Can Exotic Shorthair Cats Go Outside? (The Best Ways)

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The debate regarding indoor vs outdoor pets, especially our feline friends, is an age-old one. It’s a debate that is often dictated by various environmental factors, and ultimately, personal preference. One factor that is often overlooked is the cat breed. 

While many feline owners would believe that outside time is healthy for all cats, including Exotic Shorthair cats, many people wonder about the safety of letting these small creatures out into the neighborhood.  We do our best to take care of our feline friends, and while we want them to have the happiest lives, we also want them to be safe.  So, can Exotic Shorthair cats go outside?

Yes, Exotic Shorthair cats can go outside.  Exotic Shorthair cats are loving cats that like sticking close to their human. A cat harness and leash, cat stroller, cat backpack, and Catio are great options for taking an Exotic Shorthair cat outside.  Exotic Shorthair cats should be monitored for safety while they are outdoors.

While the Exotic Shorthair cat can undoubtedly benefit from a combination of being indoors and spending time outside, there are still plenty of risks and safety factors that cat owners should think about.

Cat Product Note:  I will talk about and recommend some cat products in this article, which will hopefully provide your cat with a more enriching life.  These are Amazon affiliate links, so I receive a commission from Amazon, with no added cost to you.  These are my honest recommendations, so if you are interested in checking them out, please click below!

  • This cat stroller on Amazon I recommend for the Exotic Shorthair Cat since it can go pretty much anywhere you need it to while being versatile (affiliate link):  Click Here.
  • This is the cat backpack on Amazon I recommend for the Exotic Shorthair Cat since it has excellent airflow and will give your cat a great view (affiliate link):  Click Here.
  • This is the Catio on Amazon that I recommend for the Exotic Shorthair Cat since it provides a big area for this energetic cat to jump around and hang out (affiliate link): Click Here.

I try to give a thorough analysis of whether Exotic Shorthair cats should go outside and the safety measures you should take.  Read on!

Can Exotic Shorthair Cats Go Outside?

Yes, Exotic Shorthair cats can go outside, but I highly recommend that you do not let this cat outside on her own.  My recommendation is that you maintain some control when you take this beautiful little feline outside by use of a cat harness / leash, cat backpack, cat stroller, and Catio.

Owner preference is going to be the number one consideration for allowing any cat outside. Many mitigating factors help an owner make an educated choice. There are ways to allow your exotic shorthair cat the freedom of the great outdoors, provided they are safely managed.

Domesticated cats are at risk from a variety of dangers outside, including other animals. These interactions are not limited to ones with other cats. Coyotes, wolves, raccoons, and many others – even alligators – pose a threat to the safety of your cat. 

We talk more about whether cats and raccoons get along (or fight) and what the risks are:  Click Here.

Taking your furry friend out for walks with appropriate safety equipment and in the right environmental conditions can be liberating for your exotic shorthair cat and great exercise for you too!

Can You Keep an Exotic Shorthair Outside?

Some cat breeds are more equipped than others to be exclusive outdoor kitties, although my personal recommendation is that you do not let any of your felines live outside or even run freely outside. Exotic shorthairs are not among this population, and you should keep them indoors unless you are actually taking them outside.

As homebodies with personalities and body build meant to stay inside, an outdoor exotic shorthair could be at much higher risks than other, heartier cat breeds, such as the Siberian cat.  We talk more about the Siberian cat going outside in our article:  Click Here.

Exotic Shorthair cats have the propensity for obesity and some genetic conditions like cardiomyopathy that could make this cat breed have a tougher time hunting to survive.

We talk more about felines’ hunting ability and whether they actually enjoy hunting in our article:  Click Here.

Since Exotic Shorthair cats are also prone to genetic predispositions like Brachycephalic Syndrome, being an outdoor cat becomes even more dangerous. This syndrome is an elevated risk due to the shape of their adorable yet smashed-in face. This makes Exotic Shorthair cats more susceptible to breathing issues, especially in the heat.

Can an Indoor Cat Survive Outside?

As cats have spent generations roaming our world, even domesticated, they can survive in the great outdoors. However, due to the many risks of keeping a cat outdoors coming from environmental factors and breed-specific issues, it may shorten your cat’s lifespan considerably by keeping them outside constantly.

One thing that they will need to compete with is feral cats.  Feral cats could be nearby, and your cat could be in their territory outside.  This could cause fighting and be a source of major risk.  We talk more about cats fighting and if they will fight to the death:  Click Here.

Is it Cruel to Keep an Exotic Shorthair Cat Indoors? 

No, it is not cruel to keep an Exotic Shorthair cat indoors.  Exotic shorthairs are not known for being born in the wild. They were bred to be lower maintenance than their Persian cousins. As such, they are solid built felines with that characteristic smashed-in face that becomes so endearing – but also meant to live inside.

Other characters that define the Exotic Shorthair cat breed are a strong sense of companionship and wanting social interaction with their people. They love to snuggle, are super friendly, and love just “lion” around. 

Exotic Shorthair cats do lean towards obesity, and as such, their owners must make sure a great exercise routine and a well-balanced diet are strictly followed. This may include some outdoor activity that might satisfy any bursts of energy they are inclined to. 

