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Strictly Outdoors Kitties: Is it wrong? - Page 2

post #31 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??

Mine are outdoors most of the time and I don't just let them fend for theirselves, either. Mine are vetted, spayed/neutered, Frontlined, food/water, everything my indoor only kitty gets, they do too!!
post #32 of 61
i think it's really dependant on your location. if you're in the countryside, off high-traffic roads, lots of roaming room - it's probably fairly safe. otherwise, not.

we're talking vet care, regular feeding, shelters during the winter, etc. right? just outside living vs. inside?
post #33 of 61
Sure sounds like you're trying to do everything in your power to give them the best life possible -- keep up the great work! and maybe in time your parents will understand that the outdoor-onlies also deserve shelter and protection...I hope so anyway!
post #34 of 61
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post

we're talking vet care, regular feeding, shelters during the winter, etc. right? just outside living vs. inside?
Yes. Mine get (mostly) premium foods. The "special needs" ones get special foods according to their health problems. There are insulated dog houses, the heated shop, the garage, blankets all over, the warm hoods of the cars(which, I of course, put blankets on for them! ). Investing in a couple of the self heating beds. The kitties choose where they want to bed down in the winter.....the shop, the garage, or in their own place. All are spayed/neutered....I guess I cannot say I do give them all shots....the older ones I am leery of vaccinations on. I guess I think along the same lines for the outdoor kitties as I do the indoor kitties! I feed them wet food a lot, too.

I guess they're living the same the indoor kitties do, just outside.
post #35 of 61
Originally Posted by theimp98 View Post
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.
I have to agree ... many here have farm cats and dogs that live outdoors better than some house pets...

I have had indoor/outdoor cats all my life .... One became an outdoor farm cat via rehoming and she loved it ....
post #36 of 61
Charlie is the first cat we've had as indoors (with an outdoor enclosure) all the other came and went as they pleased. And then it was only until we moved here that Jasmine was made sure she stayed in at nights so she was safe. She only lived to 2. Our other cats ranged from 2-16 years and three of them died from ulcers/cancer. We had one killed by a car at the other house, one ran away.

I don't think it's wrong, some cats need freedom, but i think it is responsible protecting your cats lives and wildlife by having them on a short lead
post #37 of 61
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
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.
I have to agree with that. I worked at a shelter for a few years, and I came to the conclusion that I would rather see a cat vetted and living outdoors than euthanized for lack of an indoor only home. I'm sure if you were to ask the cat "would you rather live outside or be euthanized?" He'd say "outside!"

Honestly, my cats would get to go outside if we had a backyard. We rented a couple places 5 years ago or more that had a back yard, and my guys went out on their harness/leash a couple times a day. They LOVED it. My MIL's cat did that every day of his 18 years and was one of the happiest cats I had ever met.

My parents have always had indoor/outdoor cats (outdoors without supervision). One did disappear. And they all lived into their teens.

For city cats, I think indoors with supervised outdoors is ideal (cat fencing or a leash, so they don't roam on other's property).
post #38 of 61
As long as they are cared for, I don't see the problem with them being outdoors, provided that it is what they are used to. I wouldn't necessarily agree with putting a cat that had always been indoor only outdoor, as they wouldn't be equipped to living like that.

Given the choice between an animal being cared for, in a safe outdoor environment or dead, I would choose outdoor.
post #39 of 61
Thread Starter 
I should just add, we are very specific about who can go to live on farms at the HS here. Obviously, not declawed cats, not ones who've never lived outside.
post #40 of 61
I am so pleased that a lot of the replies have commented about the differing situations / environments people live in If I lived in an apartment or a busy city I would not let a cat out at all.

I dont have a totally outside cat, but I would say that 3 out of my 4 stay out for a very high percentage of the day and/or night.

I would also like to know where some of the stats come from. Two of my cats are over 13 yrs old and both enjoy the outside life. They are all vacinated and have regular treatments for fleas and ticks and they get a clean bill of helath every year

I agree with Icklemiss and would keep a cat outdoors rather than have it PTS
post #41 of 61
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post
...I wouldn't necessarily agree with putting a cat that had always been indoor only outdoor, as they wouldn't be equipped to living like that....
Mmmmm.....I don't think I entirely agree with that. Some cats, yes, and primarily older and declawed cats, but I think for most other cats instinct will take over and they'll do pretty good, assuming they have access to cover and to prey. I was amazed at how fast and how easily Rocket took to being outdoors. He caught his first mouse within the first 15 minutes of being outside. The only mistake he made the first week out was going up a tree and not knowing how to come down. He didn't repeat that mistake. When I often read about cats getting out and going missing and turning up days or weeks later in fine shape, I'd have to say that cats are, indeed, equipped to live like that.
post #42 of 61
There are some cats who just aren't suited to life indoors. For example, Julian


When we rescued him, he had 3rd degree burns over his body because of having battery acid dumped on him. I don't know if this is what caused his personality to be the way it is now, or if he was always that way. Julian cannot be an indoor cat. If he is not outside, where he has plenty of room to run, he becomes violently aggressive to anyone and anything.

