Why Can’t Cats Decide to Go in or out? Answered!!

Cats are fascinating creatures that are often described as independent and self-sufficient. They have a unique sense of curiosity and a strong drive to explore their surroundings. However, when it comes to deciding whether to go in or out, cats can sometimes seem indecisive or hesitant.

Unlike dogs who eagerly bark at the door when they want to go out, cats may require a bit of persuasion from their owners to make a clear decision. This could be due to a variety of reasons such as their individual personality, mood, or even the time of day. As a result, understanding your cat’s behaviour and providing them with a comfortable and secure environment can help them feel more confident in their decision-making process.

Why Can't Cats Decide to Go in or out


Some Reasons Behind This Step:


Have you ever seen a cat at the door, looking outside with a sense of curiosity and intrigue, but then turning back to the comfort and safety of their indoor environment? It’s almost as if they are caught in a never-ending cycle of indecision, unable to make up their minds about whether to stay or go.

Much like humans, cats can experience moments of uncertainty and hesitation when faced with a decision. Perhaps they are feeling too lazy to venture outside, or maybe they are unsure about what they want to do. In these moments, their minds can become clouded with doubt and confusion, making it challenging for them to commit to one choice or the other.

It’s important to remember that cats are independent creatures, and they have their own unique personalities and preferences. While some may be eager to explore the outdoors and all its wonders, others may prefer the safety and familiarity of their indoor environment. As caretakers, we should respect their individuality and allow them the freedom to make their own choices, even if it means standing at the door for an extended period of time, lost in thought and indecision.


 When it comes to cats and the weather, these feline friends can be quite particular about their preferences. Just like humans, cats are sensitive to changes in temperature, and they may be reluctant to venture outside if the weather is too hot, too cold, or rainy.

In the heat of summer, a cat may prefer to stay indoors, lounging in the cool air conditioning rather than braving the scorching sun. Similarly, in the dead of winter, a cat may resist going outside into the freezing cold, preferring to curl up in a cozy bed or lap instead.

Even when the weather is mild, cats can be quite discerning about their outdoor adventures. A light drizzle may be enough to keep a cat indoors, as they dislike getting wet and don’t want to risk catching a cold. Conversely, on a sunny day, a cat may be more willing to venture outside, enjoying the warmth and light of the sun on their fur.

It’s important to remember that while cats may have their own preferences when it comes to the weather, they still require regular exercise and mental stimulation. If the weather is too extreme for outdoor playtime, consider indoor activities such as puzzle toys or laser pointers to keep your feline friend entertained and engaged. And don’t forget to provide plenty of cozy spaces for them to relax in, whether it’s a warm bed or a sunny windowsill.


 Imagine you are a cat, comfortably curled up in your cosy bed. Suddenly, you hear a loud and unfamiliar noise coming from outside. You lift your head and perk your ears up, trying to make sense of the sound. Is it a predator? Is it a threat to your safety? Your instinctual response is to freeze and assess the situation, ready to take action if necessary.

Now, imagine stepping outside of your home as a cat. The world is full of new sights, sounds, and smells that you have never encountered before. You feel exposed and vulnerable, not knowing what dangers may be lurking around the corner. Every noise or movement sets off alarm bells in your head, urging you to stay alert and cautious.

Despite your natural curiosity and desire to explore, your fear of the unknown may keep you from venturing too far from home. You rely on your instincts to keep you safe, and you may choose to retreat to the comfort of your familiar surroundings rather than risk facing the unknown.


 Picture yourself as a cat, comfortably lounging in your favorite spot in your home. This is your sanctuary, your castle, your territory. It is where you feel most safe and secure. You have spent time marking this space with your scent, rubbing against furniture and leaving your pawprints on every surface.

Now, imagine an intruder, another cat, trespassing into your territory. Your defenses go up, and you feel an instant urge to protect what is yours. You hiss, arch your back, and show your teeth, sending a clear message to the intruder that they are not welcome.

As a territorial animal, you take your home and outdoor space very seriously. You guard it with all your might, always ready to defend it from potential threats. This sense of ownership and pride in your territory can make you hesitant to leave or enter your home, especially if you sense the presence of other cats. You want to make sure that your space is secure before venturing out or inviting anyone in.


 Cats are creatures of habit, and they like to have a predictable routine. They may have their own personal schedule for things like napping, grooming, and playtime. When they get used to this routine, it becomes a kind of comfort for them. They know what to expect and when to expect it.

