Indoors or outdoors? An international exploration of owner demographics and decision making associated with lifestyle of pet cats

Foreman-Worsley, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-0275-7555, Finka, L.R. ORCID: 0000-0002-0053-1675, Ward, S.J. ORCID: 0000-0002-5857-1071 and Farnworth, M.J. ORCID: 0000-0001-6226-0818, 2021. Indoors or outdoors? An international exploration of owner demographics and decision making associated with lifestyle of pet cats. Animals, 11 (2): 253. ISSN 2076-2615

1402669_Ward.pdf - Published version

Download (506kB) | Preview


Outdoor access for owned domestic cats (Felis catus) is a divisive issue. Cat safety, mental and physical wellbeing, infectious diseases, and wildlife depredation are cited as factors influencing owners; however, the degree of consideration each factor receives has not been quantified. This study (i) analysed which demographic variables are associated with greater odds of cats having indoor or outdoor lifestyles, (ii) identified which factors owners consider when making a choice on lifestyle and any regional variations, and (iii) identified if owners consider the different lifestyle options available and recognise their associated benefits. A series of online surveys were used for data collection. Binary logistic regression models were used to generate odds ratios assessing if demographic variables were significantly associated with cat lifestyle. Quantitative analysis of factors considered when deciding on cat lifestyle was accompanied by a thematic analysis of rich-text open-ended responses, providing nuanced insight into the rationale and elucidating additional factors considered. Of the demographic variables tested, 10/12 were significantly associated with lifestyle. Variables with higher odds of indoor-only lifestyles were owners being 26-35 years old, multi-cat households,

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Animals
Creators: Foreman-Worsley, R., Finka, L.R., Ward, S.J. and Farnworth, M.J.
Publisher: MDPI AG
Date: 2021
Volume: 11
Number: 2
ISSN: 2076-2615
Rights: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 22 Jan 2021 16:49
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:07

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year