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Indoor or out?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
We live in a fairy good neighbourhood, not quite suburbs, not quite city. But he is gonna look like a pedagree being a Maine Coon. Should we keep him in, or let him out? (with neutering/microchiping/collar)
post #2 of 19
I keep mine in - my area's pretty safe for cats in terms of roads, but I'm worried that with 2 Orientals and an unusual looking moggy that they will be stolen, unfortunately it happens. Mine do fine indoor only, cat trees are a good way of making sure they get enough exercise. You have to put in a bit more effort to keep them entertained and exercised, but for me it's worth it to know they're safe My boys are all microchipped anyway, in case there's ever an accidental escape. And neutering is essential whether indoor or out

Most people on here will tell you all cats must be kept indoors but I think it's up to you, weigh up the pros and cons and decide what's best for your situation. If he's coming from a breeder it may well be in your contract that he has to be kept indoors.
post #3 of 19
I keep mine in too. One is a moggy (but I can't imagine him having an ounce of road sense) and the other is a Somali who definitely wouldn't have any road sense. The breeder asked me to keep my Somali indoors anyway. Epona is right in that if you got your cat from a breeder, you might be required to keep him indoors.

Whether he'll be ok outside is something only you can judge. Yes there will be risks for him - traffic, poison, people who hurt animals (wounds from airgun pellets seem to be increasingly common in cats) etc. but also pleasures and I'm sure he'd enjoy being outside. So you need to weigh up the risks and benefits and make a decision based on what you think is best for your cat.

Is it possible for you to put catproof fencing up in your garden so that he can have some safe outdoor access? That or an enclosure would be an ideal compromise.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
the breeder would prefer indoor, but she doesnt demand it. We have some friends nearby who have 6 outdoor maine coons, ive not spoken to them in a while, so for all i know its gone horribly wrong but it seemed to be going ok. I might catch up with them and see how they are.
Afraid our garden just isnt big enough for an enclosure.
post #5 of 19
I know you're in the UK, so the cultural norm is indoor/outdoor....but if you're not 100% comfortable, is there a way you could construct and enclosure or supervise outdoor time?
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
We have a playing field right next door to us, in summer, i wouldnt mind sitting out with him, maybe getting one of those leads that extend, so he can run about and do what he wants, and then bring him in later. I would love to have an outdoor enclosure for him, but unfortunatly its just not an option, terraced house, very small garden, really spacious inside tho.
post #7 of 19
My 2, which are just rescued strays, are indoor/outdoor. They love to be outside, but they sleep inside every night. They are very aware of traffic and generally stay away from the street. If they had it their way, they would probably not come in except to eat. I have to call and call to make them come in most days.
post #8 of 19
I vote indoors, your cat will likely live longer and healthier
post #9 of 19
In the states, we prefer indoors for many reasons. But I realize you are in England. IMO I'd train your cat to a harness/leash or build a cat enclosure. I would not let my cat outside to run around unsupervised. Too many dangers and problems.
post #10 of 19
I vote indoors, too.

I've never had a good experience with having cats outdoors. My very first cat as a little girl was an indoor cat...my mom had always lived on farms in Wisconsin and never had an indoor cat before/didn't know what a pain they would be in heat. (Neither of us have ever made THAT mistake again!) After a solid week of meowing and hanging on the screen door, she managed to dart outside. She showed back at our front door poisoned and did not make it through the night. Another inside cat once darted outside...we later found out that she had fallen into a neighbor's neglected, half-empty pool and been unable to get out. For years, my mother fed a stray cat outside. Things went well for at least ten years until new people moved in with a doberman that wasn't fond of smaller animals and could jump their 5' fence... We know that the dog attacked her at least once as she scrambled up a tree and required 21 stitches. After that my mom tried to keep her indoors, but she was so used to being outside that she wouldn't stand for it. A week after her return to the outdoors the dog was seen running loose again and the cat was never seen again. It's our belief that the dog finally got her, but since after the first time the people were told that they'd be fined if the dog actually killed an animal, we're guessing that the jerk that owned the dog found Rainbow's body and disposed of it. And this was a fully clawed, very street-smart cat. We had yet another stray show up in mom's yard poisoned. A friend has seen people swerve out of their way to hit cats on the side of the road. I've heard lots of stories about pellet gun wounds.

When they're outside you can't control where they go or whom they encounter and once you've taught them to go outside, it's hard to keep them in. So even if things are great now, you never know who is going to move in later on down the road or what could happen if the neighbors kids get a little older and receive a pellet gun for Christmas...
post #11 of 19
I'm another vote for indoor. There's too many risk factors out there that I just don't want to expose my kitties to. Traffic, people that may hurt them, diseases, other animals, etc. We play with them lots to help keep them active and have just recently ordered a cat tree from Armakat. I'm just more comfortable keeping them indoors.
post #12 of 19
I'm in the US and in a semi rural area, so different situation. But, I'd never keep a cat outside here.

