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The choice -- Indoor or Outdoor?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I really want to keep my kittens indoor cats. I don't want them to become outdoor cats. For many reasons .. I live in the middle of a very heavily driven apartment comlex -- which is very, very large. I don't know what other kinds of animals roam, I don't want my cats coming home with anything ... I heard the risk of fleas or having a bad problem becomes less ... The outdoors are scary. I don't want to risk it.


Now, I have a room mate ... Who thinks it's cruel that I want to keep my cats indoor cats. We have a backporch that he thinks they should at least be let out on -- but that totally defeats the purpose of the cats being "indoor" cats I think. We live on the second story, there is an easy chance they could jump up on the ledge & perhaps try to jump off? And then we would have to go chasing after them, no?

He thinks it's so cruel ... because it seems that they do want outside

-- In example : Whenever we open the door, they like to sit on the carpet and watch what is going on. They have never made a move to corss the doorstop (only once, Samson walked a few feet out, only because he was let out earlier by my room mate, and I think he thought it was ok.) Whenever we are outside on the porch, the sit in the windowsill and watch us. Or they will get up between the porch door and the blinds and look out.

Of course, they ONLY do the door thing when we are outside, or both sit in the sill when we are on the porch and there is no one inside with them.

I don't think this is cruel in any way. They have never known the outdoors, and they are completely happy inside. They have toys, toys, toys. And I always introduce something new for them to play with 2 or three times a day. They run and run with each other for excersise, then take a nap in my bed. They eat enormously. The litter is ALWAYS clean.

I don't think I am doing anything wrong.

Yet I feel like I need some more "fighting" power with my room mate. I need to convince him that there are a lot of reasons cats should be indoor cats. If anyone could list some reasons off ... that maybe I could use in my attempt to persuade my room mate, that would be great.

I really need this, as I feel like he is persuading me more and more to let them be outdoor cats and is making me feel very very guilty.

The help would be MUCH appreciated ...
Fighting for a cause -- Courtney
post #2 of 25
Tell your roomate to get a grip. If you lived out in the country there are dangers, those dangers mulitply in towns and cities. Outdoor cats are subjected to poisons, cars, disease, cat fights, unwanted pregnancy, injuries, getting lost, predators, and people who abuse cats. I used to have all indoor/outdoor cats- it used to be safe, but then they widened our road, and brought more people into the area. Last year I lost cats to disease, cars, wild animals and a few just got lost.

Your cats are sitting at the door because they are curious creatures and they like movement. Get a fish aquarium and see where they sit, or start feeding the birds outside your window and watch them watch.

Yes, we take them out of their natural enviorment, breed them down and hope they adjust. We do that to the dog, and the horse too and the birds. But it is not cruel to want them to be safe, to protect them against fleas and other parasites and want them to be indoors and warm.

I found a way to make my cats happy and keep them safe. I hope you find a way as well


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post #3 of 25
I have always had cats that went outside and inside when they wanted. The outcome has always been fleas, injury and death. I lived in a small one bedroom apartment for 3 years with my cat 7. He does not want to go out at all and he's flea free Keep them inside and you will have the peace of mind knowing that they are healthy and safe. emily
post #4 of 25
No animal/human/creature likes to be caged up, but of course without proper knowledge of what dangers that are outside of their territory, the better choice would be to keep them inside.

I also live in an apartment complex, usually busy, and have 3 indoor cats. But they are never limited to being only inside. We take them out on the leash and harness at least 3-4 times a week so they get their fix of the outdoors.

We also take them with us whenever we travel back to tampa for a weekend to visit friends and relatives. Being in bigger houses, pool and patio areas with plenty of room to sniff, play, hunt, I think makes up for them being inside most of the day.

Animal instinct is to be able to hunt prey, the chase, and sometimes a cat toy from a pet store will easily become a boring dead mouse to them. If the cat is stimulated enough while its indoors, I believe it would understand that it doesnt need to be outside because everything it needs is inside, where it already is. Safe from the obvious dangers that are outside.
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much ... I feel so much better just knowing that there are people on my side! My room mate is so pig headed, and he hates being "proven" wrong. But I think this will help so much.

