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Indoor Kitties

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
I wondered how many of you on the board have indoor cats?

I have 2 kitties, Jasmine (an indoor cat) and Jasper (a stray which we took in recently that does go out - there's no stopping him!)

Jasmine is 3 years old and has always been an indoor cat since being a kitten. She does, however go for a walk every evening with me on a special cat harness and lead - much to the amusement of the neighbours!!

I often feel cruel keeping her in for the majority of the day....but given where we used to live and the busy roads...it was my only sane option...having seen many road casualties there. We now live in a more cat friendly area...but I feel it would be too much of a shock now to let her out as she isn't 'street-wise'.

Do any of you also keep indoor cats and, if so, how do they get on?:blubturq:
post #2 of 51
Hi and thanks for posting!

Most every day at around 5 PM, my 4 year-old domestic shorthair, Buttons, leaves the house to do his "business", which he will NOT do in the litter box. He normally only goes to the edge of my field (I live on a Farm), digs around for a few minutes, squats, and then he runs right back up to the door. Most often, I do stand and wait for him. When he returns, I give him his Chicken/Cheese treats and we have a few minutes of loving and purrs on the porch steps, where he just about turns himself inside out to be brushed and petted.

However, this past Friday afternoon, my husband let Buttons go out while I was napping. Since I was asleep, I didn't know he was out until much later that night and by that time, Buttons had been outside for nearly 5 hours!

The sad ending to this story is that it is now Sunday afternoon, and I haven't seen Buttons since Friday. I've been out calling, shaking the treat bag (that cat could be in a coma and hear that bag shaking) and driving the length of the road I live on to try and find him. I've talked to all of the neighbors, no one has seen him. I've put up flyers and contacted the Shelter, just in case he went to a house that I didn't go to and they took him there. He is gone. There is absolutely NO clue as to what happened to him. And I haven't stopped crying since Friday when I realized he wasn't in the house. This not knowing what happened to him is sheer torture!

So, do what you think is best but be prepared to take the risks associated with your choices. Only when you can accept the risks should you make the decision to let your cats outside. And if you find those risks to be acceptable, then please - do not choose to have pets.


post #3 of 51
Thread Starter 
awww....so sorry to read that

i hope your little kitty turns up...i can imagine how you feel....i would be so upset.

the problem that i have with my second cat (the stray) is that this is all he has ever known and is used to going out. i have seen him run across the main road and my heart has been in my mouth....but i have to accept that this is the life he has been used to and if he wants to...he goes out. Similarly...i also have to accept that he was a stray who happenned upon us by chance and he could very easily leave us and move onto the next family

please don't stop looking for Buttons..he may turn up (they have a habot of doing these things)

let me know

Claire xxx
post #4 of 51

Anytime I've had cats, they've been indoor cats. I dread the thoughts and worries of outdoor cats coming home beat up or (worse) not coming home at all. We currently have a 1 year old neutered male (Striker) and a 6 month old spayed girl (Sassy).

Indoor is the only way I'll ever have cats.

post #5 of 51

Any Buttons sightings or returns?!

Worried for you and Buttons,
post #6 of 51
The only time I think you have to let a cat live in/out is when they are rescued and have spent half thier lives outdoors.
I have 11 and I will never take the risk of injury, disease and death with my cats. When I buy a house rather than rent, I will build an outdoor enclosure for them to experience nature. This way I know they are all safe.
post #7 of 51
Over the years, all of the different cats we have had have been kept indoors only. I don't feel this is being cruel at all, I feel this is keeping them safe from hazards, and giving them longer, happier, healthier lives. I know others who feel the same way, one of my neighbors had an indoor only cat who lived to be about 25 years old.
post #8 of 51
My cats are all indoors cats. I feel that it is best for them this way--no diseases, cars, dogs, or evil people to hurt them. And its possible to convert an outdoors-only cat to an indoors-only cat if you are very patient and are consistent and firm.

GreyCat was a barn cat all his life up until I got him in May--16 years. He whined quite a bit about going out at first, but he has adapted to the indoors very well. We had problems with him marking things at first. Now that the pecking orders have been worked out with the other cats, he marks only once a week or so, usually when Prince has bothered him when he was sleeping. Grey only had a few poo accidents before he learned to use the litterbox. He still asks to go out, and tries to sneak out now and then, but he seems to be accepting the change, if grudgingly.
post #9 of 51
Thread Starter 
Since placing this topic, my boyfriend has witnessed Jasper (the stray we took in)twice now crossing the busy road near our house. Today, he made a car skid and screech to a halt whilst missing him - but only just.

The problems I have with converting him though are:

Jasmine - our cat of 4 years enjoys her peace and quiet during the day while Jasper is outside

Jasper has always had a life out on the streets and really enjoys his time outside. My heartfelt reaction to this is that it is cruel and I shouldn't keep him cooped up

The smell of his wee-wee is awful - how do I control it?

How do I go about converting an outdoor kitty into an indoor kitty?

