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Cats: Indoor or Outdoor?

edited May 2011 in Birds & Outdoor Animals 0.00 Karma
My cat is currently indoor and we take him out with a harness sometimes so he can get some sun because we live in a dangerous area with lots of cars and coyotes. However, I feel bad about not letting him come and go as he pleases because I know he wants to and he tries to sneak past us out of our apartment into the hallway sometimes. If I were living somewhere further from traffic with a fenced in yard I'd probably have a cat door.
It's complicated, whether you choose to keep your cats indoor or outdoor there's going to be someone who thinks you're a cruel monster because of it. Either you're holding them prisoner or putting them in danger, isn't there some sort of sane middleground?

Comments

  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    My old cats always were outdoors but I was young and it wasn't my decision. After my cat and my sisters cats were poisoned (to death) by neighbors, I will never ever let any of my cats out freely again. It was a heartbreaking thing to go through and I won't make that mistake again. With so many dangers like cars, dogs, wild animals, and evil humans I think it is much less cruel to keep them inside and safe.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    Lemme tell you what happened to my cat a year ago.

    Last year in january, one of my cats didn't come home. we searched and searched, distributed fliers, and went to all the shelters. about a week later i heard a little meow by the window early in the morning. it was my poor little kitty. he looked miserable, his back was bent all weird, his fur was greasy, and he smelled. i got him to the vet and it turned out he had a dislocated hip. his front claws were pretty much gone, he had a huge cut on his side, there was road rash on his face and head, and he had lost the tip of one tooth. he was cleaned and stitched up and 2 weeks later he had a femoral head ostectomy. that's when they cut off the head of the femur because it's difficult to fix a dislocated hip in a cat. a year later he's finally healed but he will always have a limp.
    there's hardly any traffic around here. i live in a no outlet area. there's only 15 or so houses past ours and it's over half a mile and past a canal to a busy street. nobody really speeds on this street and i've never seen any dead animals in the area.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    I think the best thing to do is let them choose where they wanna be. Mine are both indoors and outdoors and they're happy like this.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    My cat is indoors. I do let him out on occasion, but not unsupervised. I wouldn’t let my dog run loose either. There are vehicles, cruel kids and diseased animals out there. Outdoor animals have a much shorter life expectancy than indoor pets.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    I am not a cat person, but I do have a dog. She is an indoor dog unless we are with her for many of the reasons listed here. I think pets are part of the family and should be where the family is!
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    I remember dealing with coyotes when I lived in AZ, scary as can be for all pets and sometimes people too. We keep our indoor cat on a leash and take her through the yard, even for being an old (and very stubborn) cat she does pretty well, but the trick is consistency. If the cat is not given the chance to become one with the leash it will never like it.
  • 1.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    You have made the right decision to keep your cat close to you. If you let your friend free to roam you may loose him on your busy streets or to the many other dangers. Walking your cat with a harness sounds like the sane middle ground.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    I don't know where people have gotten the idea that indoor cats are somehow deprived. They do not require the ability to roam free like big cats do. They were bred and domesticated specifically to be pets. Allowing them complete indoor/outdoor independence is only putting them in danger.

    Try putting your kitty on a leash and walking him around the yard if you really feel that bad.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    I would also look into getting your cat protected for the outdoors. Are all shots like rabies up to date? Have you thought about ordering Revolution through your vet? Remember, cats still need protect even if they are outdoors only for a short time (that is all it takes).
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    I live in a city where an outdoor cat won't last long. There are a lot of strays, and many are sick. There are many cars, and even people who will steal a cat who is friendly. We always believed cats should come and go as they pleased. However, in 3 years we lost 2 cats to the outdoors and our neighbor lost 3. Now our cat is indoors. It is too heart breaking for our kids to keep losing pets.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    My kitty cats are indoor kitties. If I were to let them outside, I would trust them to come home, but I wouldn't trust them to leave the fleas outside. Plus, I'm too nervous another, bigger animal will hurt them.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    I think cats are very smart. They know when danger is around. But it is ultimately your decision. Just test it out one day to see if your cat wants to be outdoors. Some cats don't want to be outside.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    My one cat Snickers was a total indoor cat until I moved into a trailer in a trailer park community. Then she wanted to go outside but at first it was when my daughter and I went out. I also have 3 other cats who like to go outside. I had no clue they had an escape route in the trailer until one of my cats was outside and wanting in. I couldn't drop everything to l let her in at the moment then all of a sudden Almond Joy was inside. So i looked to see how she got in. I found one of my vent covers off and realized that was their escape to outside. All three of my females ended up pregnant and had kittens about two weeks apart. Sadly Snicker's got out and abandoned her kittens, which i find odd. I don't know if she crawled off somewhere and died or ran off , which I can't imagine. Sad thing she is my four year old daughter's cat. It's tough to want to let them out if they want to be outdoor cats, but cats make it tough if they don't want to be indoors all the time. Cats are hard headed when they want something they don't quit until they get what they want.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    My brother recently bought 5 very expensive cats and they must stay indoors at least until they get used to their new home. We already lost one cat so we can't afford to make that same mistake again. 2 of them just gave birth so we have a total of 5 brand new kittens :D
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    Our current cats are entirely indoors. I don't think it's cruel at all either and they're quit content being inside. It's not like dogs who need a place to run and exercise. They have the entire house and are never cooped up.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    Outdoor. I don't like cats and my brother and father has asthma so they would not let it anyway but if ever I still don't like their smell. Sorry for all the cat lover out there. It is just me.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    Pia13, you don't need to apologize. I would keep any animals indoors if one of my family members had a medical condition. It's the right thing to do.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    My cats are indoor, I live on a main road , and the train runs right behind my home.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    Micheleteresa, isn't it hard for you to live near the railroad?! I mean, how do you deal with all the noise?
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    I have two indoor cats and I have no problem with people complaining that they should be outside. But then again, I am on a busy main road. But it should not really matter where you live. Some people just want an indoor cat that doesn't go outside as they don't want to deal with it getting fleas and all kinds of other crap. My boyfriends cats are indoor cats and they happened to escape and now they have fleas and he can't get rid of the fleas and eggs. I would much rather have indoor cats without the fleas. It's a nightmare.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    Our cat is indoor/outdoor, but then again we live in a quiet neighborhood without much traffic and a nice fenced-in yard where we allow her to play. We've been lucky that we have no problems so far with her catching any fleas or ticks, plus she's more indoors than out, but has the option of using her cat door.

