Are Bombay Cats Indoor or Outdoor? The Ultimate Guide

Bombay cats are a relatively new breed that originated in the United States in the 1950s. They were created by breeding sable Burmese cats with black American Shorthairs, resulting in a cat with a sleek black coat and striking copper or gold eyes. The goal was to create a cat that resembled a miniature panther, and the breed’s name was inspired by the city of Bombay, now known as Mumbai.

These cats quickly gained popularity for their unique appearance and friendly personalities. While they may look like wild cats, Bombay cats are domesticated and well-suited to living in homes.

Distinctive Characteristics

Bombay cats are known for their affectionate and social nature. They enjoy being around people and are often described as “velcro cats” because they love to follow their human companions around the house. They form strong bonds with their families and are known to be great with children and other pets.

In addition to their friendly personalities, Bombay cats are highly intelligent and playful. They thrive in environments that provide mental stimulation and opportunities for physical exercise.

Bombay Cats: Indoor or Outdoor?

Temperament and Behavior

When deciding whether to keep Bombay cats indoors or allow them outdoor access, it’s important to consider their temperament and behavior. While each cat is unique, Bombay cats generally have a strong prey drive and may be more prone to chasing small animals and birds if given the opportunity. This can pose risks to wildlife and may lead to potential conflicts with neighbors who value their local wildlife.

Additionally, Bombay cats are known for their trusting nature and lack of street smarts. They may be more vulnerable to accidents, theft, or getting lost if they are allowed to roam freely outdoors.

The Debate: Indoor vs. Outdoor

The debate between keeping cats indoors or allowing them outdoor access is a contentious one. Proponents of outdoor access argue that cats have an innate need to explore and experience the natural world. They believe that restricting cats to indoor living can lead to boredom, frustration, and even health issues such as obesity or urinary tract problems.

On the other hand, advocates for indoor-only cats emphasize the risks that come with outdoor exposure. They argue that by keeping cats indoors, you can protect them from dangers such as traffic accidents, exposure to toxins, infectious diseases, and encounters with aggressive animals or humans.

Factors to Consider

When deciding whether to keep your Bombay cat indoors or allow outdoor access, it’s important to consider several factors:

  • Your cat’s individual personality and behavior
  • Your location and the surrounding environment
  • Your ability to provide a safe and enriching outdoor environment
  • Your commitment to supervising and monitoring your cat’s outdoor activities

Now, let’s explore the benefits of keeping Bombay cats indoors.

Benefits of Keeping Bombay Cats Indoors

Reduced Health Risks

One of the primary advantages of keeping Bombay cats indoors is reducing their exposure to potential health risks. Indoor cats have a lower risk of contracting infectious diseases such as feline leukemia or feline immunodeficiency virus, which can be transmitted through fights or contact with infected cats. They are also less likely to be exposed to parasites like fleas, ticks, or worms.

Furthermore, indoor cats are not exposed to outdoor toxins, such as chemicals used in gardening or neighboring yards, which can be harmful if ingested or absorbed through their paws.

Protection from Outdoor Hazards

By keeping your Bombay cat indoors, you can protect them from a wide range of outdoor hazards. Traffic accidents are a significant risk for outdoor cats, especially in urban or busy suburban areas. They can also be exposed to extreme weather conditions, including heatstroke or frostbite, depending on your climate.

Additionally, outdoor cats may come into contact with aggressive animals, including dogs, other cats, or wildlife, which can result in injury or the transmission of diseases. They may also encounter humans who may pose a threat to their safety.

Preventing Accidents and Loss

Outdoor cats have a higher risk of accidents, including falls from trees or rooftops, getting trapped in tight spaces, or ingesting toxic plants or substances. There’s also the risk of them wandering too far from home and becoming lost. By keeping your Bombay cat indoors, you can significantly reduce the chances of accidents and loss.

Making Indoor Environment Enriching for Bombay Cats

Providing Ample Play and Exercise Opportunities

To ensure that your Bombay cat stays happy and healthy indoors, it’s important to provide them with plenty of play and exercise opportunities. Interactive toys, such as puzzle feeders or wand toys, can help simulate hunting behavior and keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Regular play sessions and designated play areas can help prevent boredom and encourage exercise.

Creating Vertical Spaces

Bombay cats are natural climbers, so providing vertical spaces in your home is essential. Cat trees, shelves, or wall-mounted perches offer opportunities for climbing, perching, and surveying their territory. This not only provides mental stimulation but also encourages exercise and satisfies their natural instincts.

Offering Mental Stimulation

In addition to physical exercise, Bombay cats thrive on mental stimulation. Puzzle toys, treat-dispensing toys, or even clicker training can engage their minds and prevent boredom. Rotate toys regularly to keep their interest and introduce new challenges to keep them mentally stimulated.

Alternatives to Outdoor Exploration

Outdoor Enclosures and Catios

If you want to provide your Bombay cat with a taste of the outdoors while keeping them safe, consider building an outdoor enclosure or catio. These enclosed spaces allow your cat to experience fresh air, sunshine, and the sights and sounds of nature while preventing them from roaming freely. They can be attached to a window, balcony, or be standalone structures in your yard.

Supervised Outdoor Time

Another option is to allow your Bombay cat supervised outdoor time. This can be achieved by using a harness and leash or by creating a secure outdoor play area that you can monitor closely. Supervised outdoor time allows your cat to experience the outdoors while ensuring their safety.

Indoor Enrichment Solutions

If you choose to keep your Bombay cat indoors exclusively, there are various indoor enrichment solutions available to keep them entertained. These include interactive toys, scratching posts, window perches, and even cat-friendly TV programs or videos designed to stimulate their senses.

Considerations for Allowing Bombay Cats Outdoors

Location and Environment Assessment

If you decide to allow your Bombay cat outdoor access, it’s crucial to assess your location and environment first. Are there busy roads nearby? Are there any potential hazards in your yard, such as toxic plants or chemicals? Ensure that your outdoor space is safe and secure by removing any potential dangers or escape routes.

Training and Supervision

Before allowing your Bombay cat outdoors, it’s essential to train them to respond to commands and come when called. This will help ensure their safety and enable you to control their movements. Supervise your cat closely during outdoor excursions to prevent them from wandering too far or getting into trouble.

Implementing Safety Measures

To protect your Bombay cat while outdoors, consider using a breakaway collar with identification tags or microchipping them. This will increase the chances of them being reunited with you if they become lost. Additionally, make sure their vaccinations and parasite preventatives are up to date to reduce the risk of diseases.


When it comes to deciding whether to keep Bombay cats indoors or allow them outdoor access, there are several factors to consider. While outdoor exploration can offer stimulation and enrichment, it also comes with risks and potential dangers. Keeping Bombay cats indoors provides a safer and healthier environment, reducing the chances of accidents, loss, or exposure to infectious diseases. By creating an enriching indoor environment and considering alternative options for outdoor exploration, you can ensure that your Bombay cat leads a fulfilling and happy life.

Remember, each cat is unique, and their individual needs should always be taken into account when making this decision. Ultimately, the goal is to provide a loving and nurturing environment that meets their physical and emotional well-being.

ThePetFaq Team