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post #31 of 58
If I may... the idea of asking the cat what it wants is pretty crazy. It's a cat, not an adult.

If we're comfortable with the idea of forcibly removing the cat's reproductive organs, then why even consider the cat's feelings about whether or not to go outside? It's safer indoors, the cat lives longer, stays healthier.

When my wife and I adopted Tyger it took about a year for him to stop trying to get out whenever we opened the door, and after that he settled in quite nicely, and would sit looking out a completely open door without the desire to leave. In fact one day he fell out an open window and was paraliized with fear, he didn't know what to do and hugged right up against me when I went out to retrieve him.

The only place a cat is safe from stray dogs, kids, cars, trucks, garage doors, antifreeze, engine oil, rat poison, broken glass, etc... is in your house.
post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianlojeck

If we're comfortable with the idea of forcibly removing the cat's reproductive organs, then why even consider the cat's feelings about whether or not to go outside? It's safer indoors, the cat lives longer, stays healthier.
Well... I always consider my cats' feelings. Then I decide what is best for them. If I had a human 12 year old that wanted to attend an all night party, I would consider her request and then say no.
post #33 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by rapunzel47
Probably not, in that situation. But that's a specific situation, and you have to decide based on the specific circumstances.
I did say it was probably faulty . That said, we at one point had a cat that lived to be 21 who was an indoor/outdoor cat. However, at the time we lived in the country, coyotes had not yet made it to Alabama, people kept their dogs up because in most cases they were valuable hunting dogs and the road which was almost 200 feet from the house only saw the occasional car.

Times change though, If I still lived in that house I would not let the cat(s) out (heck, we live right on the edge of the city now and last spring I saw a pair of coyotes in the back!)
post #34 of 58
What Rockcat said! I do think it would be pretty cool to teach my cats how to ski though. How cute would that be? We could go hiking, caving- they could wear cute little hardhats...

Ok, I'm just being silly. I think I'm drinking too much coffee!

I used to be totally opposed to outdoor cats, but I think it's up to each person to discern what is right for their situation. My cats have always been indoor cats, just as our family dog was, and my rabbit is. My aunt has quite a few tomcats that populate her horse barn in Texas and she's had strictly indoor cats. I don't believe it is appropriate to let cats out in my neighborhood because the traffic is so high. There are dead cats, raccoons, etc laying on the side of the road all the time.

Besides, I have a pretty big apartment (the perks of living in Indiana- cheap rent for huge spaces) and my next apartment will be 1200 sq. ft. with a nice, large, screened in porch. The cats do not suffer, trust me. Annabelle was a starving/emmaciated stray for most of a winter before she meowed at our door and let herself in. She has no interest in going outside now. Isabelle just freezes if she comes anywhere close to the door.

My guess is, like the others, this thread was mostly started to get people riled up.
post #35 of 58
It's funny, my two, Franz and Maddie don't even show much interest in the windows. My windows look out to a very nice garden, it's full of different types of birds...loads of them, a occasional cat and squirrels. Maddie was a former street cat, Franz as far as I know has always been indoors. I don't even watch TV so they don't even have that. I guess I put on a much better "show" inside. Maybe they read when I'm not there!
post #36 of 58
Where I live...outdoor cats are called Coyote Food.
post #37 of 58
Personally I've always believed indoor cats live healthier, longer lives.

My cats have all been indoor cats. My husband started letting Bijou out with a harness and lead line from a tree. He is only allowed out while we are there to supervise. I don't even like that, but my husband insists that Bijou really wants to go outside. Let's just say that he does NOW.

At our last home, many neighbours allowed their cats free roam. Their choice! But, when I'm standing talking to the neighbour and her cat walks over to my rose bush 4 feet from where we are standing and proceeds to do its business in my flower bed, that is where I start fuming. Her comment? "Oh, she shouldn't do that." DAMN RIGHT lady! My cats didn't use her garden for a litter box!
post #38 of 58
The indoor cats are not deprived of anything. Back in the day, a long time ago, when I was a child, the cats were allowed outside. Well, I don't care to repeat the experience-my cats now are not allowed outside. Let's just say that I can compare the outside cats to the inside cats and I can say my inside cats are not deprived of anything. My cats are not unhappy-what they don't know is not going to hurt them. They are not going to catch any diseases, and they won't get hit by a car, and they won't get mauled by an animal, and they won't be abused by some children. It's just so much safer for them inside, so there is absolutely no way I would ever consider letting them outside. And they don't even want to go outside. When I took my cat outside on a leash, he was crying like a baby-outside scared him.
post #39 of 58
Please explain, to these two, just HOW they are being mistreated:
LL
post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by calvinandhobbes
Another way to think of the 'shadow world' and the real world are heaven and earth. Plato also said that the world we live in can be compared to the shadow cave. At a certain point we are 'freed' from the 'cave' and are allowed to enter into the 'real world' (Heaven) So instead of comparing indoor cats to the shadow prisoners, we could compare them to us. According to Plato, we live in the cave (earth) until we are freed into the real world (heaven)
I certainly am not going to kill myself anytime soon to get to heaven where it's "paradise"... and I'm not going to put my kitty in harms way either just to taste "paradise".

