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Outdoor Cats: Understanding the Life, Behavior and Needs of Feral Cats

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Outdoor cats or feral cats are domestic cats who live outdoors. Because of living outdoors, feral cats have a set of behaviors and needs that are different from indoors cats.

For these felines, the outdoors helps them explore their natural environment, exercise, and connect with other cats in their natural instincts.

In this blog post, we provide a better understanding of the lives of these independent felines by discussing their needs and behaviors.

Let’s get started.

Outdoor Cats: Behaviors

While outdoor cats are known for their independent status, their behaviors are largely influenced by their environment. Unlike their indoor counterparts, feral cats are exposed to various environmental motivations that may induce behaviors, such as hunting, mating and territory marking.

The following are some common outdoor cat’s behaviors:

  • Consistent roaming: To avoid boredom, outdoor cats like to roam and enjoy their freedom by exploring the environment through climbing trees or hiding in bushes. However, some of these behaviors can be dangerous, as feral cats may be exposed to poisonous plants and predators.
  • Hunting and chasing: Outdoor cats enjoy chasing small animals such as birds, mice, insects and more. They also have a natural behavior to hunt prey.
  • Marking territory: Outdoor cats may mark their territories by spraying urine, rubbing themselves on objects or scratching trees. These behaviors are a way of communicating their territory with other cats in the area.
  • Socializing: Feral cats socialize with other outdoor cats and form loose relationships with them.

Outdoor Cats: Needs

Outdoor cats have essential needs that require to be met to ensure their health and wellbeing. The following are some of the fundamental needs for outdoor cats:

  • Fresh Food and Water: Feral cats, sometimes called community cats need access to clean food and water which can provided regularly through cat feeding stations.
  • Shelter: Outdoor cats need safe and secure shelter to protect them from outdoor dangers and predators. Simple shelters or complex cat houses can do.
  • Veterinary Care: Outdoor cats require regular vet care to maintain their health since they may be exposed to health risks such as injuries, parasites, and infectious diseases.

Here are tips you can use to choose the right vet for an outdoor cat.

  • Identification: Outdoor cats need to wear identification tags or can be microchipped to help ensure their safe in case they are stolen or get lost.
  • Environmental Enhancement: Outdoor cats require opportunities for mental and physical stimulation which can be provided through scratching postscat toys, or outdoor enclosures.


Outdoor or feral cats are free animals with specific needs and behavior. These felines have the freedom to explore and roam the outdoors, but they also need a safe and secure environment for their well-being. By understanding their needs and behaviors, we have a duty to provide outdoor cats with the care and attention they need to live healthy lives.

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