Approximately 25 per cent of owners saw improvements in their cat’s healthand behaviour after installing a contained outdoor area.
Researchers Dr Luciana Santos de Assis and Professor Daniel Mills of theUniversity of Lincoln, found that time spent outside in a controlled outdoorspace such as an enclosure, cat fence, or catio, had a significantly positiveeffect on both cat and owner well-being.
Owners reported improvements in their cat’s health and behaviour includingreduced anxiety, increased active relaxed behaviour, reduced spoiling in home,and fewer episodes of unexplained irritability.
While benefits to owners included reduced concern over leaving their catsoutside without the fear of them escaping or another cat entering the garden.
Allowing cats to free-roam, without the use of an enclosure, leaves the cat toincreased exposure to threats to their welfare including infectious disease,fighting, theft, and the risk of road traffic incidents.
While keeping cats exclusively indoors can cause frustration and unwantedbehavioural challenges leading to stress and compromised health, especially inmulti-cat homes.
Over 400 cat owners took part in the UK study, which is the first to examinehow physical containment systems effects cat welfare, with results suggestingthat a controlled outdoor environment can provide a practical solution formany of the issues surrounding cats being allowed out.
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