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Should I let my cat outside?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My cat would love to go outside, but I'm afraid to let her outside. And I can't help but feel bad for her because she looks outside and sniffs the air coming through the window and she really wants to go outside and chase birds, but she's gone out into the street before when I've let her out. Is there such a thing as a cat chain or something that won't hurt her and something that will make her outside experience as enjoyable as possible?

post #2 of 14
There are outdoor cat enclosures available. You could either buy or make one of these. Another option is to take her outside on a leash.
post #3 of 14
I think indoor kitties lead longer and healthier lives. But like Lorie suggested, you can make an enclosure with chicken wire ( be sure to cover the top as well ), so your kitty can go "out" without the risk of the streets or other animals. I've tried the leash thing, but I've never had success with it. I think the enclosure is a perfect solution, and not very expensive. You can buy a roll of chicken wire which is more than enough for a large pen, for around $20.00. And its not hard to assemble.

post #4 of 14
A lot of it has to do with where you live also. I happen to live on a fairly busy road, and my house is only about 15 feet set back from the street. If my cats make a b-line for the door, they'll end up right on the street. That is really my main reason for having indoor only kitties. And of course ,they must be spayed and neutered. But if you are in a rural area and you feel comfy w/ them being out and about, then follow your instinct.
post #5 of 14
I keep my kitties inside because where I live it's coyote and fox country. There's not many outdoor cats left in the neighborhood because of these predators. Plus I live near a busy highway and I'd hate for them to wander down there. Athough most of my crew is actually scared of going outside, my cat Mitzi always tries her best to sneak out the door so I was even thinking of getting her a leash and harness set to take her outside. If you do decide on a harness just make sure it fits properly so she can't slip out of it.
post #6 of 14
I also live in a rural area and don't let anyone outside. When I buy a house of my very own, I plan on building an enclosure so that they can go out and still be safe. Besides all the regular worries such as wild animals, cars, people, and poisons, I would also worry about having them eat rodents & get fleas which lead to worms. Outdoor cats also end up with more trips to the vet weather it be a cat fight or injury from roaming around. This is just my take on the whole thing and I feel much more secure knowing where they are
post #7 of 14
More Reasons Why you Should Keep Your Cat Inside

Although cats are smart, alert, and adroit, they are no match for the many perils that await them outside. That's why the average outdoor cat lives only a third as long than the cat who's kept safely inside. Consider these threats:

-Disease - Feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus are only two of the diseases that are passed from cat to cat and, once contracted, result in the eventual death of the pet. Outside cats are even more likely than dogs to dome into contact with rabid wild animals.

-Parasites - Outdoor cats suffer from fleas, ticks, ear mites, and worms that indoor cats are not generally exposed to.

-Poisoning - Poisons are found in lawn chemicals, bait left out to kill rodents, antifreeze, and other sources.

-Other Animals - Fights with other cats, dogs, and wildlife often leave cats maimed or injured.

-People - In our own community as well as others across the nation, cats have been the victims of burning, ritual torture and other abuses.

-Cars - Cats often crawl into warm car engines in cold weather and are killed or badly injured when the unsuspecting driver starts the car. Most outdoor cats die prematurely from auto accidents. It is a myth that cats are "streetwise" about cars. No matter how alert, a cat is no match for a fast moving vehicle.

-Unaltered cats allowed to roam and mate account for millions of the cats who must be euthanized each year because there aren't enough homes for them.

-Becoming Lost or Trapped - Few cats reported missing are recovered by their owners. Some people who notice a cat in the area assume it can find its way home. Others assume the cat is abandoned and care for it without attempting to locate the owner. Cats may become inadvertently trapped for days as they explore a neighbor's shed or a dumpster.

Cats can be completely happy inside if you provide them with toys, good care, and lots of love and attention. If you have a kitten, start out right by never letting him outside.

Older cats often make the transition to being indoor pets easily. Some, however, will take extra time and attention. Gradually reducing the amount of time your pet is allowed outside, increasing play time with your cat, taking it out on a harness and lead, or constructing or purchasing and outdoor enclosure can help ease the
post #8 of 14
Both of my kittys are inside only and have never been outside and that's okay with them. They love for me to open the windows and doors so they can sit in or in front of them as long as there is a screen in between them and the outside. When I open the door to go out they go in the other direction. They chase birds, other animals, and leaves from the inside and even then if one gets too close under the bed they go. Yes, the are not very brave, figured they would have not made it very in the real world. But, I don't have to worry about where they are, what they are into, fleas, etc.; and hopefully add a few years to their life.
post #9 of 14
I let Cleopatra out on my balcony on a leash(rigged so that she can't go over the edge, or even near the edges, of course!) But she loves going outside, so I have to give in and this was my solution. It's worked out great so far!! My other cat, Noah, doesn't like it outside. Even if I pick him up and sit out on my balcony with him in my lap, he leaps away and meows at the door to go back inside. I have 2 very different cats on my hands!!!!
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the information! My cat does have her leukemia shot and she's neutered. I wish she would stay inside but, like some cats, she loves to sneak out. I liked the kitty enclosure idea. She's not a kitten anymore... I haven't updated my profile. She's actually a year and five months now. I think if I do decide to let her outside it won't be very often.

Thanks again for all your help!
post #11 of 14
I take Orion out on a leash. He's actually getting very good at the leash and harness stuff, and last vet trip, they were so impressed with how he jumped out of the car, and followed to the door.

He gets a little crazy after 20 minutes or so, outside. I guess he figures at that point he's secured the area, and now is the time to see how much I'll let him get away with.

=) This summer, we're going to try getting a longer lead, and staking it outside when we go out. I would never leave him alone on it, but I think he'd really have a great time with a little more freedom outside.

Spring and Orion
post #12 of 14
Just be very careful,

I used to let my indoor only cat out once or twice in the backyard, while I supervised. One time, in just a split second, he managed to chase a butterfly over the chain-link fence and into the neighbors yard... with 3 BIG dogs! Luckily, I jumped over quickly and rescued him before they knew he was there. Also, he brought in a large FLEA infestation, which took months to get rid of. We've moved since then, and I just prefer to avoid possible problems like that.

Oh yeah, I forgot about the time he slipped out the front door and ran around the house and hid under the backyard deck while it was sleeting on Thanksgiving Day!!!

Good Luck!
post #13 of 14
When I lived in the country, I would let my cats go in and out as they pleased, but for the past year, it has not been possible to let them out. 2 of the 4 have never been out. I think I will probably not let them out any more, even when I get back in a permanent place. I haven't had fleas, fight injuries, or worries about where they are, and it has been great. Fred has had abcesses from being bitten and was once caught in our car fan. Fortunately it was one that would stop immediately if something were caught in it, so he wasn't seriously injured. I have changed my thinking about cats outside. Fred still escapes occasionally, but I don't let him stay. He is one of those rare cats that will come when he's called, or will at least stop where his is so I can catch him.
post #14 of 14
you have to protect your cat as you would your child. staying inside is for her own good. if you let her out once in a while. she will only want out more. plus it may be the last time you let her out. anything could happen to her. if she's trying to get out. keep a water bottle by the door and srpay her back when you use it. i don't mean to sound harsh but i don't want nothing to happen to the baby. i'm sure any outside cat would trade places with her in a minute!
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