    We used to move around a lot so our kitty has had experience being a strictly indoor cat in sometimes very small apartments. She hates the harness we tried putting on her so taking her on walks is out of the question. We just try and spend as much playtime with her as possible, mentally stimulating her brain with toys, feathers, and catnip, etc. We also made windows easily accessible for her to look outside. A nice quality cat tree or condo is a great investment, as is a window perch. Some indoor plants are also good to make your rooms look like the outdoors.

    I've also heard of 'catios' if you have a terrace or balcony in your apartment and are concerned about kitty safety: http://catioshowcase.com/

    Here's a New York Times article about catios: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/17/garden/17catio.html?_r=0
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    Well if you think that your cat will be in any danger outside, keeping it inside is not holding it prisoner. You are just trying to protect it. You need however to set an environment for your cat inside the house, specially a large dirt box..
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    Our mostly inside cat still tries to venture outside but the most she goes is about four steps out the door and then runs back inside. Now the outside cat is having a blast as we purchased a new building which she can now go from the fence, to the building to the roof of the house on.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    We have 2 indoor only cats and 1 barn/shop cat. The outside shop cat gets to go out and the other 2 do not. We live in the country but it's the main road and it's busy! The shop cat is a stray cat that just showed up.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    I had a Siamese cat back then who loved to play near the fence, but she only stay a few inches from the fence and does not go past, then one day she suddenly disappeared. I know she wouldn't stray away from the house so I suspect my neighbor in stealing the cat..
  • PatPat
    2.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    I don't have any pets at the moment but have in the past. I don't care for my cats to go out side because of fleas. We don't see stray cats or dogs in our area. I think pets are safer inside, people are mean and will hurt an animal for no good reason.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    our cats are all indoors. although they can go out of the hiuse up to the open garage. i think they are already satisfied and comfortable with tge amount of space they can travel since they never attempt ro go out on the street even if they actually easily can.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    Cats that i bought stays inside, and stray cats that I adopted can go anywhere they want..
  • 2.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    Luckily my cat doesn't wander out too often, so I can just leave him in our garden and he'll just be there. We keep him in a cage at night, but when he starts to meow I set him free. Then if he follows me to the door then I let him in the house. I think you can set your cat free inside your house for a few hours, so that he won't get bored. Just keep an eye on him.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    Our 2 dogs and now, one and only cat are extensions of our family. Neither of our cats were ever allowed outside. Our last remaining cat always stays inside, safe from anything and anyone, clean and well fed!
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    We consider our pets as a part of the family as well but they stay outside the house. The dog has his own doghouse and the cats can sleep anywhere on the porch. I don't want my pets to destroy anything inside the house because they are very playful.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    I have 4 cats of which one goes outside whenever he wants to. He can deal with cars and knows where to go and how to come home again. The others seem wary and would not really know where to go or what to do. I have had both indoor and outdoor cats, I find that they're happy depending on what they are used to!
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    I prefer cats to stay outdoors. Somehow, I couldn't manage their behavior so they tend to become unruly when they're inside the house.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    I've always had outdoor cats, but I'm looking into getting an indoor cat as I currently live in an apartment. I really don't like the smell of the kitty litter but I guess its the price you have to pay for an indoor cat!

    Generally speaking, cats are so warm and loving, why keep that outside ;)
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    Kitty litter isn't fun, but there are so many brands and options with it now that you can really keep the odor down. Just make sure you clean it daily. And I recommend the Arm n Hammer brand varieties (baking soda is wonderful!).
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    Of course, there's a golden middle for everything.