I believe there are more advantages of having indoor cats than outdoor cats. Complete safety. If they get sick, I know what they could have contracted. If they get bitten, I can narrow down the choices easily. I know what my cats are doing all the time, and I can learn from their behaviors.

He was raised in the town of Carlton, a very small town. Low trafficked, etc. They have a chiuaua, that goes outside. And he has a cat at his parents in Carlton (He's young, he's in college now) that goes outside, which they MADE him go outside, they don't keep a litter box for the poor thing, so if no one is around to let him outside, he has to "find" a place in the house. I think my room mate is stuck in his ways, and belives what his parents do are the only way to do things. I'm sure he's talking to them and telling them how "cruel" it is I keep them inside. I am sure they are agreeing with him ...

Yet as long as people do belive I am doing good, as I do belive, I could care less about him harassing me about being cruel.

I do have a pair of zebra finches that keep them occupied. They like to sit at the foot of the VERY tall dresser my birds sit on, lol, and watch and watch and watch ...

-Winning! Courtney
post #6 of 25
You could tell your roommate, Mr. Pighead, about my brother and I.

Rick has had five cats in the last six years. He doesn't keep them indoors, usually doesn't "fix" them, and prefers tomcats.

Therefore, he has spent a lot of money on veterinary bills to fix ripped dewclaws, abscesses, torn ears, etc., plus a lot of money on medications for earmites and fleas.

One of his cats was killed by a pair of Rottweilers roaming the neighborhood. (That cat had already suffered from a three-story fall off a balcony when he was young, which is why he couldn't run fast enough to escape the dogs).

Two of them were run over by cars.

Two more of them simply disappeared, and he never learned what happened to them. The same thing happened to his beloved dog within the same time period.

I, his baby sister who is also otherwise perfect in every way , have three cats -- two of whom were rescued from outdoors. They stay indoors 24/7, and are all healthy and happy. And I don't have to worry about them getting hurt or lost or hit by a car because I know where they are.

Although I love my brother, I would not hesitate, if there were a way to legally restrain people like him from acquiring animals, to do so.

If you create an environment that includes lots of "perches" and scratching surfaces for them, plus windows to look out of, they'll be FINE. They will. Tell your roommate about my brother, who also believed it is "cruel" to neuter male animals and keep them indoors.
post #7 of 25
My suggestion too would be keep your cats indoors - the apartment complex just sounds way to dangerous in many ways for a small feline!
post #8 of 25
I have 2 cats that I started to let out a few months ago.... Bailey has been bitten twice by a raccoon and Oakley once.... I am now on day 2 of keeping them inside again and its going good.... I thought it was cruel to keep them inside and that they are better having some outside. .. but they are SAFER at home with their Mummy! I have just bought a ton of new toys for them... and so far they are ok...

Dont listen to your room mate... you will keep your kitty's A LOT longer if you keep them inside....

Good luck!
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vibiana
You could tell your roommate, Mr. Pighead, about my brother and I.

Rick has had five cats in the last six years. He doesn't keep them indoors, usually doesn't "fix" them, and prefers tomcats.

Therefore, he has spent a lot of money on veterinary bills to fix ripped dewclaws, abscesses, torn ears, etc., plus a lot of money on medications for earmites and fleas.

One of his cats was killed by a pair of Rottweilers roaming the neighborhood. (That cat had already suffered from a three-story fall off a balcony when he was young, which is why he couldn't run fast enough to escape the dogs).

Two of them were run over by cars.

Two more of them simply disappeared, and he never learned what happened to them. The same thing happened to his beloved dog within the same time period.

I, his baby sister who is also otherwise perfect in every way , have three cats -- two of whom were rescued from outdoors. They stay indoors 24/7, and are all healthy and happy. And I don't have to worry about them getting hurt or lost or hit by a car because I know where they are.

Although I love my brother, I would not hesitate, if there were a way to legally restrain people like him from acquiring animals, to do so.

If you create an environment that includes lots of "perches" and scratching surfaces for them, plus windows to look out of, they'll be FINE. They will. Tell your roommate about my brother, who also believed it is "cruel" to neuter male animals and keep them indoors.
I can't belive he thinks it's cruel to nueuter! Just like Mr.Pighead belives that it's cruel to make husbands change diapers, and he believes that women should always breastfeed. Sometimes I just wanna .... If only we could neuter men and they could back off on some of the testosterone.

