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Indoor/Outdoor Question for UK Members

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I've heard in England it is considered cruel to confine a cat and the humane societies will not adopt to owners who keep their cats indoors except if they are blind, deaf, FIV postive, etc. In America, it's the other way around (my local shelter will only let semi-ferals be outside cats and they have to live in the country). So, do you let your cats go in and out whenever they want, or are they confined?
post #2 of 14
All 3 of my cats have been indoors since they were kittens. I asked my vet when i just had Rosie if it was cruel, but he said it wasn't because they don't know any different.

A few weeks ago i was at my local Cats Protection meeting where i had a bit of a disagreement with the branch coordinator because she thinks it's cruel, and pointed out that it's their policy that they don't usually adopt out to people wanting to keep cats indoors unless it's special circumstances.

I pointed out that they adopted Jack to me knowing that he was going to be indoors?. And a prime example of why i keep them inside is because just last week a cat was in the newspaper after being shot 50 times with a pellet gun...... 50!!. Thankfully the cats fine, but let her try and tell me that it's cruel keeping my cats inside

I havent finished with her yet though because i'll be e-mailing the Cats Protection head office about what she said!!
post #3 of 14
Hi,

I'm from Germany, but as it is also common here for people to let their cats out I'll also answer your question .

Some shelters here will only re-home cats indoors and some will ony re- home cats to an indoor/ outdoor home. In my opinion both positions are wrong. It's more sensible to decid this on the basis of the indevidual cat and the location of the new home in question. In some areas you simply can't let a cat out- while in others the risks aren't as high. If you're considering letting your cat out you should ask the neighbour first how safe the area is- and what experiences they've made with outdoor cats in the street.

Yes- an indoor only cat will live in greater safely than an indoor/ outdoor cat, but it will also miss out on life, meeting other cats, catching mice and climbing trees.

I understand and respect both positions, providing the owners are acting responsible towards the needs of their cats and the cats are neuterd, vaccinated and chipped/ tattood. At the end of the day its a very personal decision on what you value higher.



I can see how much my cats enjoy going out and I know which cats they are friends with (at the moment Herbert and Martin) and with which not (New Kid on the block). I've seen my cat go out on the first real spring day and ecstatically climb the trees as fast as he can untill he was exhausted .

I've seen 4 or 5 cats peacefully sit together infront of the garages in the evenings. Martin (4 years), who moved into the street at the beginning of the year is an only cat- who is constantly seeking the company of Herbert (15). I think he would be bored alone at home and I don't think my neighbour would have got a single cat without the possibility of letting it out. I've seen my cats come in with a dragonfly in their mouths, totally excited. We've had cats who visited the neighbours and have keept old age pentioners company while we are out.

Sadly our street has lost 4 outdoor cats in the last two years- all of them have been over 13 and all have died due to old age related diseases, mostly cancer. Our Connor died aged 17, Pandora aged 13 1/2, Lorenzo had diabetes and HCM (not quite sure of his age), Oskar was a feral who lived here for 12 + years and was fully grown when he arived. My two indoor/ outdoor cats are now 15 and have been going out for 14 1/2 years.

We've had two cats in our street been involved in car accidents in the last 20years (one cat died, age 4 while the other had a broken leg) and Martin was once found sound asleep in the van of a plumber (he's chipped and tattood).


regards,

Christine
post #4 of 14
I have always allowed my cats out if they wish (my current two choose not to leave my bedroom, but the two long termers go out), there are some indoor only cats in my neighbourhood, but most of us let our cats out and always have done. I think in the 26 years my neighbour has lived on the street, there have only been 2 RTA's, and one was actually a cat that lived 2 streets away. The second cat was OK, I am not sure on the first, as I didn't live here then. I have rehomed cats as indoor only, but it really all depends on the individual cat, I have had some that have come as indoor only, so they have been rehomed as indoor only, I have had some that wouldn't cope with indoor only, although I did home one of my long term fosters as indoor/outdoor as he loved to go out here and he never bothered in his new home. Opinions do vary from branch to branch in larger rescues, I know some CP people who like to home as indoor only, some who like them to have freedom, even if they have come in as indoor only cats.
post #5 of 14
i to asked my vet if it was cruel to keep the cats indoors and he said no as long as they had plenty space to roam about which both do, and he added if they stay in the wont have such a risk to some illness'es

i wont let mine out for the reson rosiemac posted theres always something in the news about cats beem killed
post #6 of 14
Don't you have cars in your country?

Don't you have predators (roaming dogs, foxes, badgers and other mustilidae [mink, weasels, fishers, martins, wolverines], birds of prey such as hawks and owls)?

Don't you have sadistic teenagers? (Or adults, for that matter?)

In short, don't you want to keep your cats safe?
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zane's Pal View Post
Don't you have cars in your country?

Don't you have predators (roaming dogs, foxes, badgers and other mustilidae [mink, weasels, fishers, martins, wolverines], birds of prey such as hawks and owls)?

Don't you have sadistic teenagers? (Or adults, for that matter?)

In short, don't you want to keep your cats safe?
Hi,

I've heared from other members of this forum that you have teenagers in the USA who set cats on fire ... luckily this isn't the case where I live Many families here have pets so teenagers don't really go around killing animals, as its not socially accepted behaviour here.

Predators might be a problem with very young kittens, but then again I wouldn't let a very young kitten out. Dogs don't really roam around in Germany, usually they're found pretty fast and brought to an animal shelter. I've never even seen a pack of roaming dogs so far. My German forum has 1 600 active members, as far as I can see cats just don't get killed by wildlife though they very seldomly get injured. Most injuries occur through other cats.