If Exotic Shorthair cats have much to do in the house, they will likely not think too much about life outside.  You will want to make sure your cats have great cat toys and a great cat condo / cat tree to hang out in.

We talk more about whether cats actually like cat condos in our article:  Click Here.

Ways to Take an Exotic Shorthair Outside Safely

Video: Exotic Shorthair Outside

Luckily, there are some fun ways to get you and your furry friend outside for some fun in the sun. 

If you are looking for a way to give your kitty the exercise she needs, a cat harness and leash are great alternatives to just letting her out of the house. Training your furry feline on how to use a harness and leash can help curb a potential weight problem – and help with your exercise routine as well. 

We talk more about the ethics of using a harness on your cat and if your cat likes using them in our article:  Click Here.

Cat backpacks are an outstanding accessory for your exotic shorthair. An alternative to the traditional carrier, these backpacks allow exotic shorthairs the safety and security of being with their humans while looking at the world around them in safety.

  • This is the cat backpack on Amazon I recommend for the Exotic Shorthair Cat since it has excellent airflow and will give your cat a great view (affiliate link):  Click Here.

Take a stroll around the park in a cool cat stroller. A cat stroller may offer a perfect solution to the indoor blues. This allows them to get out without losing that feeling of security a lot of them crave. Strollers also come in various sizes; finding the right one for your heavier exotic shorthair should be easy.

  • This cat stroller on Amazon I recommend for the Exotic Shorthair Cat since it can go pretty much anywhere you need it to while being versatile (affiliate link):  Click Here.

You can get your Exotic Shorthair cat her own Catio! Let your Exotic Shorthair cat have an outdoor, enclosed space where she can wander freely and safely. Catios have a lot to offer a feline that you want to get some outside time. Just make sure it is completely secure, and you provide fresh water so your cat stays hydrated.

  • This is the Catio on Amazon that I recommend for the Exotic Shorthair Cat since it provides a big area for this energetic cat to jump around and hang out (affiliate link): Click Here.

What if You Let Your Exotic Shorthair Cat Outside? 

Video: Cat Microchipping

You know your feline best, and if you elect to allow your exotic shorthair the freedom of being outside on their own, there are things you can do to help ensure they live a long healthy life out there.

Microchipping your animals, regardless of breed or type, indoor or outdoor, is always a great idea. Animals have a way of sneaking out to explore the “big room” beyond your doors. Microchipping can help your cat be safely returned to you should they lose their way.

In addition to microchipping your cat, you should strongly consider putting clear identification on your feline’s cat collar.  If your cat is found, the person can just call you and does not need to go somewhere to get your cat scanned for its microchip.  We talk more about if cat collars are inhumane in our article:  Click Here.

Water that collects on the ground can be of extremely poor drinking quality for any living being, much less your exotic shorthair. If he is an outdoor prowler, make sure you are leaving consistent, clean water out for him in a place well known to him so he stays hydrated. Exotic shorthairs especially need to be regularly hydrated as dehydration affects them more than many other breeds.

The coat of an exotic shorthair cat is thick but relatively fragile. Being outdoors in the colder nights can cause issues with her coat. The dangers for cats left outside in the night hours grow compared to daylight and should be avoided if possible by bringing them in to snuggle safe and warm.

Some people might see this problem and decide that putting cat clothes on their feline is the answer. Cat clothing on cats outside can get snagged on branches or bushes, and if the cat could overheat.  We talk more about putting cat clothes on your feline in our article:  Click Here.

If your exotic shorthair doesn’t frequently go outside, but you allow them exploration periodically, ensure proper grooming for her. Due to her thick and fragile fur, she may require more bathing and grooming to deter matting and snarls. This will help remove unhealthy oils and dirt and keep her super soft and snuggly!


Video: Exotic Shorthair Cats

Your cat will be just as happy inside the house as she will outdoors, but if you do take her outside, remember to take adequate safety measures. If you do decide to just keep your cat indoors, take a look at good cat toys and cat furniture, like a cat condo. If you decide to take your cat outside, I highly recommend looking at quality cat harnesses and leashes, cat backpacks, cat strollers, and catios. 

The nice thing about cat backpacks and cat strollers is that they will let you cover a lot more area than just walking your cat on a cat harness / leash.  This is because felines on a leash move at their own leisure.  My advice is to use a cat stroller or cat backpack and find a nice safe area for your cat, then switch to a cat harness to give your Exotic Shorthair some time on the ground. 

Remember to have a well-fitting harness so your Exotic Shorthair cat cannot escape.  When you are ready to go home, stick your Exotic Shorthair back in the cat backpack or cat stroller and return!

If you enjoyed this article on the Exotic Shorthair, check out two of our head-to-head analysis of the Exotic Shorthair vs another cat breed, such as:

  • Exotic Shorthair vs American Shorthair (New Big Analysis): Click Here.
  • Exotic Shorthair vs Scottish Fold (Compare The Best Cats!): Click Here.

Christopher Carlson

I have an Domestic Shorthair Tabby named Charlotte. She is full of energy when she isn't sleeping most of the day. I share what I learn about cats on this site.

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