Cats always seem to want to be outside. As I write, my tortie oriental longhair cross is on my dresser staring outside with an intense look on her face. And given the opportunity, she probably would go outside and end up stuck in a tree.
The tuxedo cat on the other hand loves looking outside but is timider and would likely not run too far (we are going to work on leash training him this summer).
Most cats though (who aren’t my cowardly tuxedo) seem to like the idea at least of being outside: hunting, chasing things, basking in the sunshine, and exploring.
But some cats really shouldn’t be outside much, due to the high risk of theft, injury, or illness (or they are simply too silly to be trusted). Are Russian Blue cats one of them?
Can Russian Blue cats go outside?
Short answer: Well, they can, but it’s not really advisable. Between being a relatively rare breed and the usual worries about injury, illness, or running away, Russian Blue cats will simply live longer and happier lives if they are indoor cats.
And they don’t have a particular leaning towards being leash trained either.
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The Dangers of Going Outside
While many animals thrive on being outside, domesticated cats aren’t necessarily one of them.
There are some breeds that are more adept at being leash trained (such as Maine Coons or Siamese), but Russian Blue cats aren’t really one of them.
The outside world holds a lot of dangers for domestic house cats. These include:
- Injury from other cats, dogs, wildlife, and vehicles
- Parasites like fleas and ringworm
The dangers of being an outdoor cat are extreme enough that it can drop the life expectancy of a cat from ten plus years down to three to five.
For a Russian Blue that has a life span of up to twenty-five years, that’s a massive drop in their life.
Russian Blue cats are also one of those breeds that is more likely to be stolen.
This is because purebred cats are hard to find (even harder due to sanctions on Russia) and fairly expensive (up to around $1700 USD, depending on the breeder and pedigree).
Some people will take the opportunity to simply steal the cat rather than pay for one of their own.
It’s not really safe for any cat to live outdoors or be outside on their own too often, but for Russian Blue cats, the danger is even more pronounced.
Benefits of Going Outside
If going outside is so dangerous for cats, why do so many owners allow it?
Cats, including Russian Blue cats, do derive a few benefits from going outside, but it should be under careful supervision, in a contained area such as a catio or on a leash or in a cat backpack where the cat can still look around safely.
These benefits include:
- Fresh air
- The mental stimulation of looking at new surroundings
- Wearing down claws on rough ground
- Taking in new odors
- Becoming more comfortable in their ‘kingdom’ by investigating it
Any outdoor time that cats have though should be monitored. You can do things like building a cat patio for your pet, have a pet run, use a leash, or transport your cat in a special cat backpack.
All of these things let your cat get the benefits of being outside, but dramatically cuts the risks associated with it, giving you the best of both worlds.
Russian Blue cats, being rather reserved by nature, aren’t going to crave the outdoors as much as more adventurous breeds.
However, since they bond so strongly with their chosen human, they might like the idea of going to the same places, especially if their chosen human is going to be gone for a while.
Just be sure that your cat has a place to hide as this breed doesn’t really care for strangers and is fairly shy by nature.
Keeping the Russian Blue Cat Safer Outside
There are some things you can do to make your cat safer if it does end up outside without your supervision.
- Spaying/Neutering your pet. This greatly cuts down on their urge to wander and of course, prevents pregnancy. It also cuts down the risk of getting caught in a territorial fight
- Have your pet fully vaccinated to protect it from illness and parasites
- Make sure your pet is microchipped or otherwise tagged so that if it does get picked up, it can be reunited with you faster
- A collar should be easy for a cat to pull out of if it gets stuck. Microchipping is a far better way to tag your cat as it’s easy for vets to read and cannot get changed or lost. Collars have the risk of causing strangulation if a cat gets caught on something.
- Never declaw your cat. Claws are a cat’s primary defense and declawing can cause a lot of problems later in life
No matter how careful you are, sometimes your cat will escape anyway, and these things will go a long way towards keeping them healthy and getting them home faster.
While many people think that cats should be able to go outside every day, it’s not generally a good idea.
For Russian Blue cats, the combination of their nature (reserved and shy), combined with their rarity means that they probably won’t care for it, and they are more likely to get stolen.
If you do take your cat outside, do it in such a way that it will be as safe as possible.
Otherwise, making sure your cat has plenty of access to windows to look outside will probably serve them well enough.
Does your Russian Blue go outside?
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.