Your help would be appreciated!!!
post #10 of 51
Is Jasper neutered? My kitty Loco had strong smelling 'wee wee' before we got him neutered, now the smell is gone.The best odor-controling litter I've seen is Max cat, multiple cat. I have four inside cats and they all seem very happy Jasmine will put him in his place if he bugs her too much, I bet
post #11 of 51
Thread Starter 
Jasper is neutured but to be honest his wee smells nearly as bad now as it did before. There is a slight difference...but it hasn't made that much difference.

I could live with the smell....what I can't live with is keeping him in captivity when he's so used to having the world outside to roam about....

Matt (my other half) and I have talked about it though and we are seriuosly considering keeping him in from now on.
post #12 of 51
my boyfriend has witnessed Jasper (the stray we took in) twice now crossing the busy road near our house. Today, he made a car skid and screech to a halt whilst missing him - but only just.
I was wondering...have you ever considered outdoor cat enclosures as a possible option?
post #13 of 51
Thread Starter 
as we live in a cute little 3 storey town house in England - with no garden...only a garage, drive and courtyard

we have made the decision to try and convert Jasper to being a housecat. Its his first day today and so far, so good, apart from a few smelly poos!!!!
post #14 of 51
My suggestion is to keep trying to keep him indoors. A happy cat is an alive cat. He will adjust, but mostly, he will be safe. All of my babies have always been indoors. I have had two kitties who have been run over and do not wish to find out the hard way about it ever again. You could try walking him on a leash from time to time?

Good luck

post #15 of 51
Thread Starter 
we just tried Jasmine's leash and harness on......i giggled....he hasn't got a clue bless him

i will definately try keeping him in tho now
post #16 of 51
Do not let your cat outdoors. In fact, those with outdoor cats just make me angry! Let me explain why. First, having cats outdoors put them at a higher risk for FIV and feline Leukemia- both of which there is no cure. In addition, the cats are at risk for a number of other illnesses. On top of that, many who have outdoor cats don't have the cats spayed/neutered and what does that mean? More kitties! Cats are made to be indoor pets, and don't mind. I have happy indoor cats. Finally, your cat runs the risk of being killed by other animals. My aunt just watched an outdoor cat be picked up by hawk and killed...imagine the heartache my cousins felt. Keep your kittie indoors.
post #17 of 51
Good news
post #18 of 51
Juicelyn, I just wanted to say that I totally understand where you are coming from, but I do disagree in a couple of areas, firstly I have 6 cats, they ALL go outside, but they are ALL spayed/neutered and so are everyone elses cats I know that go outside...I know there are some irresponsible people who do let them out not being neutered, but this can happen with indoor kitties too....they can escape so it always best to have them nuetered no matter what. Also ALL my cats are vaccinated against FeLV and such like.....they have regular vet check ups and are all well. I understand what you say about there being more risks outside - like roads etc, but my house is only surrounded by a golfcouse - no cars around so I don't feel too worried about letting them out. I don't agree that cats are made to live indoors - if so why do they have hunting instincts? Im not by any means saying it is wrong to keep them indoors - I know lots of cats can be very happy and easily adapt to life indoors, but it is everyones own decision to make depending on their circumstances. If you want to keep your kitties in then thats just fine...good for you! thats your choice, but I don't feel Im being cruel to mine by letting them out, if they were not neutered/spayed and not vaccinated or checked by the vet then maybe it would be different. If I lived near a main road then I would definately keep them in, but as we have the space near by I let them out. I hope I haven't offended anyone with this, but I just wanted to give my own personal view.
post #19 of 51
Thread Starter 
i think you have illustrated the general pattern that i have noticed when i placed this post. It is 'the norm' in England to have cats that go outdoors every day and this is probably why i have a guilt complex about not letting them out

everyone i know - neighbours, friends and relatives think it is unspeakable to keep a cat indoors and really do think it is cruel

but i have made a decision now and it has been Jaspers second day in captivity today he seems ok though
post #20 of 51
Yeah --- Clairey-pooh!! I applaud your decision
post #21 of 51
Me too. It's a safety issue. It's for their own good. My kitties are plenty happy, but that also because I have always played with them and gave them time and my attention!!