Anyways, back to the CAT ISSUE at hand ... They have plenty of low, large, large windows to look out on, and I always keep the blinds pulled up first thing in the morning when I wake, so they can have un unobstructed view.

As for the tall perches -- so far the tallest thing they have to lay on is the back of the couch, with it's large fluffy pillows, which rests right next to the window, and they love it there. I don't let them jump on tables or counters. There are soo many things they could get into, or hurt themselves with if someone wasn't safe I think. They also lay on the top of my computer. Which Samson is doing at the moment. I may post in another thread about some good perches, or building some.
post #10 of 25
I compromise - mine go out during the day only and are always in at night, when most accidents befall cats. And I have fields to the side and back of the house and no through traffic. But I also have a room mate who thinks cats are nocturnal and I am cruel in not letting them out to hunt at night! If I had to live anywhere where I felt it was dangerous to let them out then they would be indoor cats. So I think you are doing the right thing. SOme people let them out on a leash and harness, but if you do that you must do it often and regularly, or the cats will get a taste for outdoors and get frustrated.
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
If I lived in the country, where I grew up, I would really enjoy letting my cats outs. I grew up like that ... But the city is scarily different.

BTW -- I just talked to Mr.Pighead -- and he believes cats shouldn't be neutered either. He thinks it's cruel! IDIOT! So I asked him then would he keep his cat inside? Because it's CRUEL-er for someone else who has been responsible worrying about their cats health -- shots and being spayed, etc. And believe that their precious cat should be able to roam outside a little, to be harrassed by his cat who feels he needs to leave his mark everywhere. And then go impregnate other cats with no homes, ans have their kittens in alleyways, to be eaten by dogs, to over run shelters, just because of his idiotic idea of cruelness.

Mr. Pighead disgusts me. He then says that people don't do that. I said, "Women do. After they are done having kids, they get "fixed." Why can't men be fixed then?"

And you know what he says? "Because we're men & you're women."

I could punch him.
post #12 of 25
I have four indoor cats and one has lived outside, but she seems totally happy indoors. The other three tremble if they get outside. They act like they want out, but then don't like it when I've actually taken them out a couple of times. Valory will try to get outside on the breezeway porch (I'm 2nd story apt.) but it's mainly to see the birds that nest between the apts. since she can hear them through the air conditioning unit when its not on. And its usually when I'm sitting outside w/ my mom (who doesn't get to smoke inside when she visits, TeeHee). I had them try to run out of my old apartment only a couple of times and then the desire seemed to leave because they don't try to dart out now, knock on wood.

Also, wouldn't the fact that cats have longer life expectancies if they're indoor be a great argument for the fact that your doing what's right for you and your family. And, there was that post today about the stray that had swallowed something w/ poison in it which is a great reminder that expecting neighbors to be responsible is fool hearty.

So take care of those kitties and be safe.
post #13 of 25
I have had four cats, three of which are still with me. (The first one died of cancer.) All had lived outdoors for months or years before I adopted them. I'm in a safe neighborhood as far as people (mostly retirees, former professionals) and cars (very low traffic area). There are many vacant wooded lots around where my cats spend their time when they are out, so they rarely cross a street. The biggest potential danger to their lives here is coyotes, so I keep them in nights. Because they grew up in the outdoors, I do prefer to allow them that freedom as long as risk is relatively low. But if moved to an area with more traffic or with people in the area I thought might not be nice to cats, there is no way I'd let them out. Also, if I were to get a cat that hadn't already lived in the outdoors, I wouldn't let them out, either. If they have never known "freedom," they aren't going to miss it.

The expenses of keeping an outdoor cat healthy are much greater. I've had to go to the vet I don't know how many times with abscesses resulting from cat fights. (And yes, my boys are neutered.) They have had tape worms, round worms, and fleas.