According to your analogy I should let my cat out and kill myself. If letting the cat out is equivalent to dying, I think he's happy enough indoors
post #41 of 58
Living in the country, I have totally mixed feelings on this topic.

On the one hand, I live on a low traveled gravel road on 10 acres of property with loads of open land around me. I have 2 barns, a garage, an underground cellar, and tons of trees for cats to escape up into. I don't have the dangers of traffic.

I do have the dangers of free roaming dogs, coyotes, bobcats and cougars, as well as people who think they are doing the world a favor by killing free roaming cats. And then there are the folks that think that by dumping their pet out in the country, they will be able to survive and have a better life.

I have experimented with allowing some cats in and out. I have had as many bad experiences as good. My black cat that disappeared 5 days before Halloween (I was about to bring her in and keep her there for the holiday and she disappeared before I got her). Rocky disappeared the day the utility company came out to lay cable and they plowed under his hunting grounds. Went on vacation one year and 6 feral cats disappeared while I was gone - my housesitter said they started disappearing the day after I left. Some of those ferals had been in the colony for more than 5 years so they wouldn't have just moved on for no reason. The ferals just don't typically live as long as the indoor cats.

Shep did well outside. Indie moved out and never wanted back into the house. Bob goes in and out all the time with no problems. But these are my exceptions and I cringe each time Bob wants out. I have as many sheltered areas on my property that I can possibly offer for the ferals.

I have to vote to keep them indoors, or outdoors on a harness or in a sheltered area and under supervision. My indoor cats are taken by natural causes. The outdoor cats more often than not die from predation or other mishap. It is against their natural instinct but then again, aren't they domesticated (to some degree) animals?
post #42 of 58
When I was young I don't even remember there being such a thing as an indoor cat. All cats were indoor/outdoor or just outdoor. Dogs were restrained not for their own good, but to keep them from causing harm to other dogs and persons.

In 1983 or thereabouts we took in an abandoned indoor/outdoor cat and the concept of indoor only had never occurred to me. This cat was five and for the next two years she ran in and out as she pleased. We didn't even have a litter box for her. When she was seven she lost a fight and had to be treated for an abcess. After that, by her own choice she decided to stay inside and let me know she needed a litter box. She lived to be 19.

Just a few years ago I rescued a year old boy cat that refused to live inside. He meowed and meowed all night every night till I put him out. He'd let me bring him in, but he always wanted back out. He was miserable inside. Based on my previous experience I thought he might change as he aged, but an evil man with a slingshot convinced me to find him another environment where he could be safe and happy.

I agree that you can be a responsible pet owner either way -- keeping your cats indoors all the time, or letting them out. There really aren't enough homes for all cats, and some have to be outdoor cats by necessity. It really is a balance between the cat, the person and the environment.
post #43 of 58
My cats came from a shelter and I don't know the older one's history at all. I suspect that she lived rough for a time though (for many reasons), as she refuses to leave the house. She will come as far as the front door with me but no further. I'm assuming that she associates 'outside' with being cold & hungry, and she's just not interested. In my mind, forcing her outside would be cruel. I too have kept indoor & outside cats, and I don't believe you can sya that one regime or another is right for all cats. Surely we should treat each cat as an individual, and tailor its' care accordingly?

Sue
post #44 of 58
Another owner of indoor/outdoor kitties here!
I believe cats aren't dumb. I can't think for them or dictate the way they should live or even judge what makes them happy or sad. I know they prefer to climb trees (not counters, closets, tabletops, curtains). They love to chase birds, butterflies, mice. They are predators after all. They get bored with the kitty toys.
At night, mine agree to stay indoors. Either they know it's safer or don't want their mommy to worry or they're tired from their daytime activities. Who knows?
But one thing for sure, I feel a bit sad to see a cat watching the outside from a window or hear them whine when the door closes infront of their faces or them spending the day inside bored and alone while their humans are out.
I wish cats could talk and then we could really find out what they think is "cruel".
post #45 of 58
Another "rural" indoor/outdoor pet owner.