post #22 of 51
I think there are good arguments for both sides. I have 4 indoor only kitties and one who goes outside. We used to live in a very rural area, so my oldest kitty Onyx was allowed outside (hes neutered and vaccinated). We've since moved to a place that has a road closeby, and thought we'd try to keep onyx inside. He became very depressed and would climb walls and open screens on windows just to get ouside.So, because he was used to it already, we let him out again. It is safer, if you live in a high traffic area, to keeps cats inside. But then again, have you ever seen a cat enjoying the great outdoors on a summer day, leaping to catch bugs and lounging in the sunshine? They enjoy it so much! If I lived in a safer area, my cats would all be indoor/outdoor kitties. I think its a matter of your situation.
post #23 of 51
I'm so glad Jasper is doing well. GreyCat seems happy to be indoors now that the weather is turning colder. He got a blast of cold air in the face when he tried to sneak out tonight, and ran as fast as he could down to the basement and laid down on his favorite cushion. I picked him up a while later and carried him to the door to look at a squirrel in the yard but he struggled and ran back downstairs. I found him hiding behind the furnace. Poor guy must have thought I was going to toss him out into the cold. Guess he's made his decision, LOL.
post #24 of 51
Clairey-pooh, Im so glad that your kitty is liking being inside!! thats great! I hope you didn't think I was saying its cruel to keep cats in - Im fine with it!! If people want to keep their babies indoors thats fine by me! I do have friends who only have indoor cats and they are all ok with it too. - Don't have a guilt complex about it love!! ha ha ha I just think its down to personal choice and your situation, as I said before, if I lived near a busy road or something then all my cats would be indoor cats!! but seeing as we have the space I don't mind letting them out thats all! What matters most to me is that the cats are happy, be it indoors or outdoors (I also had an indoor only cat once, sadly she's now an snif...)
Anyhoooo hope things continue to go well with you and your baby!! Im sure they will!
post #25 of 51
It makes me so mad when I see cats roaming around outside !!! There is no reason to send a cat outside and even if they want to go out TOUGH!!!! I have 3 cats and 2 of them were found outside. The first one was just a baby so being out really never interested him, but the second we found with 2 of her kittens. We found homes for them and kept the mom only to discover she was once again pregnant truly the fault of her uncaring owner. Well we were lucky to find homes for her 5 new kittens and then ran to get her fixed so the urge to roam was stopped. We did have a little guy named Spooky that we gave to my husbands sister as she fell in love with him and promised to keep him indoors. Ha,she had him no more than 4 months when she called to say "Oh I let Spooky out last night and I think he was poisoned cause he cried and cried and DIED right under our bed!!!" I could have strangled her!!Poor little Spooky was just 1 and a half years old. Needless to say both my husband and I have not spoken to her since and it took me a LONG time to get over the guilt of giving him to her. So keep you kitties indoors. It is a known fact that indoor cats have a much longer life than those allowed to roam free and it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out why!!! why subject a cat to a certain and sometimes PAINFUL death ??
post #26 of 51
I understand your sentiments, but again it depends on your situation. In my town, the norm is to have inside /outside cats. I'm not saying they never have problems and yes, accidents do happen. However, I know lots of people who have spayed/neuterd cats with all their vaccinations that live happily going outside during the day. Plenty of these cats live to be old and happy. My Grandmothers cat is nearly 20 years old and she has been going outside since she was a kitten. We live in a very rural area, so for most people here, its an okay choice. Its not really fair to say that there is never a reason to let your cat outside. Allowing your cat to go out does not always mean a death sentence. I choose to keep mine inside, personally, because I live to close to a roadway, but you can bet if I didn't, mine would all enjoy going outside. I don't condone people being irresponsible and allowing an unfixed cat to go out and add to over population, and I don't condone people who live near a busy highway to allow their animals to go out, but IMHO,In certain circumstances, it can be an okay choice.
post #27 of 51
I have been fortunate before to live in areas that I was able to allow my kitties to be indoor/outdoor kitties. I now live 15 feet off a busy road and there is no way my guys are going outside. They don't like it, but they would like an encounter with a Goodyear even less. I will occasionally take my 13 year old dsh outside with me, because he has gone out all his life. He is good for coming when called, and never lets me out of his sight. The others NEVER go out. They are adjusting just fine.
post #28 of 51
Thread Starter 
well, its been almost a week now since Jasper became an indoor pussie and (fingers crossed) it all seems to be fine. He does occasionally ask to go out (mainly for doo-doo's) but apart from that....it seems to be fine
post #29 of 51
Well no matter what ANYONE says I am still not convinced that a cat should be let outside to roam. They CAN runaway,get in fights,get fleas,KILL birds or mice(and get sick from both),or get killed by another animal or ,sadly, a cat hating person. Death does not have to happen by a moving vehicle. I really believe that if one truly loves their cat they will keep them inside where it is safe and warm.It is a mindset that some people just have that a cat is only happy when they are allowed to be outside. Buy a harness and then take your cat out for a little romp. A harness was made for just that reason. Do you really think a cat cannot get lost????? Sorry there is no convincing me That is how I feel.
post #30 of 51
I have to agree with you, it depends on the cat and the situation the owner has as to whether it is an outside cat, inside/outside cat or inside only cat. Since I deal with only ferals, all my cats are inside/outside. The only inside kitties I ever had were blind. But cats can die inside of a house as well as outside, they can fight if you have to many in a small space and they can even get fleas under the right circumstances. I don't think anyone who knows me would say I do not love my cats and they are inside/outside, I live in the country and have acreage and a hay barn and a need for cats that are good mousers, and as I rescue feral colonies, I return the favor and let them keep their hunting instincts primed and give them the freedom they need at the same time. I have one feral that if I pick him up he will love and purr and cuddle with me, but if I bring him inside he will total the room in less than 5 minutes and rip a hole in the wall to escape. Judy, it is admirable that you feel the way you do, but I have my own reasons for feeling just the opposite of you and I hope you will accept that, as I accept your reasons for believing so strongly. All my cats are kept current in shots as well and are spayed and neutered as soon as it is safe to do so. I deal a lot in kittens.
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