Being confined, even to a house or room just won't work for him. In his preferred environment, he is a WONDERFUL sweet kitty who adores being stroked and petted. It is just being confined that makes him crazy, so we are looking for a nice rural or barn home for him.

If this cat wasn't allowed outdoors he would have had to be euthanized. Outside isn't always bad.
post #43 of 61
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
When I often read about cats getting out and going missing and turning up days or weeks later in fine shape, I'd have to say that cats are, indeed, equipped to live like that.
heck, when the HS found Chip, they said he had been a stray for quite a while - his pads were all calloused. & he's a declaw!
post #44 of 61
I think it is very critical that indoor, indoor/outdoor and outdoor only cats are spayed/neutered unless they are part of a registered breeding program.

post #45 of 61
My cats are so scared of everything i can't even imagine them ever being outdoors.
One of them would look out the window but this is as far as it goes with the great outdoors.
The other doesn't even try to look out the window.
post #46 of 61
I think it's OK as long as they are more safe than not and they have shelter when the weather is bad. I'm sure lots of cat love being outside.
post #47 of 61
All the cats I've ever had except Sashka have been indoor/outdoor. It's mostly how it's done in Australia, although things are changing. We have always lived in very quiet areas with large front and back yards, and our cats have always come inside and stayed inside as soon as the sun went down. When I lived in a really busy part of Perth near the beach and just back from a busy highway, is when I got Sashka. That's when all of my cats became indoors-only cats. There was NO way I was going to allow them to go outside in an area like that.

Now that they're staying with my Mum, they're indoor/outdoor again. They LOVE it. They only go in the back yard, they either sleep on the table (Mum has baskets for them on the table) or they lie around under some of the various beautiful bushes Mum has in her yard. She really has the most beautiful back yard ever, perfect for kitties that like to explore. They never go anywhere else.

I've never had a cat that's died before it was 20 years old. Sunday and Cairo are eight, Mina and Princess are 13 (Princess has just had a cruciate reconstruction so she's been inside for eight weeks) and Sashka is nearly four.

So I'd say, yes, it's ok for them to go outside, but I wouldn't really know about exclusively outside cats because none of mine ever have been. And I think it ALWAYS depends on the environment you live in.
post #48 of 61
I do want to add one other thing....many rescue groups and shelters do recommend indoor only lifestyles for owned cat (not ferals) because of the potential impact on the bird populations. Here is a quote from the American Bird Conservancy that was recently in an article on feral cats:

The American Bird Conservancy, which tries to protect birds and their habitats in North and South America, is a critic of the trap-neuter-return program, calling it ineffective in reducing the number of feral cats. Since 1997, the group has had a program that encourages pet owners to keep their cats indoors or in outdoor enclosures. With 9 million pet cats nationwide, and an untold tens of millions of stray and feral cats, the impact on birds is great, spokesman Steve Holmer said.

"It's a cumulative effect. If each cat kills three or four birds a year, there is unfortunately a significant impact," he said.

I do not agree with the notion that TNR is ineffective at controlling the feral cat population numbers, but one thing I do agree with is that we cannot ignore the potential impact that cat populations have on birds. My recommendation is always to provide an outdoor cat enclosure or only allow supervised time outdoors for cats that are tame/owned and are allowed indoors/outdoors.

I also recommend that those that are working with feral/stray cats to ensure to follow the "N" component of TNR and ensure that the cats they are feeding are neutered or spayed so that those cats cannot add to the overpopulation.

If everyone made a commitment to spay/neuter one outdoor cat this year...imagine the long term impact we could have on the outdoor cat populations and the shelter numbers.

post #49 of 61
I'm not going to say it's always wrong, but for the people I come in contact with regularly in reality, it usually is. One of my best friends lives on a very busy road, not a highway or anything, but two lanes both ways and a median bit. She's had a string of cats that end up being hit by cars or getting some horrible illness... there's no point arguing with her either, she thinks it's cruel to keep them inside. My neighbor back home has a declawed outdoor cat.