I guess sometimes I think of how some of us were raised with cats.
We never had inside cats when I was growing up-they were always in the shed with a pet door.
While mine are indoor/outdoor since Sheba was shot I have modified their
outdoor time. I collar them-Bobber just lost another one a couple of days ago.
They are not outside if we are not home or outside. It helps having 5plus acres of land.
Ox at 15 just loves rolling around in the veggie garden and chopping on catnip.
He also just enjoys sunning himself and I think doesn't go more than 100 feet from the house.
Grizzly is pretty much the same but for being a chubby cat she can run fast!!
Bobber is still the wildchild as we got her as she was a barn cat. Of all our cats she would be the one mistaken for a stray/feral except perhaps for her bob tail!! She is the hunter- I just about stepped on some rodent parts last week!!
Bakker-if anyone remembers is supposed to be the indoor boy. Well DH took care of that-he gets supervised the most-he seems happiest just sitting under some of the shrubs behind out house. His bell however lets me know where he is.
I just think its the best feeling if I'm about in my gardens planting or weeding and one of them runs up to me for a pet then plops down by me. Cat poop in my flower beds-its just an added bonus!!
Yes I sometimes have some cleanup on them when they come back inside but that's ok.
So those are my thoughts.
post #46 of 58
Limerick is an indoor only cat. He has plenty of toys and enjoys watching the bugs and birds from the window, but when he has had his fill of what's going on outside the window, he jumps on my pillow and sleeps. When we do go outside he makes a bee line for the door.
post #47 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by yayi
Another owner of indoor/outdoor kitties here!
I believe cats aren't dumb. I can't think for them or dictate the way they should live or even judge what makes them happy or sad. I know they prefer to climb trees (not counters, closets, tabletops, curtains). They love to chase birds, butterflies, mice. They are predators after all. They get bored with the kitty toys.
At night, mine agree to stay indoors. Either they know it's safer or don't want their mommy to worry or they're tired from their daytime activities. Who knows?
But one thing for sure, I feel a bit sad to see a cat watching the outside from a window or hear them whine when the door closes infront of their faces or them spending the day inside bored and alone while their humans are out.
I wish cats could talk and then we could really find out what they think is "cruel".
No, they aren't dumb. I am pretty sure they would also prefer to have all their organs intact-if you get my drift. Did you ask them if they would like to be neutered or spayed? Personally, I don't talk to cat so I don't know what they are thinking. But I am not going to let them out just because they are not dumb. As for whining when the door closes-my cats have never done that.
post #48 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by yayi
But one thing for sure, I feel a bit sad to see a cat watching the outside from a window or hear them whine when the door closes infront of their faces or them spending the day inside bored and alone while their humans are out.
I wish cats could talk and then we could really find out what they think is "cruel".
I think conscientious owners of indoor cats do a lot to make sure they aren't just bored and miserable and pining for the outdoors. Gosh, mine have 2 kitty condos, in addition to the other windows they have access to and other places to climb (and they do stay off of the tables and counters ). They've got more toys than they know what to do with. You literally have to watch where you step for all the toys! And we make an effort to play with them interactively. Both of mine at 5 years old are perfectly proportioned, neither even have the "spay sway" tummy. Ophelia was born outside from what we can figure, and she is literally scared of the front door. She wants nothing to do with whatever is beyond it. Trent doesn't care one way or the other, but makes no moves to indicate that he'd rather be outside.
post #49 of 58
Oh, I think I know the whine Yayi is referring to. We get it around Hallowe'en when all of a sudden the cat door won't open. It's accompanied by the most pitiful wide-eyed bewildered look, and for a few days I am an incomprehensibly mean Mum. But, that's OK, because that's better than letting them out to get spooked by fireworks set off at all hours by wacko humans. The toys get a work out, and Fawn's junglejim (front stairs) becomes everyone's junglejim. The threat passes, and then miraculously the door "works" again.

