or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Caring for Strays and Ferals › Ethical dilemma....
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Ethical dilemma....

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
At some point we all will run into this scenario: a socialized and friendly stray cat who behaves as though he or she would rather be living outside than in the house. What is to be done with such cats? They're adopable, but they don't seem to want to be housecats.

Now it could be that I'm seeing this due to overcrowding--we now have 13 cats in a two-bedroom rowhouse....
post #2 of 6
There are some areas where cats are relatively safe outdoors--a rural home with few coyotes and other natural predators, for example. Feral cats are often placed in "barn sanctuaries" when they are no longer safe in their usual street haunts.
post #3 of 6
There are sooooooo many cats around that if they want to live outside it's fine by me. It means space indoors for 1 more that doesn't want to or definitely cannot survive outside like my kitten with slight brain damage. Occasionally 1 of the outdoor cats dies or goes missing but there are thousands around me. The shelters have cages lining the hallways and office. You can't walk through the cat rooms without tripping over a cat. Then every farm with tame cats has about 5 extra, you don't even want to get into the ferals, and every house knows of minimum 2-3 strays that they or their neighbor feeds. These are all tame cats that there are no homes for. It doesn't matter if they are adoptable there is nowhere else for anymore of them but outside.

I have one like that. She refuses to live in the house with my dog despite the fact the dog completely ignores her and gets along fine with the other cats. She's very friendly, uses the litterbox, loves to be held and carried, would never dare to bite or scratch, and overall has perfect manners. I've been trying for the past 8months to find her another home. Perfectly adoptable but there isn't enough homes out there and she refuses to live happily in the house with the dog so she sleeps and eats on my porch and hunts in my yard all day instead. I could force her inside but then she just picks a spot in the basement and refuses to leave it to the point her health suffers and she starts to groom the hair off her tail. It would also mean that kitten would have ended up being put down or in a friend's barn (would not have survived) because my allergies and my landlord will not allow anymore cats inside. The cat may not live as long as if she was inside but the kitten will and both are happier.
post #4 of 6
I believe it is the "official" policy of the cat site that cats should be kept inside. I had a cat, that I found outside, sick and in need of care, but once he was well, he just refused to stay inside. He meowed all night, to the point that one night I just freaked out, and got out of bed, and took him outside. He was much happier. He joined the colony I feed and was perfectly content with just the amount of affection I gave him each night. He would follow me around, heeling my feet like a dog.

Some cats just really want to be outside. Can you provide a shelter of some kind, and feed your little cat outside?

There are fences that can be installed that your cat cannot get out of, if you want to make sure she is perfectly safe and can afford it.
post #5 of 6
I'm a bit torn on this issue. All of my (seven) cats are indoor only, but all of my neighbors have indoor/outdoor cats. In my neighborhood I worry about this constantly as we are only three blocks from a four lane 45mph (read 60mph most of the time) thoroughfare, but then I also remind myself that uncountable numbers of cats in the world are completely homeless, starving and in need of medical care, so if people are willing to give a cat a warm place to sleep at night, healthy food, and veterinary care when needed I should probably be thankful. In other areas I worry about outdoor cats much less... more rural areas, quieter neighborhoods, etc. I suppose the thing to do would be to evaluate your own particular outdoor environment and the safety of a cat living there. If you feel that the cat is relatively safe there, and happy, it's probably fine (and definitely better than completely stray with no care). On the other hand, if you think that the cat is in a dangerous situation, you should probably try to adopt it out to someone with the room and resources to convert it to indoor-only (if you don't want to take on the task yourself)... or you could re-home it to a person with a better (safer) indoor/outdoor environment.

On a side note, two of my cats were indoor/outdoor until they lived here, and one of those two was *forever* trying to escape... until he squeezed out of a second story window with a two-inch gap in the middle of winter. When I finally found him he had this expression like "This isn't how I remembered it at all, mom!" and never tried to get out again. I think he spent that whole week on the couch watching television, in fact.
post #6 of 6
well, my cats live outside, technically...

Tigger actually hurt himself once when I brought him in. He HATES it and wants no part of inside life.

Cricket likes to have a little nap on the bed in the afternoon, but as soon as she wakes up, she wants out, and doesn't want back in

The new stray isn't coming in at all til he's neutered and frontlined. (for obvious reasons)

The thing is-I live on a farm waaaay back off a country road. Coyotes are trapped regularly by cattle farmers so we don't have too many of them. Dogs aren't allowed to run loose because of the live stock

My babies have heated beds and a lovely cedar potting shed to call home So I guess they are kind if inside, just inside the cedar shed.

outside cats can be very happy that way, it just depends on the cat and what it's used to. I wouldn't take an indoor kitty and put it out. or get a new kitten and stick it out in the cold.

but I get my cats by just keeping what is dumped out here, so they're already used to being outside.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Caring for Strays and Ferals
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Caring for Strays and Ferals › Ethical dilemma....