I have been on both sides of the indoor-outdoor controversy around cats, and I thoroughly understand and appreciate both points of view. After losing several cats to the outdoors from abscess infections, vehicle accidents, and my longest-lived cat to FIV contracted from cat fights, I had an epiphany, and changed my stance.
Have you experienced an epiphany that led to your decision to keep your cats indoors? Or have you decided after serious consideration, to all them unsupervised access to the outside?Share your story in the provided form. Note: This form is not for debating, replying to others, or asking questions. Share your decision
I'm so scared for my cat
- My cat Nugget was found as a kitten outside, we took him in and love him dearly. He and my dog Scooter (a puppy) get along so well. He's a wonderful cat just alittle noisy. Anyway, he knows how to get outside even if we lock the windows, he gets out. Everytime he comes back he has a new scar or scratch. The worst that ever happened is him having bite holes on his arm. Recently, tonight actually, he came inside with a hole...A HOLE! on his cheek. What do we do, what if he dies!? Help me please. I feel so bad because I want to be a vet when I grow up, help Nugget..please.
- —Guest Krissy Jay
Changed my mind
- I had to put down my 7 month old kitten this weekend for FIP, feline infectious peritonitis. She was a rescue who was from a litter in someone's yard where a dead mama cat was found. It is most likely she picked up the challenges to her immune system at that point. I am completely heart broken. She was an indoor only kitten. But I have two adult cats, one is indoor only and the other older is an indoor-outdoor cat who becomes very unhappy inside despite cat toys, trees, etc. I have read that the virus that mutates to FIP, called Feline Enteric Coronavirus, is everywhere, and cats generally get over bouts of it throughout their lives, except for the unfortunate few who have a genetic mutation triggered early in their lives, like my Katniss. Now I do not want my cat to go out anymore. I do not want viruses being transmitted into my home anymore.
- —Guest Karin
Cats should be indoors!
- One of my cats was outdoor-indoor when I was in high school. In the three years he was O-I: another animal bit through his ear (vet visit for infection; antibiotics, permanent scar); he ate poison (vet visit; near-death experience and week long stay in animal hospital); he walked through tar (vet visit and black feet until the tar wore off) and more. When I was 18 and could choose what to do with him, I kept him indoors. When he was indoors, he was happy and healthy. He got plenty of exercise, he was always content, he was never overweight, and he lived another 13 years. Up until he was 16, he was in such good shape that the vet said that he looked to be half his age. That can be attributed to his staying indoors. My two current cats also stay indoors, and they are happy, healthy and full of energy. IMHO it's just as irresponsible to let a cat roam unattended as it would be to let a dog, two year old child or horse roam unattended. They depend on you to keep them safe.
- —Guest Mia
- I keep my cats inside for safety reasons. I've seen too many cats killed on the road (one of mine was years ago) and for health reasons also.
- —Guest LAM
A mixture of results
- We have 4 cats here and they live in the house, we also look after 12 feral's who live in the greenhouse. we have a 50 acre farm and the feral's certainly keep the vole population down a little on the field but I have yet to see any of them catch a bird despite us having bird feeders. I think rural birds are just too smart for cats. I think one has to remember the natural food chain when talking about field mice etc and the population on 50 acres is incredible.
I grew up with outside cats
- My parents never had indoor cats. Once they were old enough to go outside they went. My parents were very clean and a smelly litter box didn't exactly fit into their lives. Even in our basement. Plus my mother wasn't the person to clean it out every day. It was easier to just open the door and let them out.
- To Terri and any others looking for their lost cats: Don't give up! A scared cat's first instinct is to hide and go to ground. It can take literally weeks for the cat to come out where anyone might see him/her. When our feral-born, 2 year old indoor cat ran out of the front door left open in error, it took almost a month before we even saw him. Then it was another few days before we were able to catch him. He was very skinny, but otherwise okay. He was hiding in the yard directly across the street from our old house. He had probably heard us call him many times, but it took weeks for him to come out of hiding. A woman who tracks lost animals (and people!) with her two tracker dogs told us about many cats' impulse to hide, and counseled us to be patient in our seach. It was the best advice we got, so do not give up hope or stop looking! Our cats stay indoors because we've seen way too many felines in our urban neighborhood injured and killed outside, mostly by cars.
- —Guest Rachel G.