We all have to make our own decisions based on our situation as we see it, and the needs and personality of our specific cat(s). There may be only one right answer in a given situation, but it doesn't necessarily fit all situations.
post #50 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
I think the "comfort zone" is an important thing to note. Cats are very territorial. Outside cats pick an area, and stick to it.
That said, I think my outdoor tomcat Will has the best life of all my cats. He came to us, and adopted us. He chose his territory, and is top cat over the other outside cats. .
NO he does NOT! I was all set, a year ago, to adopt a wonderful Tom, whose owner had kicked him and his "sister" out of the home. He was a big tough but loving boy BUT after awhile he began getting thinner. I finally managed to get him to the vet AND he had full blown FIV! He had been beaten in fights to a younger orange Tom, and paid for it with his life!

I watched Amigo (my name for him) go from being "BOSS MAN" to running from this Orange Tom. Someday the orange Tom will be in Amigo's shoes and a younger Tom will be Boss! A TOP CAT is NOT a TOP CAT Forever!
post #51 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by amagenta

Anyway, before I write a story, my cats have the best of both worlds, I live in a big house and behind it is a vast woodland, no main road(ideal, heaven maybe for my kitties but not so good when they bring us back presents tee hee!) So they get to spend their days out in the sun(bad weather their inside ) and come in for the night, !!!
Actually a vast woodland sounds like Heaven BUT can also have wild animals (skunks, possum, rats etc.) in it that can carry the rabies disease and even if well can badly injure a cat!
post #52 of 58
When I first became owned by cats I knew nothing about them. I lived on 6 acres next to a street. Cat and kittens were in and out as they pleased. THEN, one night my 7 month old was killed by a car.

I tried to make Corkie indoors only but she kept finding ways to escape. Finally I put up my own cat fence in system (according to the humane society's instructions). It kept both cats in and now in THIS home keeps 2 out of 3 in. I DO beleive THAT is the only way - or enclosures - to let a cat outside.

2 of mine are not happy being indoors only. I can make them be in but then all they do is sleep and eat. The girls are allowed out any time I am home -DURING DAYLIGHT hours, and Benji (who can jump over anything) is out most of the day ON a LONG LEASH and harness. If he goes over a fence I still have the other end of the leash and I coo and beg and if he still refuses to come home, either go to the neighbors and ask to retrieve him or climb the fence and get him myself.

ONE day I hope to have money enough to put up a BETTER fence that will hold Ben in too.

I do take Ben and the girls out front. Girls are free as they will go a few doors down in both directions (they both came from next door - 1st one and a year or so later the other so they know the area) and then they come back and sleep in the bushes on the front lawn. The street is quiet and I do keep my eyes on them. I do worry if a car should come speeding but Missy cannot have a harness on as she has a deformed rib sticking out, and Kotton does not know she can walk on one.

I would love to keep mine indoors only but since I cannot = a cat fence is next best thing! When I can get money I intend to put one up in front too!
post #53 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBabies
When I first became owned by cats I knew nothing about them. I lived on 6 acres next to a street. Cat and kittens were in and out as they pleased. THEN, one night my 7 month old was killed by a car.

I tried to make Corkie indoors only but she kept finding ways to escape. Finally I put up my own cat fence in system (according to the humane society's instructions). It kept both cats in and now in THIS home keeps 2 out of 3 in. I DO beleive THAT is the only way - or enclosures - to let a cat outside.

2 of mine are not happy being indoors only. I can make them be in but then all they do is sleep and eat. The girls are allowed out any time I am home -DURING DAYLIGHT hours, and Benji (who can jump over anything) is out most of the day ON a LONG LEASH and harness. If he goes over a fence I still have the other end of the leash and I coo and beg and if he still refuses to come home, either go to the neighbors and ask to retrieve him or climb the fence and get him myself.

ONE day I hope to have money enough to put up a BETTER fence that will hold Ben in too.

I do take Ben and the girls out front. Girls are free as they will go a few doors down in both directions (they both came from next door - 1st one and a year or so later the other so they know the area) and then they come back and sleep in the bushes on the front lawn. The street is quiet and I do keep my eyes on them. I do worry if a car should come speeding but Missy cannot have a harness on as she has a deformed rib sticking out, and Kotton does not know she can walk on one.