There are people that do dog fighting in the area and I'm sure they'd love to get their hands on some "bait", also the danger from roads, property owners that might shoot a stray cat that's on their land, and small groups of owned dogs that run in packs in the area. Besides which, you have the risk of the cat bringing home unwanted prizes (dead or nearly-dead animals, etc.) and/or parasites (worms, ringworm, etc. yuck!).
So, not the best environment for a cat.

I can't see any real advantages to letting a cat outside...unless the cat is used to being outdoors and can't stand being indoors.

post #13 of 19
The modern domestic cat is not an outdoor animal. It doesn't have a niche in the ecology, so it causes real problems with wildlife, especially birds. It is subject to lots of parasites, diseases, and predation by dogs, both domestic and wild. And no 10-pound cat stands a chance against a bicycle, let alone a 4,000 lb car.

One expert has said the average life of a cat that goes outdoors is 6 months. The average life of a cat that stays indoors is 16 years.
post #14 of 19
Indoor-only cats statistically live longer, healthier lives. For me, that's enough of a reason to keep my cats indoors! Even if we didn't live near a canal/woodsy area where there are all kinds of wild animals, even if I hadn't seen hawks and foxes in the area, and even if there hadn't been coyote sightings nearby I'd still keep my cats indoors. I am training my kittens to walk on a leash, and IMO that is the only safe way to have a cat outdoors without an enclosure.
post #15 of 19
I have always had indoor outdoor cats but I also have trained cats ( ie Zoey is only in the back yard when I am at home )... the yard is cat proofed ... The youngest I have lost dog or cat was 13 yrs ... indoor / outdoor spayed / neutered are NOT included in the outdoor vs indoor stats...
post #16 of 19
i have taken the decision with my 2 kittens to keep them indoors. one of them was dumped in a grave yard as a tiny kitten and is very nervous around strangers so it would be seriously dangerous for him to be outside. i think he would just freak out and run into goodness knows what kind of danger. the other is curious about the garden so we are going to build an enclosure on the patio and he (and shinobi if he chooses) can have that area.

however tabitha, who will be 9 this year, has been going out since she was fully vaccinated. it would cause her so much distress to be permanently indoors. i'm pretty sure she only goes to the gardens surrounding us and she is pretty streetwise. although since my cat janet crossed the bridge last oct, tabby has started staying in a lot more which i am more than happy about!

i think if you can keep your cats indoors it is best, but having had 2 cats who lived for the outside life i know the difficulty in putting restrictions on them. the one thing i have always insisted on though is my outdoor cats have to stay in at night.
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
well the reason i asked, is because the 3 cats i grew up with at my parents have all been outdoor cats, they wernt pedigrees tho, but they seemed so much happier for it. they were never wondering what was out there to dart away, they knew and thought the house was better anyway, lol. Henry lived to be 15 and jess and jasper are still alive at about aged 10. Also someone who lived in our area managed to keep maine coons as outdoor cats and they were ok (trying to get back in touch with them to find out if thats still the case actually)
Because i grew up with outdoor cats its what seems natural to me, but if i need to keep him indoors i will. His saftey is the most important thing. I think if he ever does have outside moments, i will definatly be calling him in regularly and keeping him indoors during the night. Still considering indoor all the time, as seen as its what everyone recomends... my housemate is kinda strange about it tho. she lived with a girl who had 6 indoor cats, this girl never cleaned the litter tray out. It has made her think that all indoor cats are that smelly and horrible. She is demanding it be an outdoor cat. Im hoping when she sees that it was just that she used to live with a moron she will loosen up.
post #18 of 19
I think it would be safest to keep him indoors and, if he has not "gotten used" to being outside, then he won't miss it... Two of my cats (kittens) have never been outside and they show no inclination of wanting to go out. My cat, as a child, had been outside (was dumped in our neighborhood) and was always trying to "escape" the house whenever we opened the door. Because of that, I'm not sure if I will ever let my two kittens go out.

As to your roommate, at worst, you can keep the box in YOUR room. If you scoop it twice or once a day, it should be perfectly fine. If let go, though, litterboxes do stink. Because you are sharing the house, you should have a say in it too, if it's only the box that bothers her, keeping it in your room should suffice.

post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
I think he is going to be an indoor "mostly" cat, so he will still always need a litter tray, and that will be in our ( mine and my boyfriends) room, hopefully she will just forget she made a deal of it, lol. I think she is just making a deal because she is anxious about moving house (we arnt even in there yet!)

He is going to be let out from 5.30 till 9ish. Like a kid playing out, but indoor the rest of the time.

By the way, i didnt realise there were two threads with the same title, if anyone saw my post in the other one before id edited it, thats why its gone now. Whoops... confusing.
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