A short but fulfilling life?
- Rescued a 2-week old orphan kitten off the street who grew up to be the friendliest cat I've ever met. But he was alone every day in my 50 sqm apartment with all that pent up energy and so I started letting him go outside, supervised, for a few months, until I finally just left the window open and he could come and go as he pleased. The city isn't particularly safe - cars and dogs and sadists and especially other cats - but mine was so smart and cautious; I figured he knows how to survive. It seemed wrong for me to have saved his life as a kitten only to keep him locked up for the rest of it. Three weeks ago he left and didn't come back. The not knowing is the worst of it, I miss him so much and still weep, yet thinking back, I feel like although his life was (probably) short, it was full of joy and richness. In my neighborhood feral kittens are born every month. They are survivors, but danger and death are part of their lives. It's we humans who have so much difficulty with loss.
- —Guest Jeremy
- I do not like to let my cat outdoors, however it is difficult to keep them in when they have been used to being outside all their live. I had one hit by a car, and one that was shot with bird shot and had to go to the Pet ER. I managed to keep her in for 4 weeks after that, but she literally went insane trying to get out. I now limit her to outside during the day and in at night. She wants to live life on her terms! Cats are funny-I have another feral that I brought in during Hurricane Irene and she decided that she never wanted to go out again (obviously she wasn't really feral, but scared). The best compromise is my screened porch, which my indoor cats love!
- —Guest CatLover60
my cat Rusty got bitten by a snake
- My cat chases wildlife when she goes outside and got bitten by a snake and had to have treatment by a vet that was quite expensive. She still wants to go outdoors but the vet said I had to leave her in for a week. I live in Australia.
- —Guest Lenore
- We have kept our (current) 4 cats indoors for 30+ years. They seem very happy and do not want to go outside. They are very delicate animals.
- —Guest Robert Reger
- I let mine outdoor. I have 2, one from being a kitten and the other a stray that got trapped under my deck one winter. They are both 7 years old. They sometimes come back a little rough but they love the outdoors, it's their natural habitat. I feel like I'd rather them have the opportunity to live free as they want and die happy then to lock them up inside. Also they are pretty responsive when I call them, they follow me when I walk to the corner store and if a dog goes crazy seeing them I can just call them to me and they come. I can call them when I step outside for a smoke and they will come running from behind one of the house on the street pretty quick. Having them listen like that alleviates a lot of the stress of if they will come back.
- —Guest Mitch
Introducing a Jack Russell to 3 cats
- We are going to take care of a friend's JR for a week and I'm concerned about how they will react. Two are scardy cats, but one likes to play, very rough and tumble. Any advice?
FLAT CAT IS INDOOR EX STRAY
- Last year a little tortie and white girl turned up by our communal bins desperate for scraps or food put out for the foxes. After weeks of her turning up nightly, I put up posters, checked vets, microchip (none) and then took her in. I live on 2nd floor in a 1 bed on a fairly busy road junction. I taught her indoors to wear a leash and we go out daily sometimes twice round the back of the flats to a small overgrown communal garden where she watches the birds and has even tried to climb a tree with an extension lead on after a bird (bird safe!). She seems happy to be an indoor cat although I have to make time for play sessions and sit in all weathers in the garden so she can sniff the DNA of all visitors since last visit and meow and glare at birds visiting! I did initially try to rehome her to a house with a garden but she escaped and ran over 5 days 2 miles back to our bins so she decided where she wanted to live and of course I named her Bin Bin (Bindi).
Didn't want cats
- I have a 15 year old 6 pound dog. I didn't want cats. I tried everything to get an abandoned mother and kitten adopted but agencies told me they would be put to sleep. Maybe they could be barn cats. So I took over feeding, then shots, then opened my door and they come and go as they please. Then spent more money I don't have to provide places for cats to play and scratch. Now I can keep them in at night since it is cold. But mid night there is constant meowing wanting to go out. If I put them in garage, they don't trust me for awhile. They hate being trapped. So My best for now is to keep them in at night. I would still give them away to someone who would provide the good home that I do. I am angry at people who don't get cats fixed right off the bat. I used to have a bird bath, now I can't. I had to cover all my furntiture. I am doing the best I can but trying to keep them in and jeopardize my old loyal loved dog, they need a way to escape.
- —Guest Sunny CA