Originally Posted by optionken
I may get a lot of flack for this but I do not know that indoor cats live longer then indoor/outdoor cats, I know they live longer then strictly outdoor cats. Indoor/outdoor cats are less likely to sleep all the time and also less likely to be obese. Cats need stimulation.
In any event, I allow my cats free reign to go out whenever they want. They have to be inside before bed time and before I go away for more then 3 hours. They have been eaisly trained to come when called.
My thoughts are that there is nothing wrong with cats feeling grass on their feet and wind on their whiskers as well as expeiencing the smells.
I guess I am lucky because I have never had a cat not come back and all have lived reasonably long happy lives
Whatever you decide is right
Thank you, thank you, optionken for this. Growing up we always had indoor/outdoor cats, never had a litter box, and all were happy. One or two died by car accident, and those were heartbreaking. We also lost them in ways unrelated to their being outdoors, like being 21 years of age.
I moved into my own place, got 2 kittens, kept them in forever, and they didn't seem unhappy, but they didn't try to go out. The male sprayed all over the house, later the female peed and defecated all over the house.
They are now gone. We've taken in strays who insisted on going out, and taught indoor kitties how much fun going out is. There are 3 kids living here, and due to the nature of my childcare business, folks coming in and out much during the day. The door is always opening.
I brought in a feral older kitten last year. She has not stepped outside since that day. But she sniffs the other 2 cats to death when they come in - it's like she wants to live vicariously through them. I KNOW she's bored, and would probably truly enjoy the outdoors, but she's a scaredy, and doesn't even try. I will keep her in, and safe, but I feel sorry for her.
Like yours, mine have easily been trained to come when called, and I ensure that they're in at night. Dusty stays very close, Mickey hunts a little further away, but he comes when called (unless he's occupied with prey).
In my heart, I KNOW they are way safer inside. But Mickey would climb the walls. He has sprayed inside, and I'm sure it would escalate, especially due to the kitties who can't seem to stay out of our yard.
I realize we are in the minority on this site (and I LOVE this site!) for feeling this way, but like you said, they love the feel of grass under their feet, too. We don't have the resources to build an enclosure; my husband probably wouldn't anyway.
So, to the original poster: yeah, going to a dorm, you almost have no choice but to keep the little guy in. And I applaud you for it. Good luck in school!