors are less likely to be injured. At most, if they call or run into something, it’ll cause little to no harm to the pet. Any cat that is outdoors is more likely to contract some form of illness. That means you’ll need to get your tabby cat more vaccinations as a preventative measure.

In general, a cat that is indoors will need much less monitoring. It’s easier to anticipate which areas of the home they’ll roam, and pick out their daily routine.

Outdoor cats, on the other hand, are less predictable and can end up running away or getting into confrontations with other wildlife.

At the end of the day, you want your tabby cat to be as comfortable as possible with their surroundings. There’s no better place than being inside the home as that presents a more consistent environment for them.

Another reason that’s often overlooked with keeping a tabby cat indoors is how it prolongs their life expectancy. We’ll get into that next!

How Long Do Tabby Cats Live Indoors

Keeping a tabby cat indoors is important if you want to improve their overall life expectancy. Most tabby cats live for at least 12 years indoors. Some cats tabby cats live 15 – 20 years indoors if cared for the right way. This includes making sure your cat has healthy food, has regular veterinary check-ups, and gets regular exercise and play time.

Outdoor tabby cats, on the other hand, live significantly shorter lives than their indoor counterparts. The average outdoor cat only lives between 1 to 5 years outdoors. The majority of outdoor cats don’t make it past 3 years.

A lot of this is affected by cats suffering from illness, getting hit by vehicles, attacked by outdoor predators, or not getting the proper nutrition to supplement an outdoor lifestyle.

Raising A Tabby Cat Outdoors Is Tough

The biggest reason to raise a tabby cat indoors is that it’s the clear cut best way to do it. In the long run, it’ll save you on potential medical bills and pet equipment that could get pretty expensive.

An outdoor tabby cat requires much more monitoring in order to care for. This might cut into personal time as well which is something to consider. While indoor cats can pretty much watch themselves, the same cannot be said for outdoor cats.

With that much free room to roam, they can get lost, run away, or run into trouble very quickly. Keeping a cat outdoors should only be done when there is proper shelter to house them. I recommend an outdoor enclosure like this one to help keep predators away and your cat out of harm’s way.

If you plan to raise a tabby cat outdoors then it’ll be a wise idea to invest in some video monitoring equipment. There are pet cameras that allow for wireless monitoring so you can keep an eye on your pet no matter where you are. I suggest checking out the TOOGE pet camera, it works really well for cats because of the night vision feature. 

Do Tabby Cats Make Good House Cats?

In general, tabby cats make good house cats, perhaps maybe more than any other type of domestic cat.

The personality of a tabby cat is unlike that of any of the other breeds. Tabby cats each have their own distinct personalities. Some can be polite and cuddly while others are finicky. Then there are tabby cats who show a lot of shyness and get aggressive with unfamiliar people or in new surroundings.

How a tabby cat interacts with humans is quite remarkable. Most tabby cats carry a similar trait of social comfort. Even with new individuals, tabby cats will usually be the first to make their way over to lay their scent, sniff around, and even purr looking for treats or to be petted.

Tabby cats as a whole are quite playful in nature which makes them great house pets. These are cats that rarely run low on energy. They are always looking for a toy mouse to chase, a treat to be tossed, or to jump into a lap for petting.

Tabby cats are also known for clawing and scratching furniture, doors, walls, and carpets. Because of that, they may not make for the best indoor cats for apartments, however, that’s kind of the case with any cat that is not declawed.

A tabby cat with claws is not unlike any other cat, although it seems to be more noticeable with cats this interactive and in need of attention. Although it’s not recommended to declaw your cat, that is an option if you have valuables that you cannot stand being ruined.

While tabby cats are loving cats, there are those who can switch their affection off at a moments notice. It’s not uncommon for a tabby cat to be relaxed in one moment, and then hyper and bothered a few minutes later.

These cats are very reactionary to many things. Whether that’s ascent, how they were being petted, or just being moody, tabby cats are sometimes unpredictable. Considering tabby cats are the most popular domestic cat in the world, chances are you’ll be satisfied owning one.

Do Tabby Cats Get Along With Other Cats

If you already have another indoor cat and are looking to add a tabby cat to the family, then you may be wondering if a tabby cat will get along with other cats. The answer is, it depends.

Each cat has their own personality and temperament. In general, tabby cats are friendly and social, but can also be quite territorial when it comes to other cats. If the cat does not have the same temperament as your tabby, then there will almost always be an immediate conflict.

Even if there is a conflict, there are some ways to help a tabby cat get along with another breed. The first step is to give each cat their own separate feeding areas, toys, and sleeping areas. This will help limit competitive aggression as cats can be territorial over specific items and areas of the home.

Over time the cats can be trained to roam within their own area. It’s also a wise idea to get cats that are of similar size and build to eliminate one overpowering the other in the case of a scuffle.

It’s important that each cat have their own personal access to the owner. Tabby cats especially need a lot of social interaction. It might be a good idea to put other cats in a kennel initially so that you can spend time with each one individually.

As with introducing any breed of cat to the family, this needs to be done gradually. Throwing a new cat into the mix too soon can be problematic later on.

Do Indoor Tabby Cats Get Depressed

There’s a common belief out there that tabby cats specifically can become depressed if they are indoor only cats. That’s actually not the case if you raise the cat the right way.

With a social cat like a tabby cat especially, it’s important that you spend time with them each day. It’s recommended to spend at least 15 to 20 minutes per day playing with your tabby cat and giving them attention.

It can be something as simple as petting them in your lap, tossing toys, or feeding them. Simply being in the same room as your tabby cat is typically enough to put them at ease and fulfill their social need.

If there are windows in the home, it’s a good idea to leave them open so your cat can look out and stay entertained.

If you do decide to get your indoor tabby cat some outdoor exposure, be sure to train them on a harness while they are still kittens. This way it’ll be much easier to take them on safe walks and let them experience the outdoors.

As with any indoor cat, make sure to provide them with plenty of food, clean water, and a well-cleaned litter box. Vertical scratching posts like this one are also a great deterrent from furniture and walls.