This is a good reminders for people that live in areas that are obviously dangerous to cats. Whether that be from traffic, predators etc.
I'd like to share my views on this matter as I know I am certainly in the minority, as I do let my cats go out. I have two that are seniors and both over 13yrs of age, a toddler and a baby.
Please remember - I do not
think it is wrong for people to keep their cat indoors at all, I understand and totally accept the reasons
My stance is that they learn about dangers - maybe this would be a good question for Kelly our Cat Behaviorists
- yes they get into trouble and some of you will know Miss Moofs got in a bad cat-fight, this is where I help, if she was a feral she would have probably gone blind and/or died from infection. So of course she had vet treatment. I can honestly say if it was worse and she had to loose her eye and/or died, then whilst I'd be very, very upset, it wouldn't change how I feel about letting my cats out. I have had a cat killed by a car, so I know how that feels.
I like my cats to have what I think is the best of both worlds, a bit of the wild and a bit of the home comforts.
Lets look at possible predators - stuff I found on the net. I'd also like to say this is only about adult cats - kittens are completely different.Foxes
Foxes are omnivores, which means they eat both meat and plants. They mostly eat small mammals and wounded birds, and are not above scrounging a meal from a garbage can if the pickings seem safe.
Foxes rarely attack dogs or cats - because they are noisy and likely to attract attention. Usually foxes and cats have a mutual respect for one another. A female fox will chase a cat away from her cubs, this can be mistaken for the fox chasing a cat for a kill. Likewise, if a fox finds a dead cat on the road it will take it away to eat, this could be again mistaken for the fox killing the cat. They may take a kitten, but as mentioned above this is about adult cats.Coyotes
I think these are the biggest problems for outdoor kitties. They opportunistic and will eat almost anything available. Small mammals such as mice, voles, shrews, rabbits, hares, and squirrels are preferred foods. However, insects, fruits, berries, birds, frogs, snakes, plants, and seeds round out their diet. In areas with high deer numbers, carrion resulting from vehicle-deer collisions and natural causes. In urban areas, coyotes are attracted to garbage, garden vegetables, and pet food. They will also prey on unattended small dogs and cats, if opportunities exist. Some coyotes learn to kill smaller livestock, such as sheep, goats, calves and poultry.Turkey Vultures
- do not feed strictly on carrion. This bird enjoys plants, including shoreline vegetation, pumpkin, and bits of other crops. The are extremely unaggressive and non-confrontational, the Turkey vulture will not feed on live prey. The may attack sick or dying animals, which of course could include a catBears
- bears are omnivores and eat a diet such as grasses, berries, water plants, elk & moose calves, small rodents, and some insects. Whilst I suppose they "could" eat a cat it looks like there own sources of food is well supplied.Raccoons
are omnivores, generally speaking, coons like peanuts, sweets, fruits, bread, peanut butter, and especially cat and dog food. The will also scavenge dead animals of any size. Raccoons most likely will scavenge on pets that have already died.
Cats can get into skirmishes with all of these animals, but this is rare as in most cases both animals would keep there distance from each other, this is how the natural world works. They also have the weapons they need for these skirmishes.
They are good at safety behaviours and will try to get up high to keep safe, or keep still, or hide if in danger. They will scent mark their territory with urine, claw marks and sometimes faeces if they feel threatened.
I'm going to leave it there, but there is tons more stuff on the net about this and I am sure this issue of indoor/outdoor will rattle on for a while and I am happy to offer the other view of the debate