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Do You Allow Kitty Outside?
Nov 4 2007
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All my kitties have been outdoors only and all have lived to be happy, healthy 20 + year old cats. I grew up in a rural farm area and it probably would have been considered weird to have indoor animals... animals love having a job, and it was our cats jobs to keep the mice, rabbits and other nibblers away from the gardens and barns :) Even as a child when I would try to bring a cat in they would run for the door as fast as they could!
I would never allow my cat to just be an 'outdoor cat.' Too many things could happen to her! She stays indoors, except we have this small little porch out back,(it's a rowhome) where she will sit sometimes when I'm watching her. It's a really tiny porch, so that's about all the outside she gets.
My cat is strictly indoors. For many years I lived in an apartment complex where it was not safe for her to roam outside. Now that she's 13, she prefers to be inside and I wouldn't want her to get bitten by a dog or get an infection from a cat fight. Indoor cats live longer because they are safer.
My husband had a cat that was run over in our neighbourhood several years ago. We now have 3 fat spoiled house cats (a maine coon, a Russian blue and a Norwegian forest cat) that are happy as can be. Our sunroom is now referred to as the cat room where watch the birds and squirrels, they can even enjoy some fresh air during the warmer seasons. I'm going to go on a little rant here but... I think it's unfair to ecosystems, even urban ones, when domestic cats are allowed to roam free since they prey on and hunt wildlife (birds, small mammals, etc.). It's not an example of "survival of the fittest" because they don't rely on their outdoor environment for survival like their prey does... they are provided food and shelter by their owners so the stress they cause on ecosystems and lower trophic levels is completely unnecessary. Feral cats are of course a totally different issue... seems most people spay or neuter their pets now.
nikisix - I forgot to add that you put it perfectly when you said " I'm all for tailoring the needs to the pet...they are not all the same."
This has been a really interesting thread - I have enjoyed reading all the different comments. I have had a lump or two in my throat about the kitties who have been hurt....it's hard thing to go through. I don't have a lot of fears but one of my biggest fears is that I will run over a cat. There have been a few times I have come close and honestly I feel like I've been scarred for life - I can't imagine how I would feel if it actually happened. I think that if we were all in the ideal situation we would love to have our kitties be able to go outside. What cat wouldn't enjoy a romp in the grass, stretching out in the sun and a day hanging out in the trees? I know that my kitties love to sit by the french doors and watch birdies and enjoy the view, they also love to be by an open window. In my situation it just isn't the best thing to have them be outdoors but I can appreciate that for others, it works for them. What would we do without our lovable feline companions? :meow:
My cat insists on going outside, he has a cat door so he's in and out as he pleases. He loves to hang with me inside and sleeps with me thru the night, but he is so intensely free spirited I have to let him be independent or else he goes insane (and drives me and my neighbors insane). I was living with a friend temporarily and tried to turn him into an indoor only cat, and I swear he went insane. He would pace and moan to be let out, he even attacked me in my bed one night, all very uncharacteristic of him. In my new house he has a limited area to roam outdoors, but he is the king of the castle. I'm all for tailoring the needs to the pet...they are not all the same.
kmitch, that's a horrible story :( I read that whether they are indoor or outdoor cats declawing them is really bad. It's a huge psychological disturbance for them not to be able to use their claws, not to mention the fact that if they get outside they have no means of defending themselves. Actually I think declawing is banned in a lot of countries...
My two kitties are strictly indoor only. I recently moved in with my boyfriend, and his cat is indoor/outdoor (so I had to get all the pertinent shots for my kits!). His cat is 21!!! My cats don't seem jealous or anything. My kitties getting out is one of my biggest fears.
The life span of a cat is cut in half when then live outside. I lived in the city my whole life and all of my cats were once stray cats. I had one that insisted on going outside after being in the house for over 5 years. We moved to a house that had a backyard with grass. He was declawed and would get into fights with other cats. He had many cuts and abscesses which required many vet visits. One day he was killed by a Bull Mastif dog that preyed on cats. It was extremely traumatic for me and my children since we saw the dog carrying him by his neck as a trophy. I have since moved out of the city to a house with 1/2 acre of land. The cats want to go out but they aren't allowed. There are too many wild anmials for them to get into fights with. My suggestion is to keep your cats in the house and have window perches and screen doors for them to watch the birds and squirrels.
when we lived in the city my cats were indoors only, now that we live in a rural area they go outside and absolutely love it. our house came with "outside kitty" who has adopted us and is now part of our family. he sneaks inside but we usually put him back out (if it was up to me, he'd be welcome inside...i'm slowly wearing down my hubby especially now that winter is on its way). my cats don't roam all over...they stick to their yard and the park across the street...i never find them in anybody else's yard or house, etc. they are very well-mannered. and i know my neighbors would let me know otherwise cuz that's how they are...
