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Can British Shorthair cats go outside? All questions answered

Some cat parents argue that letting your cat roam free outside is perfectly natural and can even help with various behavioural issues. Others feel that allowing felines to go outside unattended poses too many risks for their health and well-being. So, can British Shorthair cats go outside? 

Untamed explains whether these felines are exclusively indoor cats and how they can benefit from playing outside. We will also give you some actionable tips on keeping your British Shorthair safe if you choose to let them go out and ensuring they live a healthy, happy, and entertained life inside.

Are British Shorthairs indoor or outdoor cats?

I’m fine watching the birds from here. 

Source: Mammiya

British Shorthairs are considered indoor cats, but it’s not all black and white. 

These felines are incredibly docile and affectionate, but they are still cats with an inherently wild temperament. Although a British Shorthair cat is unlikely to have strong killer instincts (as opposed to a Bengal), they may be tempted to catch a few birds, mice, or lizards. Suppressing those instincts might lead to a few behavioural issues. Scratching furniture and similar destructive tendencies are a potential problem if your kitty is not stimulated enough or you don't create a suitable environment for them inside.

At the same time, British Shorthairs are a pretty low-energy breed. This trait makes them prone to obesity and all the related health niggles, such as diabetes, difficulty breathing, and joint issues. For this reason, these felines would benefit from the additional exercises that the outside world can offer. 

What should you do? The best option is to find a compromise. There are two solutions:

  1. Bring the indoors outside
  2. Bring the outside indoors

How to bring the indoors outside and keep your British Shorthair safe

British Shorthairs are not highly active cats, so they are unlikely to wander off too far if you let them out, but you still need to create a secured outside area.

It would be best to create a catio—a space in your garden where your kitty can play and get that additional exercise without exposure to dogs and other animals, thieves, and sharp objects. This space should be:

  1. Enclosed
  2. Protected from sun
  3. Fun

Create an enclosure

Even if you have a large and beautiful garden with trees your British Shorthair can climb, be sure that fences are not enough. Cats can easily climb over them and get into a busy street or get lost in unfamiliar territory. It would be best to build an enclosure, so your kitty can't escape. 

Create a cat shade

Your British Shorthair must have an area where they can hide from the sun, so make sure that at least a part of the enclosure is covered. You can place toys in the shade to ensure your kitty spends time away from the sun. Getting a cat house is also a great idea. 

Make it fun

A few square feet of fenced lawn does nothing for me!

Source: Mammiya

Your feline friend won't benefit much from a bare piece of fenced grass. You need to make this space stimulating and exciting so your British Shorthair enjoys all the advantages of going outside.

Make sure to add objects which your kitty can climb onto, jump from, and hide in. Add plenty of toys and a cat tree. All that will ensure your feline has fun even when left alone. You should also provide some basics, such as a water bowl and food puzzles. 

When creating a catio, you should ensure your cat can quickly get back inside if something scares them or they feel cold. A cat flap is an excellent solution.

How to bring the outside indoors and keep your British Shorthair entertained

I want all the toys and all your attention all the time. 

Source: sherwood

All cat parents know that their feline friends need three essential items:

  1. Food and water bowls
  2. A litter tray
  3. A bed

The reality is—they need a lot more. To create a fun and stimulating environment for your British Shorthair in your home, you will need to:

  • Add perches—Your cat will get a high lookout point from which they can watch what you are doing. Place them throughout your home because your kitty will enjoy following you around
  • Get a cat tree—If it's in your budget, a cat tree will provide a safe space to hide and sleep, plenty of options to climb, and a lot of knick-knacks they can play with
  • Provide a scratching post or a scratching mat—Giving your British Shorthair a suitable place to file and trim their claws will save your furniture. A scratching post also helps your cat stretch their back, neck, and legs
  • Add more hideouts—Several places closer to the ground and in different rooms in your home will also be interesting for your British Shorthair
  • Interactive toys—Electric mice, floppy fish, and food puzzles are a great way to keep your cat active and cognitively stimulated

It is also necessary for you to dedicate at least half an hour every day to playing with your British Shorthair. You can play fetch and hide and seek or teach them various tricks.

No matter how dedicated you are to keeping your feline friend active and entertained, it's a fact that British Shorthairs get lazy as they get older. They are also prone to weight gain, which poses a serious health risk. For this reason, it's crucial to watch your kitty's portions and feed them high-quality food.

The best diet to keep your British Shorthair healthy and happy indoors

Meat and fish should be the base of your cat’s diet.