So, though I do let my own cats out now here, under your circumstances, there would be no question in my mind. I'd keep them in!
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyGirl'sDawn
I have four indoor cats and one has lived outside, but she seems totally happy indoors. The other three tremble if they get outside. They act like they want out, but then don't like it when I've actually taken them out a couple of times. Valory will try to get outside on the breezeway porch (I'm 2nd story apt.) but it's mainly to see the birds that nest between the apts. since she can hear them through the air conditioning unit when its not on. And its usually when I'm sitting outside w/ my mom (who doesn't get to smoke inside when she visits, TeeHee). I had them try to run out of my old apartment only a couple of times and then the desire seemed to leave because they don't try to dart out now, knock on wood.

Also, wouldn't the fact that cats have longer life expectancies if they're indoor be a great argument for the fact that your doing what's right for you and your family. And, there was that post today about the stray that had swallowed something w/ poison in it which is a great reminder that expecting neighbors to be responsible is fool hearty.

So take care of those kitties and be safe.
Thank you so much for this!
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by twofatcats
I have had four cats, three of which are still with me. (The first one died of cancer.) All had lived outdoors for months or years before I adopted them. I'm in a safe neighborhood as far as people (mostly retirees, former professionals) and cars (very low traffic area). There are many vacant wooded lots around where my cats spend their time when they are out, so they rarely cross a street. The biggest potential danger to their lives here is coyotes, so I keep them in nights. Because they grew up in the outdoors, I do prefer to allow them that freedom as long as risk is relatively low. But if moved to an area with more traffic or with people in the area I thought might not be nice to cats, there is no way I'd let them out. Also, if I were to get a cat that hadn't already lived in the outdoors, I wouldn't let them out, either. If they have never known "freedom," they aren't going to miss it.

The expenses of keeping an outdoor cat healthy are much greater. I've had to go to the vet I don't know how many times with abscesses resulting from cat fights. (And yes, my boys are neutered.) They have had tape worms, round worms, and fleas.

So, though I do let my own cats out now here, under your circumstances, there would be no question in my mind. I'd keep them in!
They cannot miss what they don't know .. and as kittens, who're healty and happy .. I must agree.
post #16 of 25
I live in the country and have let some of my cats outside years ago. All but one of them were gone within 6 months. The country is supposed to be safer than the city, and if that is true, I would never let my cat out in a city.

With very little traffic here (like a dozen cars a day), I've had 2 cats run over by cars - each time by an idiot who clearly went out of their way to run over the cat (one was on my front lawn 10 feet from the street - tire tracks were the giveaway). There are frankly idiots out there who will go out of their way to kill a cat.

I've had cats killed by dogs, coyotes, and some just disappeared. It's heartbreaking and has taught me a lesson.

I have perches in most windows, bird feeders outside the windows, cat condos all over the house, and lots of things to entertain my crew. They may be bored from time to time, and when they are, I rearrange furniture and condos for them.

If you love them, why risk their lives?
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
I competely agree ... when I still lived at home, we lost a one of my favorite cats to outdoor conditions, they could go in and out ... I miss OJ so much. He was my favorite cat in the whole world .. and my third cat I hope will be another orange cat like my OJ.

I am happy to hear that they can find it thrilling ... well, at least different, when I rearrange, because I do quite often. I am always bringing in new blankets, too -- as well different house plants (that they always try to get at but I keep right out of their reach I have visitors that come over that have "other" scents on them as well ... so I do what I can to change the atmosphere ...
post #18 of 25
Men are pigs. My advice, ditch the roomate and get another cat.

Keep them all indoors for a long happy, healthy life.

MY deffinition of cruel is allowing your pets to be subject to biting fleas ticks and earmites to make them itchy and miserable, roaming dogs and other cats that could attack maim or kill them, cars, trucks, trains and other vehicles that could run them over, and other CRUEL people who like to poison, shoot or otherwise torture cats. As a person, you have the ability to reason, where your cats do not. You can see the danger, and make the decision to keep them safe indoors. When cats wander out of doors, they have no idea what might be waiting for them. You are doing the right thing.

You have my permission to whop this guy upside the head next time he suggests throwing your precious kitties to the wolves, so to speak.
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobster
Men are pigs. My advice, ditch the roomate and get another cat.

Keep them all indoors for a long happy, healthy life.

