Should I keep my cat inside or let it go outdoors?

Whether to keep your cat as an indoor cat or allow it to roam outside is a complex issue with pros and cons on both sides. Here are some things to consider:

Indoor Cats:

- Indoor cats often live longer because they're not exposed to the hazards of the outdoor world such as traffic, predators, or fights with other animals.
- They're less likely to catch diseases, parasites, or to be poisoned.
- Indoor cats aren't a threat to local wildlife. Cats are effective hunters and can seriously impact local bird populations, among others.
- You can more easily manage their diet and prevent obesity.

Outdoor Cats:

- Outdoor cats can engage in natural behaviors like hunting, climbing, and exploring. This may lead to a more mentally stimulated cat.
- They tend to get more exercise than indoor cats, helping prevent obesity.

Many cat owners find a compromise with supervised outdoor access. This can be as simple as letting the cat out into a secure backyard while the owner is present, or as complex as building a "catio" or cat patio. This is a secure outdoor enclosure that the cat can access whenever it likes.

If you introduce your cat to the outside, it might indeed increase its desire to go outside again. Not all cats react this way, but many find the stimuli of the outdoors very engaging.

As for ways to keep your cat inside and discourage it from wanting to go outside, you can:

1. Create a stimulating environment: This could involve adding vertical spaces (cat trees or shelves), a variety of toys, and interactive playtimes.

2. Window perches: These can allow your cat to safely observe the outdoors.

3. Use scents: Cats are driven by scent. Using catnip, pheromones, or their favorite treats can make the indoors more appealing.

4. Training: This takes time and patience, but you can train your cat to understand boundaries.

5. Indoor plants: Non-toxic indoor plants can bring some outdoor elements inside for your cat to explore. Just be sure to check they're safe for cats.

6. Keep a schedule: Feeding, playtime, and cuddling on a set routine will give your cat something to look forward to inside.

It's worth noting that every cat is different. What works well for one cat might not work as well for another. It's about finding the right balance that keeps your cat healthy and happy.