Image (c) Untamed

You need to be extra mindful of your British Shorthair's weight, so feeding them the best possible food is imperative. 

Besides obesity and an occasional food allergy, these felines are not prone to many illnesses. Still, they can be quite fussy when it comes to food, so in addition to being well-balanced, your British Shorthair's meals must be tasty. Get your choice of food wrong, and your kitty may turn their nose up at it. 

To ensure success when picking cat food for your British Shorthair, whatever type of food you go for—wet, dry, semi-moist, raw, homemade, or a combination of a few varieties—make sure it contains the right amounts of:

  1. Animal protein from meat and fish
  2. Animal fat

Protein from meat and fish

Meat and fish are the only sources of essential amino acids, such as taurine, arginine, and lysine, that felines need to:

  • Get energy
  • Build strong muscles
  • Maintain healthy skin and coat
  • Ensure normal organ function
  • Healthy eyesight

Plant protein won't cut it as there are no vegan cats, so you need to look for the following ingredients in cat food:

Pork, ham, beef, and bacon are also acceptable, but only in small amounts as they contain a lot of fat. 

You should avoid products that contain vegetable protein, such as:

Tiny amounts of cooked carrots, green beans, broccoli, bananas, or mango are acceptable if you notice your cat is constipated, but don't include those in your feline’s regular diet. Cats lack the enzymes necessary to break down these ingredients properly and absorb the required nutrients. These substances can only lead to digestion issues, such as diarrhoea and vomiting. Besides that, if the food is full of grains and other carbs, it increases the risk of obesity. 

Animal fat

Animal fat provides your British Shorthair with essential fatty acids necessary for a healthy organ function and cell integrity. They also improve your feline's immune response and deliver an irresistible taste and texture to their meals. 

Even if your kitty doesn't generally like wet food, a suitable amount of animal fat will fix the issue right away. 

Get the ratio right

I sleep because I have to preserve the calories you give me, you scrooge. 

Source: Vnukko

Knowing what your cat should and shouldn’t eat is crucial, but getting the percentages of all the necessary nutrients right is the key to a well-balanced diet. 

The right food for your British Shorthair should contain:

  1. High levels of animal protein
  2. Enough calories to provide energy without weight gain
  3. No grains or other carbs

The percentages of macronutrients in cat food that will ensure that are:


Optimal percentage

Animal protein

At least 50%

Animal fat

Up to 20%


Less than 3%

How can Untamed help? 

Untamed follows feline natural eating habits and is the perfect way to keep your British Shorthair fit and slim at home. 

Every Untamed recipe is designed to provide well-balanced nutrition and fantastic taste. Our jelly and gravy meals are:

  1. High-protein
  2. Vet-formulated
  3. Environmentally friendly

High-protein meals

Untamed dishes are packed full of real meat or fish, containing double the amount of animal protein found in most commercial products.

We only use top-quality ingredients and avoid:

  • Grains
  • Sugar
  • Animal derivatives
  • Taste enhancers
  • Artificial food colouring

Our food is as close to what your British Shorthair would eat in nature as possible, so you can rest assured that you are doing the best you can to keep your feline healthy. 

Vet-formulated recipes

Vets have fine-tuned our homemade recipes to ensure they deliver all the nutrients your kitty needs and help with common diet-related health problems, such as:

Environmentally-friendly cat food

I hear these meals are good for me and the environment. I approve. 

Image (c) Untamed

We are committed to keeping felines healthy but not at the expense of our environment, so we make sure that we:

  • Only cooperate with sustainable and cruelty-free suppliers
  • Use 100% recyclable packaging materials
  • Run our production and shipping operation on a carbon-neutral basis

Order Untamed today and keep your British Shorthair fit and happy at home!

How to get Untamed for your British Shorthair

There is no need to go scavenging for Untamed—healthy meals will arrive directly at your doorstep.

We can help you create a tailor-made meal plan for your British Shorthair to ensure stable health, effortless weight management, and utmost happiness. All you need to do is:

  1. Tell us about your kitty
  2. Pick the recipes your feline friend will like
  3. Place the order

The trial pack will land on your doorstep in a day. When your British Shorthair picks the flavours they like the most, we can keep you stocked up with monthly deliveries. Here's what happy cat parents whose furry friends have already tried Untamed say you can expect:


What Untamed can achieve

Week 1

  • No digestion issues
  • Good digestion

Week 8

Week 16