So yes, I do think it's wrong, for people who live in neighborhoods with for the most part less than an acre, with busy roads and all kinds of people about, to have outdoor cats. But I do understand there are people who live in very different places, where you can hardly see a road from the house, with few predators-- human or animal-- around, so I can't say it's wrong all the time.
post #50 of 61
I'm sure you have argued with her until you are blue in the face Z. Frustrating isn't it?
I think it is more cruel to let them get hit by a car or pick up icky diseases.
Poor kitties. I hope she sees the error of this someday.
post #51 of 61
Originally Posted by TNR1 View Post
... recommend indoor only lifestyles for owned cat (not ferals) because of the potential impact on the bird populations. ...
I endorse this 100% even though I said in an earlier post I thought outdoor was OK. I'm glad Katie reminded us of this problem because I now remember that while Rocket was outside this summer, he did hunt birds, and among the birds he brought back to dine on outside my back door, I was very sorry to see one was a baby cardinal. Bad kitty Rocket!! But if a cat is going to go outside, there's nothing that can be done to prevent that. Bells don't work. We have a fair number of Baltimore orioles around here and the whole time he was outside I was holding my breath hoping he wouldn't bring an oriole home. Fortunately he never did, and even better yet, it looks like he's going to transition back to an indoor-only cat just fine.

Like I said in an earlier post, and adding a little to it: it's better to be an outdoor cat than a euthanized cat, but it's even better to be an indoor cat.
post #52 of 61
The question can't be answered easily, because it depends on where you live. If I had an outdoor cat around where I live he would be killed in a matter of days because we live by a busy street and we have many big dogs in the area. But my cousins live out in the country away from any busy streets and they have 3 outdoor cats that they rescued. They are all fixed, but can't come inside because the father is allergic. So in there case, I think its fine.

post #53 of 61
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
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.
Just like some animal rights activists don't believe in companion animals and want them all dead, I guess.

Personally, I agree with the more moderate voices here. If you live in a SAFE area and have the safest accommodations possible for your kitties, and they are treated as well as is humanly possible for you and given lots of love--then sure. You are doing a GOOD thing as long as you are not letting your outdoor kitties breed. There is nothing wrong with them living outside as long as they are suited to the life, and even better if you've rescued kitties who couldn't live indoors from certain euthanasia.

I know about that--we adopted one kitty who turned out to be semi-feral (she was great with you when she was in a cage... but when she got out, all that was forgotten)--and it was in our adoption contract that we could not let her outside, not that we would've, and that we had to return her to the rescue if things didn't work out, so that's what happened. With our information about how she wasn't exactly as tame as they thought, she became a barn kitty. I am so happy that she had that chance and wasn't euthanized, and the rescue bent their rules for her sake. Jill has a good home now, and though it couldn't be with me, I'm glad she's not six feet under.

For those who think outdoors is worse than a death sentence, please remember Jill. Or the thousands of cats just like her, living the same story.
post #54 of 61
Its definitely not the norm to keep a cat indoors only in NZ. I hate the idea of indoor only cats. The only reason Diego and Ryu are kept indoors is because Diego is just to stupid and wouldn't know how to get back home. Ryu has only been with us for a short time so I don't want to let him out just yet.
post #55 of 61
Our kitties are inside outside, with everyone sleeping in at night. It works well for us.
post #56 of 61
I think it depends on the cat itself and where you live.

I don't see anything wrong in the situation that the OP described.

I have nine cats. Six are indoor/outdoor with them all in at night. That will dwindle down as the cold Ohio winter moves in. When it is cold only our cat Moochie wants out and even him I will deny if it is just to cold. I am sure Bob may want out in the winter but this is his first one since we let him outside so he does not even know what cold is yet much less snow but he is a brave guy so he may venture out.

Three never go out. Uno just makes no attempt since we moved last May. She was an indoor/outdoor but just stays in and never tries to go outside. Frostie does not play well with others. She is great with us but she does not care for the other cats and I think it is just easier to keep her in where I can keep an eye if any conflicts arise. She is also all white and I would worry about her getting sun burnt. She makes no attempt to go outside. Beastie was adopted and he is front declawed by his previous owner so that is a no brainer that he stays in. He also makes no attempt to go out.

All my cats are spayed/neutered and have their shots and get flea remedies. Bob and Pennie are the youngest born May of last year and were not allowed out until May of this year. I don't think any indoor born cat should go out before at least 6 months but preferable a year.

