i didnt want my cats going out unsupervised at all but until i live in my own house (not to long hopefully
) i have to accept the fact that my cats are going to be indoor/outdoor because of my parents/siblings beliefs
I didnt let Maverick out until she was 6 months old and had been vaccinated and microchipped, and even then she only went in the garden and only when i was able to watch her (she never really liked outdoors). Unfortunatly, my parents wouldnt beleive me when i said she would run away and/or get pregnant if they let her out without my knowledge before she got spayed and you guessed it.... she ran away and got pregnant
Her son Jupiter has been allowed out since the age of five months as i was able to get him neutered early. and he is only allowed out as he is very confident and streetwise.
like with kids, i think you have to take the cats personality into consideration. if the cats timid and shy then maybe they shouldnt be let out, but if they are clever and sensible (for want of a better word) then they can cope with the outisde world.
age is also a factor. just think how old you were when your parents first let you out alone (i was about 11 i think) and try to work out what the cat equivailant is. as I wouldnt let a 6 year old go shopping by themselves, I wouldnt let a three week old kitten out either.
for me, the size of the cat and its health also factored in my decision. Jupiter is a massive bruiser of a cat so i knew no birds of prey could swoop down and pick him up. similarly Maverick was a teeny tiny thing at that age so i knew that if i let her out she would have been liable to getting lost and would be more vunerable to predators.
i think that some cats are suited better to an indoor/outdoor life and some to an indoor life only but you do have to weigh up the facts/risks. however, i also beleive the later you leave it before letting them out the better, ideally around 8 months. and i always make sure my cats are in at their curfew of 10pm and do not leave them out at night.