- After growing up with indoor/outdoor cats and watching them one by one not come home due to being coyote food, as an adult I will only ever have indoor cats. My cats will never go outside unless they are securely crated. I would not be able to live with myself if something happened to one of my babies. I believe that if you provide a stimulating indoor environment the cats have no need or want to go outside. My kitties have tons of toys and hiding spots, we have 3 cat trees and we do several interactive play sessions a day as well as clicker training. Both of my babies are very content inside.
- —Guest Lauren
Been there, but never again.
- I had an indoor/outdoor cat, Mario Lopez though predominantly outdoor cat. He had been in a fight/attacked before and almost died but we continued to let him roam the great outdoors during the days after he had healed. When he was three Mario just suddenly stopped coming home. I think the not knowing is what makes it the hardest. Feeling so helpless about the outcome of our beloved family member made it really hard to get over. The next time i got a cat i decided i would never let a cat of mine just roam freely unsupervised. I cannot go through the "missing Cat" scenario again. It is just too hard emotionally.
Learned your lessons
- 1 year old Mitsy got hit at 10am on Memorial Day in 2002. My 2nd 1-year old,Treble, got hit at 9:30pm a week before Memorial Day May 20 2010. We tried very hard to keep them in but they begged and begged to go out or escaped. They loved outdoor, climbing trees and chasing after squirrels. but they never kill any creatures. When I read the outdoor cats have an average life span of 3-7 years while the indoor cats 15-20 years, and that they don't need special physical exercise outdoorto prolong their lifespan as long as we feed them healthy. I read about training baby kittens using leash while outside. I wished I had read the article before Treble was killed. In both cases, we took our injured kittens to vets (ER), nope, Mitsy died of lungs collapse and Treble, had to put down due to clots in his heart which was paralyzing him. We were heart broken for they did everything with us. My resolution is Got them in pairs and keep them indoors. Out with leash only Construct backyard cat enclosur
- —Guest Hannah
on the fence
- Well our family cat was indoor/outdoor, although as she got older (she was 19 when she died) she rarley chose to go outside. Now my partner and i would like a cat/kitten but we live near a main road, so i think it would be safer to have an indoor cat, with some supervised outside experiences in the garden. Im not sure how the cat shelter will feel so well keep trying, but i think cats are much like humans, and any one rule isnt going to fit all cats, it all depends on the cat, but also your house/location/lifestyle.
- —Guest kirsty
Allowing your indoor cats outside
- Cat enclosures are an excellent solution if you have an indoor cat. It will allow you to control how far the cat can traverse your yard and allow your feline friend to enjoy the outdoors.
Declawed demands indoor-only
- Brave Newman had been declawed by his first family before we adopted him. There is a four-lane road 30 feet east of our house. Either would have been reason enough to keep him indoors-only
- We have two cats. One isn't technically ours, she walked in one day when we had the back door open and decided to live here. We know who she belongs to and they don't seem to mind. she comes and goes as she pleases, but spends most of the time in our back garden it seems. Our other cat is about 8 months old now, and refuses to go out during the day! The first time we let him out at night, we got worried when he didn't come back before daylight, but he seems to have learnt and comes back hourly throughout the night. He has a reflective collar, and as we live out in the countryside, I think this is perfectly acceptable. We got the younger one at only 4 weeks due to abandonment of the mother, and the owner not being able to look after all the kittens single handedly, so he has a litter tray and is well trained to use it. The older one was house trained before she decided to live here, so it would have been cruel to stop her going out.
- —Guest Emi
Cats decided in the end to go outside
- I had two cats who lived to be ages 19 and 17 who were Mother and son relationship...and died a few months apart. I tried to keep the first cat (female) in, and did so for 2 years...when I let her have 1 litter, I could not keep her from going out no matter what...she had to train her kittens to mouse! What a mess...BUT, when I saw how happy her son (the one kitten I kept) was outdoors...he was a longhair who loved to roll around on the sidewalk. Seeing the simple pleasure he experienced, I could not deny him or her, and it made litter box duty much easier. I knew it was more likely they could get injured, and they brought ticks into the house, but they had long lives! I now have to beautiful kittens. I'm trying to decide, but I believe a cat should attain maturity before going outdoors, and that the cat should show a strong desire to go out. From then on, microchip, pray, insure them, and accept the additional risk for the greater reward for considering kitty's needs.
- —Guest Tracy S
yes to indoor cats
- I agree about keeping our little friends indoors. our six cats have not been out in over 20 years. they are very happy.
