How do you all feel about this? I know some say it's better to keep your cat inside for various reasons, but for some reason I just can't imagine never letting my cat go outside. Is it inhumane to keep her/or him inside? I think it's dangerous to let her/him go outside but, does it depend on the cat? Some cats like to stay inside and not go out, right? Do they go a little haywire (running around in circles like some caged animals will do) after being inside a long time? What's your experience?
Cats can be totally happy indoors--just ask my spoiled rotten babies! Sometimes they run around when they're playing, but that's natural--they're not "spinning" like chronically caged dogs. If you're concerned your kitties will get bored, enrich their environment with toys and places to climb--plus windows to bask in the sun :-)~~
As a matter of fact, all the major animal welfare agencies in the US (ASPCA, Humane Society of the US, PETA)--plus plenty of minor ones like my local shelter--advocate keeping cats indoors at all times, because indoors-only cats live SIGNIFICANTLY longer, healthier lives than their indoor/outdoor or outdoors-only cousins.~~
Any questions, just ask!
I agree with keeping your cats indoors for the safety reasons. Although, out of my 5 cats, 3 stay indoors completley and they are perfectly content.
I do have a boy (my avatar pic) that decided after 9 yrs of being an indoor cat he was going outside. I wasn't going to change his mind either! He suddenly developed some nasty habits if he wasn't let out--it was definately in retaliation too! He has decided that he would rather pee outside than in his catbox. Have had issues with urinary tract infections so I think he might associate catbox with pain. Urinary problems under control though. So now he meows when he needs out and he's happy. He's getting up there in age so he really does'nt go to far from home. :)
I also have a little boy cat that will go out and play for about an hour a day in the yard. He's pretty good about staying close too. He has sooo much fun outside that I have a hard time not letting him enjoy it. Trust me, I'm torn.
He's my gardening helper too.
However, my siamese girls wouldn't dream of getting their precious little feet dirty outside!! And my last was a stray and wouldn't dare go that far from the cat food bowl!
Also, all my neighbors know my cats and are watchful of them too--it makes me feel a little better.
sw 226 lbs 9/24/07
cw 199 lbs
gw 125 lbs
i have an outside/inside cat...not friendly with strangers so i'm ok with her going outside
i have a friendly inside cat...can't go out
i have had three cats catnapped in the last twenty years so i'm careful...the reason i think they were picked up is because they were a rare breed
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Thanks. It's really cute how you describe your cats. It's great. I guess I'll leave it up to my kitty when she/or he grows up.
Originally Posted by meancat
Originally Posted by lodestar
When I was a kid, we had two cats. They were allowed outdoors when they wanted to go. They both died very young.
The cat I have now is now pretty much a totally indoor cat. She just turned 14. As a kitten, I trained her to use a collar and leash. You can't really walk a cat like you can a dog though. So it didn't always work too well.
At the time, I was living in an apartment with a small fenced backyard. She didn't seem to know how to climb a fence, so I would let her outside in the backyard. That worked until the day some animal (possibly even her) dug a hole under the fence. Cats can squeeze through very small spaces. And she did! She wouldn't come back home.
I worried because she was in a parking lot with a lot of cars. She was too frightened to do anything but sit there and shake. She seemed not to know how to get back home. I had to call my dad. He and my nephew came over and put her back over the fence for me.
On to the leash. That worked out fine until she learned how to get out of the collar and subsequently the harnesses I'd bought for her. She would go into the woods (I lived in Cape Cod then) and not come back home. There were wolves and other animals in those woods and we'd been warned not to let our cats run loose.
Then we moved to CA where cats were not allowed outside in the military housing where we lived. I did have a small deck though with enclosed sides. I thought it was safe to allow her out there for some sun. Until the day someone pushed a chair too close to the edge of the deck. From the chair, she hopped up onto the overhanging piece of roof thingie and across to the next door neighbor's deck. No telling how long she was over there before I found her. She was terrifed because they had two cats and two Dalmations that were barking and hissing at her through the sliding glass door.
