Can Cornish Rex Cats Go Outside? (The Important Reasons)

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The Cornish Rex is a small, agile, and athletic breed of cat. Keeping them active and entertained can seem daunting, as they love to jump, run, and play. They maintain their playfulness well into their later years.

While most owners want to believe that outdoor time would be healthy for them, some wonder about the safety of letting such small and delicate creatures out into the wild.  So, can Cornish Rex cats go outside?

Cornish Rex cats can go outside.  Cornish Rex cats are energetic, and they enjoy climbing. A cat harness and leash, cat stroller, and cat backpack are great options for taking a Cornish Rex outside.  Cornish Rex cats should be monitored for safety while they are outdoors.

While this breed can undoubtedly benefit from a combination of being indoors and spending time outside, there are still plenty of risks and safety factors that caregivers should consider.

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 Cornish Rex 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 Cornish Rex 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 Cornish Rex 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 deep analysis of whether Cornish Rex cats should go outside and the measures you should take regarding safety.  Read on!

Can Cornish Rex Cats Go Outside?

Cornish Rex cats are curious, intelligent cats. Spending time outdoors allows them to explore new ways to play and learn. That being said, there are some factors you’ll need to think about:

1. Weather: Cornish Rex Cats have very fine fur, which mainly consists of curly down. They will freeze quickly in cold weather, and they are also susceptible to overheating. You want to be particularly cautious if your Cornish Rex has Hypotrichosis, a genetic condition that causes balding in several breeds, including the Cornish Rex.

Some people might be prone to putting clothing on your Cornish Rex, but there are risks around putting clothing on your feline, especially if your feline is outside!  To learn more about if you should put clothes on cats:  Click Here.

2. Environment: Cornish Rex cats love to be active and amused. A busy neighborhood or a home next to the woods can be distracting and overstimulating. Your cat may wind up running away or getting lost in their adventures. My advice is not to let your cat run free outside.

3. Hazards: The largest risk for most domestic cats are automobiles. Other hazards include sewers, construction sites, open water, chemicals/poisons, electrical wires and wild animals. Coyotes, raccoons, cougars, bobcats, snakes, birds, and so many others can make a meal for your pet.

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

Another thing to consider is that not all neighbors are cat friendly. Upset about the poop in their garden, or about the erratic mewling at 3am, some people may poison or trap your cat. Or they might accidentally kill or catch them while trying to capture vermin.

We’ll talk about some of the solutions to these hazards in a moment, but for now, let’s consider the ethics of outdoor time.

Do All Cats Need to Go Outside?

Not all cats need or even want to be outside. It is an ever-changing environment that may be frightening and dangerous to them. For cats with mobility, orientation, or sensory problems, they are at risk of hazards and predators. For cats who are not well trained, the outdoors presents an opportunity to run off and cause trouble.

Rather than view this as a question of breed, think of it in terms of your cat as an individual. Are they fearful? Are they blind? Are they too small to defend themselves against predators? Your answers to these questions will inform your choice.

Some people will install cat doors so their cats can go inside and outside at their leisure.  I do not recommend cat doors for any cat, let alone Cornish Rex cats with their fragile fur coat!  To learn more about the risks around cat doors, read our article:  Click Here.
Can You Keep a Cornish Rex Outside?

The Cornish Rex is not an “outdoor breed.” They are smaller than most cats <9lbs, they are lean, and they have delicate bones.

Cornish Rex cats are not adapted to extreme shifts in temperature and weather, and they are not equipped to defend themselves or to even fend for themselves in most cases. Not many people would call the Cornish Rex a mouser.

Additionally, sometimes feral cats are roaming around outside.  Sometimes cats will engage in fighting if they are in the same territory.  This fighting can lead to injury and sometimes death.  We talk more about if cats will fight to the death:  Click Here.

Is it Cruel to Keep a Cornish Rex Indoors?

No, it is not cruel if you only keep your Cornish Rex indoors. Cornish Rex Cats are happy little homebodies. There’s nothing wrong with keeping them inside, even in an apartment, so long as their physical and social needs are met. 

Cornish Rex cats require exercise and challenging play because they are a highly intelligent breed.

You should deck out your home to your cat’s desires. As I mentioned, Cornish Rex cats are playful all their lives. You can create perches, beds, hideaways, even obstacle courses if you wish. You can rotate a variety of toys and puzzles to stimulate them.

One way to enrich your cat’s life indoors is through a cat condo / cat tree.  We talk more about if cats actually like cat trees in our article:  Click Here.

You should also offer Cornish Rex cats all the attention and affection they need because they are a loving cat.

The breed has been called “dog-like” in their play, and they’ve been known to fetch, play, fight, and walk on a leash. Cornish Rex cats are incredibly friendly with other pets, including dogs, small mammals, and even birds.

Your home can provide them with enough stimulation just because of the pets and the play you offer. Still, while it isn’t cruel to keep them indoors, there are certainly benefits to allowing them occasional outside time.

