or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › Strictly Outdoors Kitties: Is it wrong?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Strictly Outdoors Kitties: Is it wrong?

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
Just curious of other's opinions. I know in different countries/areas it is safer to have kitties outdoors. It can be downright dangerous in some places in the US.

There was a thread...the average indoors only kitty lives 16 years, while outdoors is only 3 to 5 years.

I have 8 kitties inside right now:
PJ & Punky(foster) 3 1/2 months
Molly 1 ish
Ophelia 3-4
Twitch 5
Lily 2
Dorky Fish 2-3
Damita 7-8

And 7 outside:
Fafeena 14
Slinky 9
Tabitha 7
Goat Head 6
Cow 5
Billy Bob & Tony Bob 2

They are either strictly indoors or strictly outdoors. I live on a 4 acre farm. Not too many cars(1 mile from the highway). For the most part, nobody bothers the kits outside. Most of mine have outlived the "standard" age by quite a bit!

The HS here also places kitties, fully vetted, on farm homes. It is our alternative to euthanizing. Over half of our adoptions are to farm homes.

I'm just wondering....do you think it is wrong to have outdoor only kitties? Unfair to the kitties? Wondering just how others feel!
post #2 of 61
This is a hard one for me.

One the one hand I hate hate hate seeing outside cats. Spayed or otherwise. I live in a rural area and see so many died kittys when driving into town is so sad. And it ticks me off because those cats did not have to die.

On the other hand I can see cases where outside is best. Such as a fereal that never has seen the inside of the house. Comes near no humans, can not be touched or handled. In this case I prefer to see them in a very rural area living in a barn (aka barn cats) where they are well taken care of. But even that has its draw back because of predators.

Now if you have a stray outside that can be picked up handled, loves humans what not I prefer to see him homed inside with someone instead of living outside.
post #3 of 61
No, I don't think it's wrong; no I don't think it's unfair. Cats are creatures of the outdoors. That's where nature intended them to live. However, nature didn't put all the artificial dangers than mankind has put there instead: busy streets to get run over on, pesticides and herbicides applied on lawns, poison left out for mice and rats, vicious and hungry stray dogs on the loose, nasty people looking for animals to kidnap, and on and on. Sooooooo......it all depends on the situation. If it's relatively safe, there's adequate food, shelter, and health care, I say it's just fine for a person to allow their cats to not only go outside, but to live outside, conditions permitting. Of course, the cats need to be neutered, shouldn't be roaming on other people's property, and shouldn't be allowed to go feral.

Being a barn cat is a whole lot better than being a euthanized cat.
post #4 of 61
We used to have outside-inside cats. I will never do it again.
One of the cats left and never came back.
Now my two cats are indoor only and I would never let them out.
post #5 of 61
in the right situation, like yours Natalie, on a farm away from the road in relative seclusion, i don't see anything wrong with it at all
post #6 of 61
We live on a farm and have a 10+ year old Siamese that was dropped off last year. He is outdoors by choice only. I've tried bringing him in when it's really cold or really hot but he just won't stand for it. He's got the barn and is fed and watered twice a day and he's happy as can be. But for the most part, I'd rather have the cats indoors instead of out.
post #7 of 61
Originally Posted by katiemae1277 View Post
in the right situation, like yours Natalie, on a farm away from the road in relative seclusion, i don't see anything wrong with it at all

I hate seeing out door -any animal. Its way too busy and no one really pays attention to speed limits here.

However if I were rural like you I would let some of the cats outside.
post #8 of 61
Well....IMO, outdoor kittys are fine. I have always had outdoor kittys, growing up. I currently have indoor/outdoor cats~only one that doesnt go out.
post #9 of 61
Thread Starter 
I devote time to the outdoor kitties for some lovin. I can get 5 of them in my lap at once. I could never not love them up!
post #10 of 61
Naw, like you many of my family was born and raised on a Farm. I spent alot of fun hours working on my grandfathers farm(lol yea fright fun). They had alot of barn cats,
some that like yours lived to 10+ years old. One i know lived for 15 years, cause i was the one that took him to the farm to live with a Aunt.