    You can keep them as indoor cats but take them out for a little stroll around the garden or a safe area once a day. I know a family that installed some sort of fences to make sure foxes and coyotes can't get in, so the cat could roam safely around the garden :)

    You can also do this greenhouse sort of thing, where it's out in the garden but you have a glass roof around it, so the cat can see outside but it's not actually OUTSIDE outside.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    Our cat has always lived indoors and if he ever sneaks out onto the patio he just looks around then runs back inside. We are concerned with him getting fleas and bringing those inside. He is able to sleep in the sun since we have sliding glass doors in most rooms. What amazes me is how a cat with jet black fur sleep in the Florida sun for hours!
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    I do understand what you feel. It is always better to let them free and not hold them imprisoned that way. You say that your cat always tries to sneak out through you, then probably he is not as comfortable as you think he is!
    One of my friend also had a cat kept in her indoors and the reason she stated for that was as same as that of yours. But then, I guess the cat really felt it frustrating, he just sneaked out of the house and never came back. My friend almost went to the depression state as she loved her cat a lot. This is the time I really thought that, sometimes letting go is the best way to see our loved one happy .
    In your case, I would suggest you to set him free and wait for him to come back home to you. I know there are a certain risks involved in it, but it is not as risky as having your pets suffer in your house.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    I keep all 3 of my cats inside. We live in the country, so wild animals are a huge problem. Also, with having them inside, I don't feel the need to have them vaccinated since they don't come in contact with other cats. I do however keep them on flea medicine all year long though. I've been lucky that my cats don't feel the need to run outside and become a wild animal. As long as they have a window to look out or opened when the weather is nice, they are quite content. Or at least they haven't told me otherwise.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    The life expectancy of an outdoor cat is 5 years. They can meet with all sorts of bad situation including predators, cars, and disease. I have 5 indoor cats. We have built a small caged in area out back we can place the cats in for an hour or 2 if they appear to want out. It is a 10x10x10 enclosure with multiple climbing levels.
  • 0.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    Our cats are indoors pets. They seem to enjoy the sun in the windows and the warmth of the wood stove as well.
    When I was a child we had indoor/outdoor cats and they always seemed to be getting hit by cars or just plain missing.
    I sure don't want my cats outside as I live in an area full of Fischer cats. That would be not so fair to the cats at all.
    And I live on fairly busy highway so that would just be dangerous as well.
    So for me, our little guys will be inside cats as long as they live with us.
  • 4.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    Indoor. To me, cats should never be outdoors (all the time or alone, that is). It's good that you take your cat out on a harness so they can get some sun but are still safe. I've lost lots of kitties who were forced to stay outside (by my parents) so once I move into my apartment and get my cat, they won't be allowed outside on their own. I think cats should be able to be outside if they're monitored or in an otherwise safe place like a backyard. There's a good balance between safety and danger when you let your cat come and go, and just from experience (and the experience of others), I don't want to risk that danger. So I say kitties should be indoors unless accompanied or in a safe space.
  • 2.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    I have had indoor and outdoor cats throughout my life and I believe it is best to keep pets inside. There are mean people in the world that harm cats and I'll never know why. Also, cold weather and cars are dangerous to them.
    I had an outdoor cat a few months ago that was taken by some woman that lived down the street. I was sad because I knew I probably wouldn't ever see him again, but I'm glad that he has a home to live in now. I was not allowed to have pets inside my home, so I'm just glad that he has somewhere safe to live now.
    I think it is best to keep your pets inside to keep them safe, your pets love you and need to be protected.
  • 4.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    We've had cats all our my life. We also live on some property, so there was a time we had 20+ outside cats roaming around. Also had dogs too, and most of the time everything was peaceful. Now we are down to just 2 cats who I guess are indoor cats, but they do go outside as well. We don't have dogs anymore, except for the wild ones roaming. They don't come up to the house though, so that's good for the kittys.
  • 4.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    It's a really hard call. They want outside and 9 times out of 10 they'll make it home fine. But then that 1 time out of 10 is all it takes and it's over. I just lost my Siamese cat. We have a doggy door so unless we want to lock all the dogs in, he was going to get out. We came home a d he was laying in the middle of the road. We don't really have any neighbors or traffic. But it only takes that once...
  • 4.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    Sorry about your Siamese, Myownreality. Losing a pet is the worst. I lost my cat last December. Had her for over 10 years, she was my little baby. I can't believe how much I cried when she died. You're right about how it only takes once. My brother had a cat, really beautiful orange long haired one. He went outside for a couple hours every day then would come inside at night. Every day for years. One day he just never came back. Don't even know what happened to him. :/
  • 4.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    I love cats. I am a bit allergic to them, but I have a much better tolerance around them now. I would not want a pet cat to be outside because I feel like I would be abandoning him or her. I am too much of an animal lover to have the heart to do something like that. I used to have stray cats, but they wanted to be outside, so that is fine in regards to being outside. But house cats, I want them indoors. I would also not want to run the risk of them running away.
  • 4.00 KarmaPosts: 0
    I let my cat come and go as be pleases. That the way I e always been with cats. I refuse to get them declawed so really there was no reason to keep them locked up inside
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