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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

Have you ever wondered whether your domestic cat prefers freedom in nature? Is it more species-appropriate for your lovely friend in general, if he is held as a cat, who are able to go free by their own ? This questions are addressed in this Article. Also on the question of what you should look out for if you allow your cat to go free and what advantages and disadvantages are to be expected.  

Going free: Advantages and disadvantages

Many cat parents, who allow their kitties to go free, argue that it is in the nature of the cat to be allowed to go outside on their own and that their cat lives more species-appropriate. Many have the opinion that a free-range cat is generally also happier. But is this the truth? Is my cat really happier when she can explore the world on her own paws? TOBALIE generally advises against generalizations, because every animal is an individual.  First and foremost, you should weigh up all the advantages and disadvantages of going free and consider the individual needs of the cat.

Always remember: allowing the cat to go free does not mean that you automatically have to care less!


  • In a “natural way” the basic instincts of a cat like the hunting instinct, the territory and pair behaviour can be satisfied. That does not mean however that a pure flat cat cannot pursue these interests, rather here the owner is demanded to demand its cuddly tiger mentally as well as physically, see also play and fun for flat cats
  • In general, your kitten is less dependent on you, not only in terms of mental and physical workload, but also in terms of doing business in nature. Never forget, however, that free movers also need regular maintenance (if not more), game units and above all daily cuddling units. Fresh water and regular feed should also be taken into account.  
  • Overweight can be avoided rather, since a pure living cat tends to move less, here again the owner is required!
  • Through the contact to foreign cats in the neighbourhood the natural social behaviour can be promoted.
  • The senses are sharpened
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  • More intensive fur and body care: especially in the warm months, various parasites lurk for suitable hosts. When your darling comes home, check the fur for ticks and co. Regular deworming is also recommended.
  • Diseases, accidents but also brawls with rivals or other animals can become dangerous. Watch out for regular vaccinations! Take your darling to the vet after a fight to have the injuries treated.
  • Poisonous baits or poisonous plants can be eaten by your cat.
  • Many free-running cats are often unintentionally locked up where, as in foreign garages or cellars.
  • Unfortunately, there is no protection against theft. Register your animal, preferably with a microchip under the skin. So a found animal can be assigned to you.  
  • Possibility of pregnancy in uncastrated (queens) female cats. Discuss the castration with your veterinarian, as freemen have to be castrated.  

Attention: Please don’t put a collar on your cat in the outdoor area! They can easily get stuck, strangle themselves or get lost.  Learn her a callback whistle and reward her for coming home.  You should also never cut the claws of a cat that is outdoors, because this way it can no longer climb well and get to safety.  

When is a free-move not advisable?

If your loyal friend is not allowed to go outside for the reasons listed below, TOBALIE will suggest an outdoor enclosure or an escape-proof garden, for example, or how about a secure walk on a leash!

  • Your cat is sick or injured or has a certain handicap (blind cat)
  • Busy roads, dangerous environment
  • There are animal haters in your neighborhood. 
  • Your cat’s overly jumpy.
  • Your cat should not go outside unattended (no fur, short legs, missing tail, …) due to its physique. In an emergency, these animals usually lose out or are not as well protected from environmental influences (e.g. sun, cold, …).
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Whether or not you allow your cat to go free depends on a number of components and should only happen after careful consideration and preparation. Fact is, even a pure apartment cat can lead a happy cat life. Here you as the owner must rather think of the physical and mental load of your cat. Otherwise nothing stands in the way of an exciting adventure in the fresh air.