I would love to keep mine indoors only but since I cannot = a cat fence is next best thing! When I can get money I intend to put one up in front too!
Yes, some cats do want to go out. But usually those are cats that were allowed out before. My cats never showed any desire to go outside. In fact, they are down right scared of the outside... They are perfectly happy being inside cats only. I mean, one of mine is scared of his own shadow and doesn't even come close to the front door. The other one is a little braver but he doesn't go near front door either. The key is to not allow them out ever-this way they don't want to go out.
post #54 of 58
Mine was considered a stray when he was "out"..and was picked up by the Humane Society in the worst area of the city I live in...
He has never shown a desire to get out and I can't blame him...
post #55 of 58
My two cents: It depends on the cat, and where you live. Jamie is the first "indoor only" cat we've had (he's 6 now). We live in a suburban area, and most people let their cats go outside. We lost a 9-month-old kitten, who was run over by a truck on the main street in town, and that made me think about how "safe" it was outdoors. Jamie's adoption contract specifies that he's to be kept indoors. He's got a "secured" balcony, and I take him outdoors on a leash every day. He enjoys it, but will only accept contact with one human outside, meaning me. He begs me to take him outside, but never "asks" my husband, mother-in-law, or his cat sitter to take him out when I'm away. Although he's affectionate with them indoors, they can't approach him outdoors. In other words, he's fearful of the great outdoors, unless Mommy is with him. Our part-time (shared) cat, ZsaZsa, scares me. She wanders too much, and I often encounter her about a half mile from our house, and dread the day when she doesn't show up for meals, or her other owner (a neighbor) says she hasn't come home to sleep. She constantly shows up with wounds from encounters with other animals, and is often infested with ticks.
Neighbors half a block down the street have two litter mates. One sticks to their property, while the other is all over the neighborhood. I don't think the one that sticks close to home is any less content than her sister, but her life expectancy is probably longer. A cat down the street, who used to make up with everybody, had his tail cut off by two sadistic little boys, who threw a jacket over him and used a carpet cutter on him.
If we lived on a huge property with no busy streets nearby, and no foxes, etc., I'd definitely let my cat(s) roam, but in many areas it's just too risky.
post #56 of 58
I dont think its cruel at all. I have two cats who wouldnt even DREAM of going outside, they are scared to death of it. They would much rather sit in the window and be happy that way. and three others who like to go outside for short periods, on a harness and leash. They usualy just lay in the grass and catch some sun. And have no intentions of going anyfarther than their leash.
post #57 of 58
Wow! what a diverse and so helpful range of reply's, you guys are awesome

Quote:
In a perfect world, my cats would be playing outside. Cars would stop for them. Mean people who might do them harm wouldn't exist. Dogs and wild animals would befriend them.

We don't live in a perfect world. There is a highway in front of my house. It is against the law for cats to roam free here. They could be picked up and brought to a shelter.

Sure, life is full of risks. I carefully weighed the pros and cons and I feel I am doing the best I can for my cats, especially on days that I see 3 dead pets on the way to work.

My cats are comfortable, safe, healthy and happy.
very well said


Quote:
I think the "comfort zone" is an important thing to note. Cats are very territorial. Outside cats pick an area, and stick to it. Inside cats, I would guess, do the same. Their territory is as much of the home as they have free run of. It is not a prison, or a jail. Setting an inside only cat outside is not the same as setting a prisoner free. It is closer to setting a spoiled, pampered suburban person in the middle of a jungle unarmed.
This is so true, cats are intelligent but sometimes their curiosity and adventurous nature gets the better of them, where i live there is red dirt and no water for miles, you only have to be out there for a half hour and your mouth gets dry, you feel tired and a bit dizzy, i wonder how a little cat would handle that kind of enviroment? not to mention the eagles and fox baits.



Quote:
Methinks I smell an agenda here, and the purpose to cause a stir.
Ditto



i believe there is nothing wrong with keeping cats as indoor only, they are safe, loved and cared for, especially if you are in a dangerous enviroment, it might be okay if a cat is just another animal to you but if they are your furbabies then it is another matter




felicia
post #58 of 58
I got my cat when she was thrown (literaly) out by some guys at a bank across from where I had worked. Since we've had her (3 years now) she's been an indoor cat. I have taken her outside on a leash and she freaks. Doesn't like all the movement, the sounds, the smells. She just shakes a lot and stays really close to the ground. We have even tried taking her for rides in the car and she wails the entire time. She just doesn't like it outside. She is more than happy to watch it all go on from the window or front door on her stool. She was outside twice on her own, the first time was actually for about 3 hours and she stayed in the yard till I had gotten home from work and then she came in on her own, she was really scared out there! The second time, when daddy was putting her stool outside the door (which is where we keep it when the doors closed) she followed it outside. Got to the step and sort of stopped like "What's going on? Where am I? Opps?" and my BF just picked her up and brought her back in. Even coming in and out of the door she stays right on her stool and doesn't try to get out. She just likes it indoor and I think she always will. So I say it depends on the cat, you know some people don't leave their house either, is that cruel to them?
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