How Long Can an Indoor Cat Survive Outside?

It is not recommended to allow your cat to roam freely. If you ever do choose to let your kitty go outside, then you should be keeping an eye on it at all times.

In case an indoor cat gets lost, it is highly unlikely that it would survive for more than a few days or weeks – domestic cats might not find food and they rarely have the skills necessary to defend themselves. Strictly outdoor cats hardly ever reach the age of 5.

How Long Can an Indoor Cat Survive Outside?

Cats that have never lived outside don’t have the necessary skills to survive in the wild. Instinctively, they might find shelter and some food, but their life expectancy would be drastically shortened. 

Will an Indoor Cat Survive Outside?

It is highly unlikely for a domestic cat to be able to survive outside for a considerable amount of time. Kitties that have never had a chance to hunt certainly do have natural inclinations, but that does not mean that they would be able to kill an animal and eat it.

Our boy Coco 3

If your cat is declawed, then it’s going to struggle even more as the little guy won’t be able to properly defend itself.

Read: How Long Do Cats Tails Grow?

Can House Cats Survive Outside in the Winter?

If the cat was able to find a warm shelter, then it might be able to survive. However, the kitty will most likely die, if it is left on the streets while it’s cold outside.

The animal will start suffering from hypothermia. In case it survives, the cat might need one of its limbs amputated. 

How Long Can an Indoor Cat Survive Outside in the Winter?

If it’s extremely cold outside, the kitty might freeze to death in as little as 3-4 days. Long-haired breeds might survive for a little longer.

How Cold Is Too Cold for a Cat Outside?

45 degrees and anything below is way too cold for a cat, even if it has been living outdoors. In case it gets that cold, you would have to bring the kitty inside to prevent frostbite and other unpleasant consequences. 

How Long Do Indoor/Outdoor Cats Live?

Indoor cats have a considerably higher life expectancy than outdoor feline friends. You can expect an indoor kitty to live for 15-17 years, while outdoor cats rarely reach the age of 5.

Can an Indoor Cat Find Its Way Home?

All cats have a ‘homing instinct’ – a special ability that should help them find their way home. 

Kitties have an amazing sense of smell and one of the widely supported theories suggests that these animals leave special smell markers wherever they go. According to another theory, cats are able to use the geomagnetic field to locate their home (kitties have a ‘fix’ on their residence, no matter how far they have traveled).

That said, just like humans, some cats are better at using all these senses to figure out where to go, while others are not as good at it.

Read: Does Cat Need Bath After Swimming?

Do Cats Remember Where They Live?

Generally speaking, cats do remember where they live, and if you leave the little guy to roam around, it should be able to find its way back home.

Kitties mark their territory by spraying or rubbing against various surfaces (such as stairs and porches). These familiar scents are, probably, the clues that help them find the house that they live in.

Will My Cat Come Back If I Let Him Outside?

The chances are high that your kitty will come back home if it had enough time to get acquainted with the territory. 

Most cats that have been let outside for the first time will carefully explore the garden or the backyard for only a few minutes or so before heading back.

Do Cats Come Back If They Run Away?

Usually, when cats run away from home, they will return. However, no one knows for sure when exactly that will happen – in a few hours, days, or even months.

There has been a case when the kitty got reunited with its mom only in 12 years! But that is definitely more of an exception.

Of course, sometimes kitties can go missing for good. Cats are really good at finding their way back home, so, usually, they will disappear because they had got into an accident or a fight that, unfortunately, didn’t end well.

Read: Why Does My Cat Want So Much Attention in the Morning?

How Long Will a Cat Stay Gone?

Kitties that are used to being outdoors might choose to stay away from home for a few days. Even a week’s time away is not terribly unusual for free-spirited furry balls.

However, it is quite uncommon for a happy domestic cat to be gone for over 24 hours.

How Far Will an Indoor Cat Stray?

Even though cats can travel really long distances, they will usually stay within a 3-4-hour radius from their house.

But the majority of kitties prefer to explore the territory a lot closer to home. A study on missing cats has found that the feline friends that have access to the outdoors rarely stray farther than a little more than the length of three football fields.

When it comes to indoor cats, those hardly ever travel farther than 128 feet away from their beloved home.

Read: Why Cat Not Gaining Weight but Eating Well?

How Long Should My Cat Be Missing Before I Worry?

If it’s not in the kitty’s character to stay out for long and it has been absent for 12 hours or overnight, then you can start notifying the appropriate organizations and people (don’t forget to tell the vet).

It is not unusual for outdoor cats to go missing for 24 hours or even a few days, so, in such a case, you might want to inform the neighbors and contact the microchip database in 24-48 hours.

Why Do Indoor Cats Run Away?

A kitty is more likely to run away if it is:

  • In heat
  • Giving birth
  • Hunting
  • Looking for more territory to conquer
  • Sick or wounded
  • Getting ready to pass away

Cats will also run away if they get scared. Unexpected loud noises, for example, might frighten the kitty and make it sprint.

Do Cats Forget Their Owners After 2 Weeks?

If you have been the cat’s mom or dad for over 16 hours (that’s how long a kitty’s short-term memory lasts), then your pet will, probably, never forget you.

How Can I Find My Lost Indoor Cat?

Make sure that the kitty is not hiding inside. If your cat is actually missing, then you should start acting as soon as possible. 

A physical search seems to be the best possible solution – the chances of finding your kitty close to the house are pretty high.

If the cat is microchipped or has a GPS tracker on its collar, it will be a lot easier for you to find the little guy – veterinarians really do recommend investing in such a ‘safety measure’ just in case.

Read: Why Cat Won’t Eat After Moving?

Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Cats

One of the main differences between outdoor and indoor cats is that the latter won’t stray too far away from the house if they are ever allowed to roam freely. Moreover, the life expectancy of indoor cats is 3-4 times higher.