I guess i could let mine out where i live, i just dont. But if i lived in the city, there is no way i would even think about letting them out. There is ton of difference in country life,and city life for a Cat.
post #11 of 61
Nope, I don't believe in indoor cats.
Generally speaking they live much long. I know there will be one oddball cat that lives to 25 years old outside but that is NOT the norm is 3-5 years living outside. I think if you have a cat from birth it should be kept inside.
post #12 of 61
Well, the HS's idea is to save lives and that is a good thing; and if you're in a rural area that's not heavy traffic, that's also a good thing. I had 2 1/2 acres in the desert, and moved our indoor cats up there to our indoor environment, plus our rescued cats from our old neighborhood -- all of whom had been homeless until we rescued/fixed/innoculated them and adopted them, all of whom lived in our fenced/gated yard with access via catflap to the garage and also several small cat houses we built which were around our yard -- up to the two stables and cat-fenced compound my(now ex-)husband converted for them. They had the compound yard and also the two insulated barns, and were absolutely safe from coyotes, dogs, snakes, vehicles, sociopaths, etc.

If at all possible, can you create/buy an indoor area for the outdoor cats, and maybe a compound that's cat-fenced? That would be the best situation for them, I believe; because it's true that life outdoors is a LOT more risky for a cat anywhere on earth than life indoors.
post #13 of 61
Thread Starter 
Slinky & Tabitha are semi-ferals. I haven't touched Tabitha in awhile, I've got to live-trap her for a vet visit soon. Billy Bob is hard to catch. Goat-Head is smart, smart, smart....wily(sp?) too.

And they do come into the garage or shop a lot. The shop is heated in the winter. I plan to insulate a shed & have got a bean bag chair & tons of comforters/quilts/sheets/blanket to line it with, too. They do have many of the comforts of indoors. And all have received vet care when ill, except for my RB Sandy Paws, who the vet told me after he died "Oh yeah, I think he had a heart condition when I neutered him." No comment there.... The seniors eat senior food mostly, a couple who've had UTI problems(like Cow who blocked) eat UTI food....I guess I do everything in my power to care for them the same as my indoor onlies.

I have been working on getting an enclosure put up, but I live in my parents house & they aren't going for it....I am making progress though!
post #14 of 61
oh yea, if i was a cat, i think i would love to be barn cat,
at are family farms, they always had enough to eat, and warm place to sleep.
hehe. Yep grandfather and unlces always kept one room in the barn heated in the winter for the cats.

sounds much better then me then just being a house cat.
post #15 of 61
Does anybody have the sources of the "the average indoors only kitty lives 16 years, while outdoors is only 3 to 5 years." statistics that keep handed out? This doesn't fit at all with my experience of indoor/outdoor cats. Having talked to people in rescues not even TNR feral cats live that short.

I think it's fine for feral cats to be living completely outside. It's a bit like wanting every wild rabbit in the world to be a pet, wanting all feral cats to have homes. I do agree tough with getting the kittens adopted if possible.

I can't understand though how someone would want to have a strictly outdoors cat rather than an indoor/outdoor one. If the cat is semi-feral and just doesn't want to go inside that's fair enough I guess but I think it'd be unfair to raise a kitten to be strictly outdoors. I mean we're inside most of the time and then there's no chance of having a kitty lapwarmer while watching TV etc.
post #16 of 61
As many have said, it depends on the cat.

If friendly and socialized enough that it would be happy indoors, then yes.

I have one cat that is completely outdoors only. This is not only for my cats safety, but for DH's and mine as well. This cat does not know how to play, any ambush grabbing and biting in a normal cat turns into him trying to maul your leg. Thankfully I always wear jeans and can interpret that look in his eye to know when to get away from him.
Understand though, Max was an unneutered stray we started caring for. His aggressive tom cat behavior had been around for too many years to get rid of completely.
He also has an alarming attraction to toes... even in socks.

His estimated age should be about 7 years now.

