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Indoor or Outdoor cats - Page 2

post #31 of 41
Jamie is an indoor cat with 24/7 access to a screened balcony, and goes for walks in the yard on a leash. We lost one indoor/outdoor cat at 9 months (she was hit by a truck), and that led to the decision that any other cats would more or less be indoor only. Our last cat was a feral who had lived outdoors for eight years in a cat colony. After he moved into our yard, we gradually got him to move from there into the garage, and then into the house, but he spent a great deal of time outdoors, and when he came home, he often brought his friends. I used to worry about him constantly, and several times he came home injured (he was only neutered at 8). So many cats around here have been shot that it's extremely dangerous for any cat that goes outdoors and doesn't stick very close to her house.

The balcony is secured with a "cat net", and doing that was one of the smartest things we've done, as Jamie loves it.
post #32 of 41
Thread Starter 
When I found Minka, my baby, she was discovered at maybe 1 or 2 months old, and she was found outside, so ever since i recused her, she put up fights and struggles to be outside, so i let her go outside for a while, in the winter time she only stays out for lik 15 mins top then wants to come back in due to the cold (thanks god), but in the summer she is out for long time in the backyard exploring, climbing trees, hunting for bugs. At first I would struggle to bring her back in, chasing her around the backyard, yelling for her to come in, trying to catch her, but everytime i go near her she runs away, she loves to play games with us humans, so we just don't bother chasing her and stuff, she will come in sooner than if we do chase her, thats how her games work.
I tried using leech but she hates it, she would just plop down and refuse to move, and roll around trying to get it off her, so i got a simple collar and tried it instead of harness, she still dislike it, and she often could get out of it easily (silky) so now she is on her own exploring and stuff, i still keep her collar on neway, i will soon buy a name tag for her to attach to the collar, just in case.
post #33 of 41
Beau is indoor only. When we have lived 'way out in the country he was allowed to go outside, but only when I was home, and I kept track of where he was, and he always had to come in at dusk, because coyotes find cats to be tasty morsels. I have read that cats allowed outside in the city have an average lifespan of only 6 years. I do not think that any city or town is an appropriate place for a cat to be loose outdoors, there are just too many dangers. People call me overprotective, but Beau is almost 15 and I still have him, and he has an excellent life. I will never allow a cat of mine to have free run any time indoors and out no matter where we live, any more than I would allow that to my dog. Just my opinion.
post #34 of 41
Shadow and Fin stay inside all the time unless theyre out on our inclosed porch or on a leash with us walking around. We live on a really busy road and when I was growing up so many stray cats go hit by cars out there.
post #35 of 41
Originally Posted by flisssweetpea
I'm interested - what kind of animals are around you that represent a danger to cats? We only have foxes here - they often come into the gardens at night looking for pet rabbits or chickens. My chickens are always locked up in a sound-proof, fox-proof coop and the kitties are always snug in bed inside by then.
We have dogs, just last week a dog chased a kitten into the street and it got it by a car. Many times the dogs are loose not on a lease. I live near a city but not in it.
post #36 of 41
I will no doubt attract the ire of those who don't already know that our cats are indoor/outdoor. However, there are still some of us who believe that it is not necessarily wrong to allow cats access to the outdoors on their own terms, and that it's the particular situation/circumstances that should determine what's right for any particular cats. There are two sides, and I just want to be sure they are both represented here.

I have no difficulty with the concept of keeping cats indoors, if your circumstances are such that that is the safer route and is reasonably achieved. But, I also believe that, on the whole, if it's possible to allow access to the outdoors, cats who want to go outdoors (not all do) will be happier and at least no less healthy, for being allowed to make that choice.

My cats are relative youngsters at the moment -- the eldest is 5 1/2, the others are coming up on 4. They have no health problems and haven't had any accidents. Prior to these cats, I had one who lived to 21+, another to almost 16, and another to 13+. They never had accidents, they lived healthy lives, Gryph died of cancer, and the others of old age. Nibs was overweight when he came to us at the age of 6, having been an indoor cat up to that point, and gradually slimmed down from 20 lbs to a svelte 12 1/2 by the time he was 7 or 8, and stayed there to the end. No other cat who has been a member of this family has ever been overweight.

We lost one little darling. Samantha was not quite a year when she disappeared. The coyotes were bold that summer, and we eventually figured that one of them came through this neighbourhood and took her. It was hard. It's still hard. I worry when anyone takes longer than usual to come home. But the way I see it is that, on balance, it's the same as when a neighbourhood kid is abducted and killed. That is tragic. No question about it. But it's one occurrence, and you don't suddenly keep all the rest of the kids in all the time. On balance, my experience -- and I'll take my experience over all the statistics in the world -- is that it is no less safe for my cats to go out than it is for me, as long as they know where home is and how to get in in a hurry if they need to. And they don't get free access until they DO know that.

Let me reiterate, I am not by any means saying it's wrong to keep cats in. I will be the first to acknowledge that they can and do have perfectly happy lives indoors. I just think that it's preferable to allow access to the outdoors where possible, because it's a more natural existence for the cat.

BTW, while my beasts do go out, and are quite pointed in their displeasure when occasionally we keep them in for some specific reason, such as Hallowe'en, they actually stay pretty close to home and spend a fair bit of time inside. But they do like to climb trees, and hunt mice and birds, and they have a strong preference for the facilities that Mother Nature provides -- litter boxes are OK if the alternative is to dig through snow or very wet ground, but that's about it.

My .02 (well, probably more like $2...)
post #37 of 41
All of my cats are indoor only. Too busy of a street and to many bored kids around here to chance them being outside.
post #38 of 41
My gang are indoor/outdoor. They can go anywhere, anytime they wish. They don't leave the property though and come night time they prefer to say inside. They're smart cats!
post #39 of 41
Mine is an indoor kitty, although I am sure he would love to get outside.
post #40 of 41
My two are indoor, but I do take them out for walks (when at my parents' house) and on the balcony with their leads and harnesses!
post #41 of 41
Gandalf and Samwise are indoor only. Gandalf has never been outside aside from being in his carrier and on my parent's deck, but he's such a chicken he doesn't wonder very far from me. Samwise on the other had was found on my cousin's porch when he was a kitten. He hasn't been outside since other than the carrier, he doesn't even want to go out on the deck, I figure he feels he had enough outside when he was little.
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