Freya and Fiona were indoor cats. They were born in an apartment, and moved to my apartment that didn’t have (the possibility for) a cat door since it was a rental. There was also a busy road just around the corner, so even if a cat door were possible, I wouldn’t want to take the risk.
But that doesn’t mean that they never went outside. When they were little, we brought them with us by train when we visited our parents. They enjoyed exploring the house and garden of my parents-in-law (on a leash).
The first time that I put a leash on them they didn’t like it (of course), but they got used to it quickly. I extended the leashes with some twine so that they could explore further. Of course, when one of them walked away, the other one would play with the leash they were pulling behind them.
When they grew older, they still went outside from time to time (supervised by me), but not that often. Fiona preferred just taking a short stroll on the balcony, while Freya was slightly intrigued by the Real Outside past the front door.
Strangely enough, neither of them was very interested in sitting in the windowsill, looking outside. Except if the window was open.
Well, sometimes it was fun to sit there and watch people pass by downstairs.
And the balcony was interesting too.
The fun thing about the balcony was that there was grass there. They both loved grass, especially Freya!
Another fun thing about the balcony was that you could try and escape. Freya especially was obsessed with finding a way to get to the neighbour’s balcony. Fiona even fell down one time onto the balcony of our downstairs neighbour. Fortunately, that neighbour was home and he tried to get her, but she freaked out. Meanwhile, I walked down the stairs and rang the doorbell. When my neighbour opened the door, Fiona ran past him back into our house like lightning. She was much more careful after that. But Freya was not.
So we had to restrict them a bit. The cats were only allowed on the balcony with supervision. We built a screen door to keep them inside while still allowing for fresh air to come in.
It was basically cat tv.
In summer, we spent quite some time on the balcony in the mornings when it was still cool there.
I tried to take them outside through the front door once in a while. Fiona didn’t particularly like that, so I stopped trying. But Freya was quite curious about street life. She would come running when I would get her leash. But at first, she didn’t really want to go further than our doormat. That doormat was totally the most intriguing thing of the Entire Outside World. Probably because visiting cats would leave their scent there.
We lived on the second floor, so she had to go down another staircase to reach street level. And she did. She really didn’t like it when it was windy, though. And even though she seemed to enjoy it, it was clearly stressful for her as well.
Sometimes, we even encountered another cat! How dare they exist where Freya can notice them! Cue big, poofy tail and growling.
But overall, being outside was fun. Especially if there was grass around.
But like a true city/indoors cat, she really didn’t want to walk on grass. Just eat it. Well, until that time when we took her with us on holiday, and she got used to it (reluctantly at first).
She also made it very clear when she was done with the great outdoors.