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Spending time outside is just as good for cats as it is for you.

Do cats need to go outside to be happy?

If your indoor cat spends hours each day peering out the window, or your outdoor cat prefers sunning himself on the front porch rather than snoozing in the barn, you might wonder, do cats need to go outside to be happy? There's no denying the health benefits of going for a walk for yourself, including stress reduction, improved mood, and better sleep. Let's discover if cats mirror us.

Spending time outside is just as good for cats as it is for you.

Do cats benefit from time outside?

Like people, cats have distinct and individual preferences. Some love to explore the outdoors, while others feel content at home. Your indoor cat will let you know if he wants time out and about by getting curious when you open the door and he peeks outside.

Cats that want to go outside benefit from the mental stimulation of exploring a new area, vitamin D from sunlight, increased exercise, and fresh air. Cats are natural predators, so don't be surprised if your furry friend instinctively hunts (for bugs, birds, or mice) or climbs trees.

Whether you have an indoor or outdoor cat, take precautions before allowing the pet to roam outside. Your cat should be current on vaccinations and seen by his veterinarian regularly. Make sure he's wearing a collar with his name and your contact information and is treated for parasite control. Also, keep in mind that when cats explore outside, they are more susceptible to hazards such as wild animals, dogs, cars, toxic chemicals (on lawns, in garages, etc.), and parasites (including fleas and ticks).

To keep a cat safer outdoors, consider walking your pet with a harness and leash. Or, build a catio (a covered cat patio) that allows your cat to benefit from outdoor time while safely containing him.

Indoor Cat Comfort Accessories

For felines that feel fine relaxing in the house, bring the outdoors into their view with a cozy cat bed next to a window, stimulate their senses with a toy, and offer an elevated feeding station.

Indoor Cat Window Beds

To get your pet closer to nature while indoors, attach a K&H EZ Mount Kittyface Window Bed to a solid glass pane window. The open-top design allows for easy access. And the washable K&H Amazin' Kitty Pad at the bottom of the bed helps retain body heat and trap dander. This adorable cat window bed supports up to 50 pounds.

K&H EZ Mount Kittyface Window Bed

If your cat is extra fluffy (like a Maine Coon), consider the K&H Thermo EZ Mount Window Bed Extra Deep that accommodates up to 60 pounds. This bed has a heated plush fleece pad, which you can remove to wash, and runs along the inside of the window to protect your feline from the cold glass on chilly days.

K&H Thermo EZ Mount Window Bed Extra Deep

The K&H EZ Mount Penthouse is purrfect for cats that prefer a private viewing box. This bed affixes to glass windows or doors to create a cat-only hideaway for your best fur friend. This cat bed holds up to 50 pounds.

K&H EZ Mount Penthouse

Indoor Cat Toys

Combine your cat's need to scratch with window time by using the K&H EZ Mount Kitty Sill Cradle Scratcher (comes with catnip!) to keep her happy. The curved window cat bed encourages both restful napping and lively catnip investigations. After ample play, replace the scratcher with a refill. Do you have a curious kitten? You could also attach a K&H EZ Mount Window Cat Grass Grow Station to the glass to entice your pet to nibble on freshly grown oat grass.

K&H EZ Mount Kitty Sill Cradle Scratcher

Does your cat play in a basement, living room, catio, garden shed, or other outbuilding? Add the K&H Kitty Tower to spark a sense of intrigue when playing in a covered area. Available in two- or three-story structures, this activity center encourages climbing, peeping (through the holes), napping, and exploring.

K&H Kitty Tower

If your cat adores the K&H Kitty Tower, expand the play area by attaching a K&H Cat Straight Tunnel Toy Cat Tube. A cat can slink through the 36-inch long tube and stop to poke her head out of the round opening in the center. The tube also provides exploration opportunities without attaching to a tower.

K&H Cat Straight Tunnel Toy Cat Tube

Used alone or joined to the K&H Kitty Tower, your cat will also find navigating the K&H Cat T-Tunnel Toy - 3 Way Cat Tube amusing and exciting. The T-shape encourages exercise both alone or with cat friends.

K&H Cat T-Tunnel Toy – 3 Way Cat Tube

Indoor Cat Dining

Do you have a dog or a toddler in the home? Consider elevating your cat's food dish by installing the K&H EZ Mount Up and Away Diner to a window so your cat can eat peacefully with an outdoor view. The 12-ounce stainless steel bowl is removed easily for washing and refilling.

K&H EZ Mount Up and Away Diner

Keeping Your Cat Cozy Outdoors

Both indoor cats that like occasional fresh air and full-time outdoor cats can benefit from having an outdoor cat house, a dedicated feeding area, and playtime activities.

Outdoor Cat Houses

Keep your cat extra cozy in a weather-resistant, insulated outdoor cat house. The K&H Thermo Outdoor Kitty House offers a soft warming pad to use on chilly winter days. A roof and two exits (featuring removable door flaps) help keep inclement weather out of the cat house. The Thermo Outdoor Kitty House is low wattage and has been tested and certified by MET Labs to exceed UL electrical safety standards.

K&H Thermo Outdoor Kitty House

If you have multiple outdoor cats, consider the K&H Thermo Outdoor Kitty House Extra-Wide. This large cat house makes it possible for two cats to curl up inside. This kitty house is available in heated or unheated options. The heated version is low wattage and MET safety listed to exceed UL electrical safety standards.

K&H Thermo Outdoor Kitty House Extra Wide

Outdoor Cat Dining

When feeding your cat outside, protect his food and water from rain, snow, and dirt. The K&H Outdoor Kitty Dining Room offers a weather-resistant shelter for food and water bowls with walls on three sides. The room can accommodate the heated K&H Thermo-Kitty Cafe (sold separately) that keeps water and food from freezing. This outdoor cat dining room can sit on a porch or deck or inside a garage or barn.

K&H Outdoor Kitty Dining Room

Help Your Cat Enjoy the Outdoors

Do cats need to go outside to be happy? Maybe! Some cats really do enjoy a green scene. Whether you install a cozy cat bed next to an indoor window or you give your outdoor cat an intriguing backyard play area, he will appreciate your attention to his happiness by offering up grateful purrs and possibly a few extra snuggles.

Learn more about caring for cats that enjoy time outdoors in "Where Do Cats Sleep Outside at Night?"

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