Considering how much time cats spend looking outdoors, and trying to escape to outdoors, you would probably think that your cat would be much happier outside than inside.
And many cats probably would be. But domestic cats, by and large, aren’t really great outdoor cats unless they come from a line of barn cats or feral colonies and even then, their life expectancy is slashed.
Some breeds of cat can handle being outdoors better than others though, so if you own a Persian cat, you may be wondering which side your cat falls on. Can Persian cats be outside?
Short answer: while Persian cats may think they should be able to go outside, the reality is that they aren’t really built for it.
Their long coats, short muzzles, and lazy nature (both physically and intellectually) mean that being outdoors subjects them to many health problems, getting stolen, or getting killed by other animals or vehicles.
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Health Problems for the Outdoor Persian
Shorthair cats tend to do better outside than longhair Persians based on the coat difference alone.
Persian coats are high maintenance – they require daily brushing, are prone to mats and tangle, and when they go outside, they quickly get dirty, dusty, and covered in grass and bugs.
When this happens, you have a lot of brushing and combing ahead of you and possibly have to shave your cat.
That long coat can also easily harbor fleas, ticks, and other insects that will annoy your cat or even make them sick.
Persian cats are also prone to respiratory problems due to their short nose and flat faces.
This has been bred slowly out so that they aren’t ridiculously flat-faced anymore, but Persian cats can still have problems with their breathing.
Being outside all the time exacerbates this due to all the dust, dirt, and other obstructions that can get into their noses and cause problems.
Persian Cats Aren’t Very Street Savvy
Some cats can handle being outside because they are canny or at least have the sense to not be shy at everything. This… is not the case with most Persian cats.
Persians tend to be very docile, lazy, and placid, meaning that they can easily get into trouble since they don’t fight back. They are easy prey for predators, they spook at noises easily, and they don’t defend themselves very well.
That trait of being docile is great for humans, but not so great for a cat trying to rough it in the wild.
All cats are at risk of being hit by vehicles when they are outside too often as well. This is a major reason not to let them go outside without a lot of supervision or even a leash.
Persian Cats are Easy to Steal
Persian cats are expensive cats, particularly show breeds or those with a particularly distinctive coat. Their docile nature means they aren’t very stranger aware.
The combination makes them easy to steal if they are spending time outside. Persian cats are very tempting for thieves to make off with. They can also get picked up and dumped elsewhere by irate neighbors.
How Can I Safely Let My Persian Cat Go Outside?
Many pet owners feel guilty for not letting their cats explore the outside world. After all, the fresh air and sunshine are often good for cats and exercise is very beneficial.
But you have to take them outside in a safe way rather than simply letting them run amok. There are a few ways you can do this:
- Try to make your yard cat friendly with high fences and low trees or bushes for them to hide under. This also helps to keep other animals out of your yard.
- If this isn’t possible, invest in a ‘catio’ which is an enclosed area usually attached to the house where the cat can bask in the sunshine and air but is closed off from the rest of the world. There are some great designs online you can use.
- Train your cat to wash on a leash or use a cat backpack to transport your cat safely.
- Make sure your cat is fully updated on their vaccinations and give your cat a good brushing after each outdoor excursion to get rid of dirt, mats, and bugs
Cats that are going outdoors should always be carefully supervised to make sure they don’t get into trouble or get stolen.
But not all cats even want to go outside. I have had a couple of cats who were utterly terrified of grass. I never had to worry about them running off!
When trying to figure out if your cat is a cat who will even appreciate going outside, consider the following:
- Is your cat easily scared or spooked?
- How well does your cat handle new experiences?
- Is our cat more prone to running and hiding?
- Does your cat go to you for help, or does it flee when it’s upset?
- How trainable is your cat?
Although we humans may think that all cats want to be outdoors, this isn’t necessarily the case, and you may be worrying needlessly.
Most of my cats didn’t care at all about going outside and even the one who did (my old Rune cat) only ever went as far as the lilac bushes.
Our current cats are too ditzy to go outside safely, so they are indoor cats to keep them safe (they have some great window perches though).
Persian cats aren’t the best cats to go outdoors. Their coats pick up dirt and mat too easily, their noses are often very flat and get obstructed easily, and their docile nature makes them more likely to get stolen or killed by predators.
If you do want to take your cat outside, make sure that you use a leash or a carrier, have a good enclosure, and supervise your cat on its excursions.
And don’t forget to give it a good combing afterward! All of this will keep your cat safer so that it will live longer and stay healthy.
Does your Persian cat like to go outside? How do you keep it safe?
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.