- —Guest rreger
Indoor Cats at Risk Too
- I agree that allowing a cat outdoors is risky, but keeping a cat indoors has its problems too. I worked at a vet clinic for 3 years, and we never once had anyone bring in a cat that had been hit by a car, but almost every week we got a call from someone that wanted to euthanize their cat because it wasn't using the litterbox inside. Cats that don't use the litterbox are generally euthanized on the spot at shelters and will not be admitted to no kill facilities because they are unadoptable. I knew a woman who was willing to take the time to force-feed her cat three times a day for several years, but was not willing to keep the cat when it started urinating in her house. The bottom line is that the indoor/outdoor decision is not a black and white issue. You need to take into account your living situation, and your individual cat. I just wanted to point out that keeping a cat indoors predisposes it to developing behavior problems that can also lead to an early death.
- —Guest Beth
No Dangers Outside in the Country
- I think the "dangers" listed only apply to cats living in the suburbs or city area. We live out in the country on 5 acres. Our cats spend at least half their time outdoors. They walk about the acreage with me as I garden or tend to the veggies, or even the walk down to the mailbox. We are quite far from traffic. We have a big dog with whom they get along fine and they have become friends with our neighbor's dog, who comes over to hang out and play periodically. From what I can tell --- they love it! Running thru the fields, sharpening their claws on a log, basking in the sun. They are and have always been very healthy animals. I wouldn't think of keeping them indoors all the time. In fact, they often request to go outside, sitting by the door meowing. They love to just sit on the front porch or on their cat tree outside and just gaze at the lovely scenery. So maybe someone should clarify that the "dangers" of cats being outdoors pertain to suburban or urban cats only.
- —Guest fatcat
Indoor, but with reservations
- I just had my indoor only cat get out and I'm devastated. If he had been an outdoor cat he would have known his way around, had a territory and not have been confused. But we could have lost him many times over had we allowed him out. It saddens me to not know what happened to my cat. And there are cat leash laws! I'd hate to think he was beating up on the smaller kitties. He's huge!
- —Guest Morrie's mommy
Spouses and kids also safer indoors.
- There are more important things to life than safety. Consider that spouses and kids are also safer indoors only: You can monitor their health, control their diet. They (and you) are relatively safe from many diseases (H1N1, AIDS). They don't get into car accidents. They don't fall pray to drug dealers. They don't get into trouble with neighbors. They won't get hurt in fights. They are safe from attack by bullies and robbers. A home gym provides indoor exercise. They won't go hunting wildlife. They won't get lost or 'stolen' by some more attractive partner. Here's my compromise: my cats go in/out through a cat door with chip reader and timer. Keeping them indoors around dusk/dawn reduced dead wildlife on porch to near zero. I check for abscesses/tender abdomen etc daily (they think I'm petting them, but if anything is off, it's a trip to the vet - about 3/cat/year). I introduced them to neighbors and left a cake + my phone number. If a cat is not home for dinner I go and look for it.
- —Guest Monika
- I have been feeding a sweet male 2 year old unmicrochipped cat who one day just ran up to me in my parking lot. He was skinny and so friendly , was obviously not feral. By today, he was fluffy and not so skinny. My neighbor and I found him an indoor home! ( Neither of us could take him because we already had 2 cats each, indoors) Our other neighbors wanted to keep him but they said they would let him outside. We did not want them to have the cat, because we live where there are coyotes, owls, hawks, traffic, dogs, and who knows, there could be mean people or antifreeze drippings etc...The outdoor thinkers just did not get it. They felt it was cruel to keep him indoors. I think it is cruel to expose a trusting animal to the dangers, and there are big ones out there. It is not a cozy Andy Mayberry world, and the innocent creatures need us to protect them. My co conspirator agreed with me later, that the outdoor people will not get the cat, we are taking him to his new indoor home.
- —Guest Becx
Indoors, but concerned
- We live in a senior apartment and keep our cat indoors, but I am concerned about how much exercise she gets. We got her from a vet who had kept her after her owners wanted to put her down. We think she had been abused and it took a long while for us to get her to trust us. She really doesn't know how to play with the toys we buy her, but she occassionally goes on these wild runs thru the apartment. I hope that this is enough for her, but am not sure, but we don't want to let her out because there are many feral cats in the neighborhood plus a very busy street. Since indoors seems to be the only answer, I guess this will have to do.