MY deffinition of cruel is allowing your pets to be subject to biting fleas ticks and earmites to make them itchy and miserable, roaming dogs and other cats that could attack maim or kill them, cars, trucks, trains and other vehicles that could run them over, and other CRUEL people who like to poison, shoot or otherwise torture cats. As a person, you have the ability to reason, where your cats do not. You can see the danger, and make the decision to keep them safe indoors. When cats wander out of doors, they have no idea what might be waiting for them. You are doing the right thing.

You have my permission to whop this guy upside the head next time he suggests throwing your precious kitties to the wolves, so to speak.
I agree..... get rid of the room mate!!! LOL
post #20 of 25
First of all, you can tell your roommate that when it comes to your cats (the operative word being YOURS and not HIS) that he can mind his own business. Second of all, you can tell him that men to get 'fixed' like women do. It's called a vasectomy, and if his behavior is really the way you describe then he should consider getting one.

There are few things more annoying than a misinformed person butting in and trying to tell someone else what to do.

It is not cruel to provide a safe environment for your cats. It IS cruel to send them out into the world and expect them to protect themselves against all the dangers posed by humans and other animals. It's gambling with the animals' lives. When we adopt a pet, we take responsibility for their safety and it's our job to protect them.

If you would like them to enjoy the outdoors, then the leash and harness option may work for you. I would be careful however, because if your apartment complex has a lot of strays like mine does then there is a risk of transmission of disease. If your cats were to take a sip from the same water source as another cat, for example, or if another cat were to attack one of yours while you were walking it.

My cats are strictly indoor cats, and they are healthy and happy. It's the for the best.
post #21 of 25
Keep your cats indoors. I toured a cheetah habitation once, and the owner kept the the wild cats inside cages the size of a living room. Someone asked why they didn't have more room, to run around or explore, and he replied that big wild cats spend their entire lives, essentially, in the same, small amount of space. They don't romp around like dogs or wolves. So your cats will do fine in an apartment for their entire lives.
Also, it is their instinct to want outside. If you always keep them in, then they won't know what it's like to go outside, so they'll never miss it. But it is their instince to live outside, but they are safer and happier indoors.
post #22 of 25
Why the heck do you live with this worthless person? I don't think I could handle it! I also agree to get rid of the roomie and cat another cat.
post #23 of 25
Uh...people don't poo in dirt and bury it either, or catch live birds or mice or squirrels and eat them. People don't lick their own bums.

Here's a hint for the roomie...THEY'RE NOT PEOPLE!!

And he thinks that its cruel because they should be allowed to go outside if they 'want' to? So, I should let my boxer run off leash into the street because she 'wants' to, or let my three year old nephew play with the stove or climb in the refrigerator or eat nothing but ice cream because he WANTS to??

I have eight cats, all indoors...and they will all be indoors for their entire lives. They are all fixed. I just bought them a new twelve level cat condo and have plans on buying a second and linking them together so they have a huge jungle gym. They eat better than I do. See the doctor more often than me. They're all healthy, happy, and glossy and will all live (knock on wood) long long lives being healthy, happy, and glossy.

But I guess I'm a cruel cruel person in your room-mate's eyes because they are all fixed and will never set a paw pad outdoors.

He needs to seriously get a new definition of cruelty. Kudos to you for making the right choices. And so long as they are your cats, YOUR say goes, and he can go blow his hot air somewhere else.
post #24 of 25
I say you shouold keep your cat inside completely, your cat will live much longer, your cats won't have many fleas, less chance of catching a disease, and they won't get taken by anyone or run over by a car. I can think of a lot of reasons why you should keep it inside.

Cruel wouldn't be the word to describe keeping a cat inside 24/7, more live doing them a favor! They live longer if kept inside.
post #25 of 25
My choice is definately indoor. Some people use the excuse "Cats are wild and need to be outside." Yes some cats are wild. But these cats are domesticated and are meant to be inside. I am not against putting a leash and collar on a cat and taking it for a walk of coarse. I do that with my cat, Gary, all the time. But the reason for that is, Gary was a stray and was used to living outside, so when ever I would open the door he would charge out. But that isn't the point of this thread. Letting your cat outside for any reason is dangerous. They could be hit by a car, eaten by wild life and many other things. So once again, I think that cats belong inside.
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