Kittens of any kind, even 5-8 months old, should never be loose outside on their own.There's just too much chance for them to get into trouble, or even lack the sense to cross streets.

On a side note, why do so many of the members here that live in other countries say they don't have predators like North America does? Members that may reply to this - what is your image of semi rural, suburban, and urban areas here? I'm actually really curious as to any land/environment stereotypes people may have.

(I can assure you, we all do not have bears and wolves sitting around in our backyards. )
post #17 of 61
I think it depends on the circumstances, the cat, and the environment it is in.

Here it is the norm to let cats outside, people have called me cruel (to my face!) for not letting mine go out. We have several indoor/outdoor cats around where we live, it's completely pedestrianised over quite a wide area so there aren't any cars and the cats can roam over a fair sized territory without seeing a road. There are trees to climb and bushes to prowl in. It is really an ideal outdoor environment.

All the indoor/outdoor cats around where I live are healthy, bright-eyed, and energetic creatures, not a single one of them is overweight which is one of the risks of keeping cats indoors only if you don't make an effort to have them exercise! Feline obesity is rapidly on the increase as more people keep cats indoor only and don't play with them enough to keep them fit and entertained. So indoor only is not without risk either.

As far as outdoor only cats, yes, as long as they have shelter, food, water, access to vet care, and a relatively safe environment, I think it is absolutely fine. Cats started to hang around humans and become domesticated because of the vermin that is attracted to our food stores and rubbish. Barn cats play just as much of a role in farming as working dogs.

Our shelters often relocate neutered ferals to people with a shed or porch where the cat can shelter and get food and water, or as barn cats, where the cat can live its life almost completely outdoors.
post #18 of 61
Originally Posted by katiemae1277 View Post
in the right situation, like yours Natalie, on a farm away from the road in relative seclusion, i don't see anything wrong with it at all
Depends on the situation. As for the stats, my sisters partner had a mostly outdoor cat he went to the RB aged 17.
post #19 of 61
I don't like it but cats really are needed for barns. In my area I live by a lot of barns and we have a huge mouse problem. If I had an attached garage I would have outside kitties. The problem here is barn cats are not spayed/neutered, do not get medical care, and rarely get fed. This is how I end up with so many strays. If these cats were taken care of properly it would not bother me as much.

As for how long outside cats live well with proper care I believe it is higher than 5-6 years. My mother had an outside only feral and he lived to be 14 years old. My mother also lets out all her cats and their ages range from 4yrs-10yrs.
post #20 of 61
I think it depends on the purpose of the cat. Some farmers only keep cats because they keep mice out of the barns and rabbits away from the garden. As long as these cats are given and enclosure to sleep in and are spayed or neutered, and fed then I am fine with it.

This really isn't an issue of right or wrong. It's more of an issue of how the cats are cared for. If you have a strictly out door cat it's going to have needs that are quite different than an inside cat. If one is willing to take them on and meet them then that's fine.

To me, it takes a moment to really think this through because I live on the 12th floor of an apartment building. Any cat I see outside has been dumped, so I have to shift my frame of reference to people living a different lifestyle than I do.
post #21 of 61
I've heard just recently that because of better nutrician and vet care, the average age of cats went up from 10-12 years to 11-13 years. Obviously cats can and do live longer than that, but think about all the young cats that we hear about in the Bridge? It is the average.

I've been working with feral cats for about 17 years now. There are dangers outside and on the average, they do live a shorter life than an indoor cat. It seems if the ferals can live past 5 or 6, then they can make it over 10. I've lost a few ferals over 10 years old, and currently have one now that will be 14 next year. But then again I've lost far more younger feral cats than older ones. I would guess that the majority of young outdoor cats are lost through predation - the roaming neighborhood dogs and coyotes. A bird of prey (owl, hawk) can kill kittens.

I don't think it cruel to leave some cats outside. I absolutely tried to get my current 14 year old feral to live in the house when she was young and she couldn't adjust. But we live in the country and have plenty of warm spots for her hang out in. By preference will always be to bring then indoors, but accept that there are times when that isn't going to work.
post #22 of 61
I don't see a thing wrong with it.. AS long as people are responsible cat owners. Give them there shots,, make sure give them medicine for fleas and stuff like that.. Feed them and give them a safe place to stay away from outdoor predators.