Ways to Take a Cornish Rex Outside Safely

The fresh air and new surroundings are healthy for your cat. Their immune system, moods, bones, muscles, and digestion can all be improved by regular outdoor exercise.

If you want to carry your cat outdoors, but you don’t know that that they’ll be safe, then purchase a cat backpack so your cat can have a great view or get a cat stroller, so they can look out at the world, but remain secure.

Cat Harness and Leash

The safest way to expose your feline to the outdoors and allow them to explore the world is by leash-training them.

  • Use a cat harness to prevent escape and choking.
  • Always monitor the cat, so they do not become entangled.
  • Pick a safe area to walk with your cat.

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 Backpack

Cat backpacks are a very safe option that doesn’t allow your cat to walk around. You can carry your cat as you go, which will allow it to look at the outside world in more detail compared to just staring out the window.

Cat backpacks may be a great option if your cat is extremely shy, fearful of strangers, or is generally still warming up to the idea.  You can also cover a lot more ground with a cat backpack than if you were only using a cat harness and leash.

Cat backpacks are a great option to cover more ground with your cat while still giving your cat a great view.  We talk more about whether people should use cat backpacks:  Click Here.

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

Cat Stroller

Similar to cat backpacks in that they will let you travel farther with your cat while giving your cat a wonderful view, cat strollers are even better in my opinion since you won’t need to put any weight on your back.  We talk more about whether cat strollers are actually something a cat likes:  Click Here.

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


If you have access to a yard, you can buy a cat enclosure (Catio) or build one with chicken wire and wood. You could technically convert your apartment balcony into a playpen if you secured it properly so your cat would be safe.

  • This space should have a roof, and the wire should be partially buried to prevent predator attacks.
  • Your cat should never be out in extreme weather, and you should be nearby to watch them.
  • Include a variety of toys and perches.
  • Make sure you keep it clean, scooping out poop and removing soiled blankets and toys.
  • Make sure your cat always has access to freshwater.
  • This is the Catio on Amazon that I recommend for the Cornish Rex 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 Cornish Rex Cat Outside?

If you do decide to let your cat roam out on their own, which I do not recommend, then you have a few responsibilities to consider:

Video: Microchipping Your Cat
  • Make sure they are micro-chipped, and they wear a collar with your information on the tag. The last thing you want is for your Rex to get lost or wind up in a shelter with no known owner.
  • Leave out fresh water in an obvious place for your cat. This discourages them from drinking in ponds, puddles, or swimming pools. Do not leave out cat food, as this will attract wild animals, and it will make it difficult to entice your Cornish Rex back inside.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, allow your Rex to stay out in the nighttime. Most predators hunt in low light, plus the temperatures can drop unexpectedly. I repeat, the Cornish Rex is not equipped to be in the heat, the cold, the snow, or the heavy rain.
  • It is a good idea to keep your indoor/outdoor cat clean with regular grooming. The joy of the Cornish Rex is that you can bathe them since their fur dries quickly. Only use a vet-approved shampoo specific to their hair type.  You need to be careful about their fur coat.
  • Clip your cat’s claws monthly, but absolutely do not declaw them. This archaic practice leaves your fun-loving Cornish Rex disfigured. If your cat does go outdoors, it also leaves them defenseless.
  • Take your Cornish Rex in for regular veterinary visits for vaccines and checkups. Spaying or neutering your feline to prevent unwanted litters for yourself or your neighbors is a good idea.

Okay, so you probably guessed that it’s not a good idea to allow your Cornish Rex to go outside unattended. This breed is basically the opposite of the Maine Coon; they are small, fragile, and perfectly adapted to indoor living. They can live between 15-20 years, and so you will have plenty of time to build up your indoor playground or to perfect your leash-training techniques.

Take it from me, they will be safer, and you will rest easier if you supervise your Cornish Rex cat’s outdoor play closely and otherwise focus on giving them a dynamic environment in your home.


Video: Cornish Rex with Kittens

The Cornish Rex cat can go outside and experience the benefits that the outdoors has to offer her.  Taking your Cornish Rex outside can be quite enriching for your Cornish Rex’s life.  You should take safety measures to ensure that your Cornish Rex cat cannot run off. 

I recommend using a cat harness and leash coupled with either a cat backpack or cat stroller.

The cat stroller and cat backpack allow you to cover much more ground than only using the cat harness and leash.  When you get to an area, you would like to let your Cornish Rex walk around, and you can take your cat out of the cat stroller or backpack and, using the harness, keep her under some control.  When it is time to go home, you can put her back in the cat backpack or cat stroller.

If you enjoyed this article, check out a couple of other Cornish Rex articles, such as:

  • Can Cornish Rex Cats Be Left Alone? (Best Advice): Click Here.
  • Do Cornish Rex Cats Shed? (Clear Shedding Answers): 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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