Yes, we have cars in my country and cats do get killed by them.

I didn't say there aren't any dangers in letting your cat out- but I do think they really enjoy going out.

I want my cats to be safe but I also don't want them spending their lives indoors only.

I could equally ask in short: Don't you want your cats to live a fulfilled life by being able to go out? Normally I don't ask this question here as I know how most people on this forum feel about this topic Please don't take it personally either, equally I won't take your question wether I want my cats to be safe personally.

regards,

Christine
post #8 of 14
I hear you, Christine. I live in Canada. Here there are many people who believe in keeping their cats indoors, but there are also plenty who believe, as I do, in judging the specific circumstances, and deciding based on them and the cat(s) in question. My neighbourhood is relatively safe -- life is a risky business, no matter how you slice it, so nothing is completely safe, unless you live in a bubble -- and there are a number of neighbourhood cats, including mine, who go out. I totally understand that not every neighbourhood is safe, and respect anyone's right to make their own decision, based on their own circumstances -- I'm certainly not in a position to do so. All I ask is the same courtesy returned.
post #9 of 14
I had an indoor only kitty who developed a swollen leg while I was on vacation several years ago. My mom was feeding him that week, and had no clue why his leg was swollen. In five weeks time, he went downhill fast, stopped eating, and died at the vets, hooked up to IV's. I still have no earthly idea what he died from, and I'm still heartbroken over it. He died July 17, 2000.

On the other hand, I grew up with an indoor/outdoor kitty who lived to be 20, and died July 12, 2000, in his sleep. That was a very bad year.

You just have to go with your heart on this one. I agree that where you live makes a huge difference. Two of mine currently go out, and I live in a pretty quiet area, but I worry. And I hate bird killing. But I couldn't keep them in - we have people coming in and out doors too much during the day. It was a struggle, so I finally gave in.

The feral I brought in last Fall has never been back out. I like knowing she's safe. But she seems to be getting curious when the other two go out. She is so afraid of everything, though, I don't know if she'll have the nerve to go out. Which is fine with me.

Each circumstance is different, just as each kitty is different.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjh27 View Post
Hi,

I've heared from other members of this forum that you have teenagers in the USA who set cats on fire ... luckily this isn't the case where I live Many families here have pets so teenagers don't really go around killing animals, as its not socially accepted behaviour here.
It isn't socially accepted here, any more than any other crime. Please don't tell me that your country is a crime-free paradise; I read the news also.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zane's Pal View Post
It isn't socially accepted here, any more than any other crime. Please don't tell me that your country is a crime-free paradise; I read the news also.
Hi,

no, it's not a crime free country. But here in my neighbourhood we don't have sadistic teenagers or grownups, so that's nothing I'm going to start worrying about. This has nothing to do with reading the newspapers or not- we haven't had anyone harming our indoor/ outdoor cats for the last 35 years.

You were the one wondering about sadistic teenagers as if this were something to be realistically worried about- not me.

regards,

Christine
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjh27 View Post
Hi,

. But here in my neighbourhood we don't have sadistic teenagers or grownups,
regards,

Christine
that is what they all say... "oh he was such a quite guy, kept to himself, this is such a surprise" and the such.

I doubt you don't have a single soul in your area that hasn't at least thought about it.

I grew up in a "good neighborhood" with "good kids" and I still heard stories of kids buring cats up to their neck and then mowing the lawn. I'm sure the community in Florida couldn't imagine that anyonen would do what was done to their cats.

I've pulled cats off the middle of the road - more times than I care to count, and in some pretty horrific conditions.

I've seen the results of animal attacks. Fox, dog, fishercat.. there are a LOT of animals out there that snack on cats, not to mention birds of prey.

I also saw a cat fall out of a tree and get a stick stuck in their eye.

Anyone who tells me that their outdoor cat doesn't face danger when they go outside is either ignorant of clueless. The dangers are there.

Yes, lots of cats go out and live long healthy lives. But a LOT of cats die before their time from one thing or another. That is why the average age of a cat that goes out is so darn young.

When I was a kid, I was free-roaming too. We went out at sun up and we didn't come home till the street lights came on. We had no cell phones, we didn't check in, can you imagine kids today doing that? no? why not? it is pretty much the same thing for the cats - although since cats lack most of that part of the brain that controls impulse and consequences for their actions, the cats have it a little worse than kids, probably like sending a five year old out unattended. They'd probably be ok, but I'm just not willing to risk it.

and there are no reasons you can't give your indoor cat a chance to catch a mouse. Go down to the pet store and get them one. Socialization? get another cat
post #13 of 14
Aside from anything else, my Zane is declawed in front. Not my decision; it was done to him before he came to me. His ability to defend himself is severely compromised, to say the least (although I have evidence on my own face that his teeth and back claws are quite effective).
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by cesg View Post
I grew up in a "good neighborhood" with "good kids" and I still heard stories of kids buring cats up to their neck and then mowing the lawn. I'm sure the community in Florida couldn't imagine that anyonen would do what was done to their cats.

Hi,

well, there's the difference in the kind of places we two live in- I've never heard of anyone burning cats up tp their neck and then mowing the lawn.

If kids in your "good neighbourhood" do this I can fully understand that you don't let your cats out- I wouldn 't either if I were living were you do.

In my neighbourhood people look out for their neighbours cats and I know that my three direct neighbours would drive my cat to the vets if they found it hurt- I'd do the same for theirs.

regards,

Christine
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