I personally have no objections to outdoor cats as long as they are spayed/neutered/vetted and have adequate shelter.

My ex had a cat and she lived mainly outdoors except when the temperature was too low and he would let Moe inside. She lived past 16 years old.

I know there are a lot of people that yell INDOOR ONLY everytime they get the chance. I understand that it is their opinion and their choice. I just wish they didn't bash others that have different opinions.

I don't tell you I think you are stupid and irresponsible for not letting your cat out, please don't tell me I am for letting mine outside.

I can't tell you the responses to posts "Help my cat ran away" and one of the first posts will be "Well you should not have let it out. ALL CATS SHOULD STAY INDOORS!!!!!!" and they never even read the OP to see the cat was indoors and it just snuck out.

Infuriates me to no end the willingness to bash without even reading. And even if the cat was indoor/outdoor and it is lost. At least try and be supportive and help. If you can't do that then I wish they could leave and not make any condescending comments.
post #57 of 61
We've always had cats that were both indoor and outdoor but for various reasons I keep Harry indoors when we're not here then he's allowed out in the back garden when we're around. I'm not against outdoor only cats as long as they are well looked after and as someone else said, neutered/spayed. I personally would only have an outdoor only cat if it was a stray that I had started feeding and I wasn't happy to introduce him to other cats in the house.

In Ireland it's very rare that you'll find an indoor only cat but then again we have a ridiculous amount of strays and abandoned kitties around.
post #58 of 61
In the area where i live- i do not approve of anyone keeping their cat outdoors or indoor/outdoor for any reason- it is way too dangerous. We have to deal with call after call at the shelter where i work because people are not responsible and their animals get run over or they disappear or get stolen as a result. There is no excuse. If you're going to own an animal in the area where i live- it needs to be indoors only- it's WAY too hot to leave it outside, it's way too dangerous (we have issues with traffic, and also with people stealing small animals to use as bait in dog fighting rings) not to mention -they are more likely to get in fights with other animals, be exposed to illness/disease, be bit by deadly snakes/etc.....it's irresponsible. I frown upon it in this area- it's just too dangerous.

Fortunately in my city we have leash laws that apply to cats as well- if the cat leaves your property (your front yard)- you get slapped with a huge fine/etc depending on the situation. Cats are pretty much required to be indoors only- yet people still don't think they have to obey the law though It's frusterating. Our area is not the type where an animal can be outdoors and be safe. ALL of my animals are indoors only, up to date on all shots, wear proper id, and most are microchipped (i'm having them all done).

For the record- i grew up on a farm too- and i still do not think it's safe to leave cats/dogs outside like that. The only time my cats go outside- they're on a leash and harness and wear proper id at all times- and it's just to visit the flower bed i planted for them in the back yard. They wear flea/tick prevenative too even though they're indoors only. Same for my dogs- the only time they're outside- is to go potty and that's in our backyard- other than that, they go on leashes for all walks. It's the responsible thing to do where we live.
post #59 of 61
I can understand why someone might want to let their cats out. However, I find it really hard to sympathize when their cats are hit by cars, killed by coyotes/other predators, infected with FelV or FIV, shot by someone defending their livestock, or otherwise die from risks associated with outdoor life. I certainly feel bad for the cat, but only the most clueless of owners couldn't have acknowledged those things (and others) as reasonable risks associated with letting their cats outside without supervision. [ETA: Please note, I'm not saying you have to be clueless to let your cats go outside. I am saying you'd have to be clueless to not know that it comes with increased risks to the cat. It's a judgment call for each individual as to whether or not the rewards outweigh the risks.] All of it could have been easily prevented by keeping them inside. If you think it's worth it to them to be outside, fine. If their outdoor lives were enriched to a point that made up for their earlier deaths, so be it. Everyone is well aware of the risks associated with outdoor cats that are not a concern for indoor cats (except in the rarest of circumstances).

I grew up with barn cats, so I understand the idea of outside cats. I just think it necessarily comes with the expectation that they will be exposed to significantly more risks and will likely die earlier than a genetically identical cat kept indoors.
post #60 of 61
Originally Posted by TNR1 View Post
I think it is very critical that indoor, indoor/outdoor and outdoor only cats are spayed/neutered unless they are part of a registered breeding program.

Can I also please emphasize that registered breeding cats should NEVER be let out nor any unneutred cat.

I know that's not what you meant but I wanted to chime in in case some one misunderstood
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