Originally Posted by SammiesMom
Interestingly enough, I read a statistic last year when I first got Sammie that said outdoor cats' average lifespan (remember, folks, this is statistical stuff...your experience may differ) was a mere 5 years!
OTOH, a strictly indoor kitty can live 15 years and beyond. That sealed the deal for me.
I grew up in a house with indoor-outdoor kitties, and that statistic sounds completely right to me. I back up my parents decision, we had a lot of cats, and I think that they all lived happy lives, however long or short they were, and they got good care and good food, and a lot of them were strays before we took them in. But for all that many of our cats definitely lived well into their teens, for every of them there were 4 or 5 cats that didn't make it past 1 year because they got nabbed by a predator or hit by a car. It's a tough world out there and natural selection will pick out the kitties that aren't the strongest or smartest pretty quickly. For our family, it wasn't about having one dedicated very special pet, it was about taking care of as many kitties for as long as they were around, so we let them live as they wanted to, in or out. (
The number of times I've heard that phrase as someone held a door open for a cat in our house! "In or out, cat.")
But I agree, 100% -- if you're keeping your cat as a pet, and you want it to live a long, healthy, and safe life, guaranteed, unless you live in a rural area without much in the way of predators (in which case, where do you live so I can move there with my cats!), keep it inside.
Obviously, all my kitties are indoor cats. My hubby is lucky enough to live in such a place -- an enclosed trailer park with little traffic, and no animals other than pets, so his kitty goes in and out during the spring, summer and fall, and just stays in during the winter. My cats are also all rescues, so I would be terrified of them getting confused or scared and running off if they were outside, poor things.