Should I have indoor or outdoor cats?

Unsure whether to let your cat outside or keep him indoors? Cat expert Celia Haddon offers some advice.

Q I have recently homed two kittens, but am struggling to decide whether to have them as indoor or outdoor cats. I've had outdoor cats poisoned and killed on the roads in the past and I can't go through that again. Is it cruel to keep cats indoors for their whole lives?

Cat care expert Celia Haddon answers: Indoor-only cats definitely have 'safer' lives than cats that are allowed outside. On the other hand, they don't lead such interesting lives.

In the USA, most cat welfare people recommend an indoor-only life, while in the UK many would recommend cats have access to the outdoors.

If you decide to keep them as indoor-only cats you have made a good start by adopting two kittens who have been brought up together as they will have each other's company.

You can also do a great deal to make their indoor lives fulfilling. If you're good at DIY (or you know someone who is), put up some climbing shelves for the kittens. Even small homes have upward space available and all cats like the chance to climb and look down at their humans.

Get rid of food bowls and help them 'hunt' for their food each day. There are some fun food dispensers available, but you don't have to spend a fortune; make your own out of empty loo rolls and cardboard boxes. Or just scatter-feed the cats round the house if you feed dry food.?Play lots of fishing rod games with them as a hunting substitute.

For a half-way life between indoors-only and the great outdoors, think about having an outside cat enclosure linked with your house or a fenced-in garden. It is your decision, so take your time about it. But remember, it's easier to convert an indoor cat to the outdoors than vice versa.