Then the incident when we lived in NY. Our movers arrived early. I put her in her carrier and took her outside. Husband then started freaking out over something and demanded that I come back inside. I left her with my daughter and told her not to open the carrier for any reason. But she did! Cat got out and into the woods she went.
That was one of the most horrible and stressful times of my life. I knew she was in the woods, but she wouldn't come to me. For days, she stayed hidden in the dense plant life, getting burrs in her fur and losing weight from lack of food. I am not sure why she wouldn't come to me. She looked terrified and when she gets terrifed, she tends not to do anything but hide.
We finally had to give up on her and presume she was dead. We were moving from NY to WA. We stayed for a few days in PA to see my inlaws. Luckily, 10 days after she went missing, she finally decided to enter the trap we had set for her. We had neighbors watching the trap. We got her back, but it was such a traumatic experience for all of us! Now when she sees her carrier, she hops right inside of it.
But apart from safety reasons like being hit by a car or mauled by some other animal, you have to be concerned with diseases the cat might get as well as fleas and ticks. My cat had fleas when I used to let her outside. Then she ate a flea and got worms. Fleas are next to impossible to get rid of once they take hold. The only way to really get rid of them and their eggs is to use chemicals I'd rather not use.
I did buy her something called a walking jacket. It fits around the tummy and has three straps on it. You can hook the leash to it. It's supposed to prevent them from getting loose on the leash. I don't know if it works or not because she will have none of it.
If I ever did let a cat out and loose in the future, I would make sure to keep it in some sort of safe enclosure. There's a man named Richard Norton who breeds bengals. He has countless Youtube videos of his cats and their enclosure. He has built something using mainly scrap lumber and wire so that the cats can walk outside at will and be in a large, protected area. It's very nice.
I used to work at a vet hospital and after all I saw I will never let my cat outside. Three reasons: predators, cars and disease. She gets to sit in the window and look at the birdies or whatever. Cats have been domesticated a long time. Play with your cat often and keep them safe indoors.
Just to add to my last post--I do agree with trying to keep them inside. All my cats were inside cats before Johnny Cat decided to go outside--like I said--couldn't change his mind. It was that or having him pee in my house (he is nuetured so he's not spraying) and with my little one going out, that was a monster that I created when I was out in the yard and he would meow, meow, meow...so I started letting him out to play a little every day. I'm a sucker for a begging kitty
I have grown up with many, many cats--inside and out. And the outside cats do meet untimely deaths (for many reasons) much more than if you keep them protected inside.
So I guess if you don't introduce him to the outside, he won't know what he's missing and it won't break your heart to keep him in.
I do still hate the fact that they cannot just go outside and enjoy it though.
sw 226 lbs 9/24/07
cw 199 lbs
gw 125 lbs
my cat's are not alowed out side. there is a person that lives in the apartment complex that puts his cat on one of those retractable leashes for dogs and hooks it to his porch, so the cat can be out side but not get hurt or run off. the first time i saw it it thought it was funny because the cat wanted to petted but was at the end of his leash.
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We have tried to do the currently correct thing and keep our cats inside but it never works for long. Our last 2 cats were a totally wild kitten and a mutilated stray that bonded and stayed inside all the time. Then we moved to a place where a neighbor fed all the cats of the 'hood on her porch. Our cats could see all the other cats lazing on her front lawn from their perch in the front window. Their desire to socialize inspired them to find many ways to sneak out of the house rapidly. Someone got tired of all the cats and managed to get rid of every cat in the neighborhood very rapidly (except for one of course - his.) The psycho neighbor managed to get everyone in the neighborhood to believe that someone else got rid of all the cats.
In our own lives we usually choose to take risks rather than not having a life at all. Cats are born to hunt and bask in the sun - I have difficulty keeping them indoors.
Wow, everybody is making some good points. That's why I think I'm going to get an animal reading on this and leave it up to my cat when she/or he grows up. If pets are a reflection of their owners, and I love the outdoors I'm sure my cat will want to go outside.
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