Caterpillargirl, I swear most the cats I know that are outdoorsy are long lived. That's why I said it always makes me laugh when people talk about not letting their cats outside. All this talk about cats makes me miss Jelly! I got her when I was a year old :-)
Renee, i had an outdoor cat Calvin who lived to be over 20. In fact all my outdoor cats were geriatric!
my kitties go on supervised outings. they love to roll on the cement, eat a little salad (aka grass), and chase a few bugs (or birds that are stupid enough to let them get close). the boys are very good and helping me get the mail or take the trash out. both my cats were originally farm cats (and one was an outdoor cat until i moved), so they're always begging to go out. soon it will snow and they'll start getting stir-crazy! but, they are not allowed outside for like a week+ after the lawn is fertilized (we always wait until after the first rain after fertilization...and even then a few more days for cushion).
I have 4 cats. 2 are indoor only cats (persians) and 2 that are indoor and outdoor only because they will howl and drive us nuts to go outside. 1 stays on the deck the other roams the neighborhood. I hate letting him out, but he is only happy outside so I asked my self was a longer life or what made him the happiest even though his life would be shortened the best for him? And he likes outside better... so that's how it is in our house.
Our cats have always been indoor/outdoor but they aren't allowed out after dark.
I have one indoor-outdoor kitty who is 16 (in California), and one kitten who stays inside exclusively (In Japan). Really it's a matter of safety...People aren't careful with their pets here, and since I live near a park in Japan, people dump their pets. There's strays everywhere.
my cat is not allowed to go outdoors, and she's been inside all her life so when she accidentally gets out, she runs back to the door because she doesn't want to be out. we got an indoor cat because a few years ago our beloved siamese cat, chloe was outside with us and she ran off and got hit by a car. we were out front when it happened, heard the thump, saw her laying on the road, and my dad had to pick her up and bury her. it was so difficult, that we made it a point to not let this one out.
It cracks me up when people say cats don't live as long outside. My cat just passed away last year at the tender age of 22. Jelly was Always an indoor outdoor cat. Free to roam wherever she pleased. Yes she got into a few scuffles, got hit by a car once, but she always came home and was always healthy. She got her shots, baths, flea and all that other medicine, jsut like you would give a dog that went outside. Even when we moved, she would get used to her surroundings then would be fine. The only time we kept her in was around the week of Halloween because she was all black. She would never run away, this was her home and she was smart enough to know that. When an indoor cat gets out, they don't know their surroundings, so can get lost or hurt. But if you show them the outdoors, I'm sure they'd get used to it. My best friend has the same situation, her cat is 19 and still kicking, mostly an outdoor cat, usually sleeps in the garage. Cats are just like any other animal, I think they like the outdoors, it's not as natural for them to be indoors constantly. I'm now knocking anyones decision to be indoor cats, just letting you know my experience
My cats are outdoor cats. I live in a very rural area where there is not much traffic or other house near by. They sleep in a heated garage. They like to come in the house at times but all enjoy being outdoors and being able to hunt, climb trees and roam around the property. We also have out door dogs that keep any predators away. I think that my cats are happier living more naturally, though we do keep them up to date with vaccinations and flea/tick meds to prevent disease.
My cat, Gracie, is a rescue so she likes to be outside and inside. She is spayed and only stays in our yard. Although I sometimes see her across the street at the house where her previous owners moved out and left her with her three kittens! No sure why she goes back over there. But she knows where the love and the food is!
cats belong outside. they'll never run away, as long as you keep feeding them!
My cat used to be strictly indoor, infact he would get really freaked out if you carried him outside (even though he was tight in your arms). Then we got a new deck, so we brought him out on it a couple times for 10 - 15 minutes. Then he started getting brave and would hop off the deck and go under it. So now if it's warm out we allow him to sit out on the deck with us (closely supervised) for 10 - 15 minutes. He'll actually go sit by the patio door and stare at you when he wants to go out...amazing considering how petrified he was before.
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