Imagine if someone suddenly changed your daily routine without warning. You might feel disoriented and confused, not sure what to do or where to go. The same thing can happen to cats when their routine is disrupted. They may not know whether to stay inside or go out, or they may struggle to adapt to a new feeding schedule.

So, it’s important to be mindful of your cat’s routine and try to keep things consistent as much as possible. This can help them feel more secure and comfortable in their environment, and reduce any stress or confusion they may experience.

The Psychological Condition Behind That:

From a cat’s perspective, the decision to go in or out is not simply a matter of choosing between two options. Rather, it is a complex and multifaceted decision that depends on a variety of psychological factors.

One of the primary reasons why cats struggle with this decision is because they are inherently curious creatures. They are naturally drawn to explore their surroundings and to investigate new sights, sounds, and smells. At the same time, however, they are also creatures of habit who prefer to stick to familiar routines and environments.

This internal conflict between curiosity and habit creates a sense of indecision in cats when it comes to going in or out. On the one hand, they may be eager to venture outside to explore new territories, but on the other hand, they may feel a sense of comfort and security in their indoor environment.

Furthermore, cats are also very sensitive to their environment and to changes in their surroundings. They may be hesitant to go outside if they sense danger or feel threatened by other animals in the area. Similarly, they may be reluctant to come indoors if they feel that they are missing out on something interesting or exciting outside.

In addition, the psychological reasons behind a cat’s inability to decide to go in or out are complex and multifaceted. They reflect a delicate balance between curiosity and habit, comfort and insecurity, and safety and adventure.


Why do cats sit by the door but can’t decide to go in or out?

Cats often sit by the door to indicate that they want to go out or come in, but they may not be able to make a firm decision. This can be due to several factors, such as indecision, fear, or uncertainty about what they might encounter outside. It’s important to observe your cat’s body language and behavior to understand what they’re trying to communicate.

Additionally, they may be afraid of loud noises or new environments, or they may feel threatened by other animals in the area. In these cases, it’s important to create a safe and secure environment for your cat and to gradually introduce them to the outdoors if they’re interested.

Can cats be trained to decide to go in or out?

While cats can be trained to perform various behaviors, such as using a litter box or scratching post, they may not be easily trained to make a decision about going in or out. This is because cats are independent animals with their own preferences and may not respond well to being told what to do. Instead, providing them with access to both indoor and outdoor spaces and observing their behavior can help them make their own decisions.

They may associate certain cues or behaviors with going outside, such as the sound of a door opening or the sight of their owner grabbing a leash. Some cats may also have a preferred method of signaling when they want to go outside, such as meowing or scratching at the door.

Owners can help facilitate their cat’s decision-making process by providing them with clear access to both indoor and outdoor spaces. This may involve installing a cat flap or leaving a window open for them to come and go as they please. It is also important to make sure that any outdoor space is safe and secure for the cat, so that they do not wander too far or encounter any potential dangers.

 What can I do to help my cat make a decision about going in or out?

As a pet owner, you can provide your cat with options for going in or out, such as installing a cat door or leaving a window open. Additionally, observing your cat’s behaviour and body language can help you understand their preferences and make informed decisions. You can also provide your cat with a safe and comfortable indoor environment with plenty of toys and stimulation to reduce their desire to go outside.

Another way to help your cat make a decision about going in or out is to establish a routine. Set specific times for indoor playtime, outdoor playtime, and mealtimes. This will help your cat anticipate and look forward to these activities, and they may become more willing to come inside when it’s time to do so.

You can also train your cat to respond to verbal cues, such as calling their name or using a specific word or phrase, to indicate that it’s time to come inside. Positive reinforcement, such as treats or praise, can help encourage your cat to respond to these cues.

If your cat seems indecisive about going in or out, you can also try providing them with a designated “safe space” outside, such as a secure cat enclosure or a screened-in porch. This can give your cat the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while still being protected from potential dangers like predators or traffic.


Cats are independent creatures, but their inability to decide whether to go in or out is related to their instinctual behavior. In the wild, cats are both predators and prey, and they rely on their instincts to keep them safe. Cats prefer to have multiple escape routes to avoid danger, and this instinct is why they often hesitate when deciding to go in or out.

Additionally, cats are creatures of habit and prefer routine, so any change in their environment, such as weather or noise, can make them unsure about going in or out. Ultimately, a cat’s indecisiveness is rooted in their natural instincts and sensitivity to their surroundings.

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