I think being alive is alot better then killing an animal just because they are outside animals.. I never understood the logic in that. There animals,, they derived from being outside at one point in their ancestory.
post #23 of 61
We had several barn cats that were more less outside almost all year round - they had a nice barn to sleep in - and also outlived the average age. They didn't stray too far.

Yes we lost some (kittens/young cats) to the highway, but for the most part, the core cats stayed. They only got shots when they went in to be neutered/spayed and were pretty healthy cats. They got fed twice a day with plenty of water - they also caught their share of mice, rabbits and ground squirrels.

I would have no problem if they were farm cats, but living in the cities or suburbs would be a totally different story as far as being outside cats.
post #24 of 61
I, myself, have two outdoor/indoor kitties, they were born underneath my house to a stray mom that ran off and left them when they were probably 4 weeks old (or so we think). I had rather have them on the inside, but they are not happy. They are vetted, spayed/neutered, and treated for fleas, and are very happy. I have tried, tried, tried, to keep them in, but I feel like I am fighting a loosing battle. They were almost a year old before I could even get close to them to even touch them. Now, two years old, things are somewhat better, I can touch them, play w/them and all that. They still have a hard time w/DH and our son. They do however, come in at night sometime and sleep and when it gets cold outside, they will probably stay in more during the day. Where we live is close to a main highway, but they never venture toward the road and very rarely go into the front yard. The back yard is all they know and they have never, ever strayed out of the yard. We have a 8 ft. wooden fence around our patio area and they stay pretty much out there. I know when I step out that back door and call, they are never too far away and will always come a running!!

I don't have very friendly neighbors, as I know they probably wouldn't last long, as they shot my big black lab a few years back. Very cruel!!

I am continually working on keeping them in all the time, only time will tell, that's all I have!!
post #25 of 61
We do adopt some cats out as barn cats, but they are usually semi-feral and won't adapt to living inside. We are very choosy about the location though, and yours sounds like a good place for that, so I don't see a problem with it.

Anywhere but a rural area though, and I believe they should be indoor-only.
post #26 of 61
Farms are the best places for outdoor cats. Even better, are the dogs on the farms that protect their feline friends and other farm animals.
post #27 of 61
I personally think it is wrong to keep your cat outside. It is just too dangerous for them to be outside. The weather can get bad, wild animals can hurt them, not to mention the ticks and fleas that can cause some major problems for our beloved kitties. Why have a cat at all if you are just going to let it fend for itself??
post #28 of 61
Thread Starter 
I'm curious...those of you who say outdoors is wrong....when it comes down to euthanize or let live outdoors, which would you choose?

I've known some people who do not believe in outdoor kitties to the point they'd rather see them dead....and some who would rather they live outdoors than die.
post #29 of 61
Originally Posted by eburgess View Post
I personally think it is wrong to keep your cat outside. It is just too dangerous for them to be outside. The weather can get bad, wild animals can hurt them, not to mention the ticks and fleas that can cause some major problems for our beloved kitties. Why have a cat at all if you are just going to let it fend for itself??
in the case in question, Natalie takes as good care of her outdoor cats as she does her indoor. she does not just let them fend for themselves
post #30 of 61
Sis's 2 cats are outdoors only. But they are spayed and neutered and she lives on a back road. Packy is over 10 and when the weather is below freezing she is allowed in the garage (where she stakes her claim by the heating duct ). Lucky is only about a year and he stays in the greenhouse shed where bro-in-law set up a lamp to keep him warm.

We used to have indoor/outdoor cats until we got Aristotle. We live on a highway and it gets busier every year. So after we got him, he was to be indoor only. (But he did have a 5 day adventure out back in May. I think I still have that ulcer from worrying. )
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: IMO: In My Opinion
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › Strictly Outdoors Kitties: Is it wrong?