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Cat indoors: a miserable life or not??

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I am fostering a 1 1/2 year old female stray cat for the local humane society (she had cat herpes but is doing great now). I have the option to adopt her - she is a real love bug - but I live in a four bedroom apartment and as I she is very playful, and needs a lot of attention, I feel terrible to leave her all day (quite demonstrative when I come back), and also guilty to think she will not know anything else than an apartment for the rest of her life (I don't intend to move). Also, the problem of cat sitting is another one... Is it a good solution to have the cat fostered in a cat pension while on holiday? It is difficult for me to have someone come here to feed her when I will go on vacation, for many reasons. If I put the cat in a pension for that time, will she have trouble adapting, especially one day when she is old?

I am really caught up in a real dilemna, as I like this cat a lot. Thank you in advance for your reply!

Nathalie
post #2 of 25
Get another cat. LOL

It is waaaay safer to keep a cat indoors. Do I think it is cruel? Absolutely not!

Our cat is indoors. He has a German Shepherd to play with, and us. He has toys. He's not fat. He's not bored. He's not sad. He is a VERY happy cat, and he's quite energectic and playful as well.

If you seriously think you spend too much time away, you should try to find a cat that will play with your cat you have now, or you shouldn't adopt her. I just feel the risk is too large to let a cat outdoors on its own. There are too many risks, ones I've faced myself.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hello Caitlin,

Thanks for your reply, that's much appreciated! And reassuring as well! At the moment, Fanfreluche (that's her name, from a children tv program for kids from the 60's, in Canada), is watching with much attention what I am writing. She is thanking you as well!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Caitlin
Get another cat. LOL

It is waaaay safer to keep a cat indoors. Do I think it is cruel? Absolutely not!

Our cat is indoors. He has a German Shepherd to play with, and us. He has toys. He's not fat. He's not bored. He's not sad. He is a VERY happy cat, and he's quite energectic and playful as well.

If you seriously think you spend too much time away, you should try to find a cat that will play with your cat you have now, or you shouldn't adopt her. I just feel the risk is too large to let a cat outdoors on its own. There are too many risks, ones I've faced myself.
post #4 of 25
I have 8 indoor cats and they are perfectly happy, even being alone we have to realize that they sleep alot, so I don't think you should feel guilty. Just give her lots of Love and attetion and playtime when you are there, I'm sure she'll be fine
post #5 of 25
I don't like keeping my breeding cats (5 of them) inside all the time - but of course I have to because I don't want them breeding outside.

I love watching my two desexed boys romping outside in the grasss, relaxing in sunny spots out on the back porch and just being cats - catching things, playing in the wind, lapping from a fresh puddle. I'd never deprive my desexed kitties of the outdoors.

JMO though!
post #6 of 25
There are a lot of different thoughts on indoor kitties. Circumstances are very different in various parts of the world, i.e., it is not at all uncommon for folks in the UK to allow their pets outdoors (even breeders with champion cats from what I understand from a Siamese site in the UK). Perhaps it is more safe for them there than here in North America. I personally do not feel that kitties are safe outdoors - fleas and with fleas come worms, cars and busy roads, predators, other feral cats fighting with them and coming into contact with diseases.

I've had several cats over the years and because I lived in apartment buildings, they were all indoor cats and none of them seemed to suffer. In fact, my sealpoint Siamese went to the vet twice in her entire 14 years - once for her initial vaccinations and again when she was around 9 years old for a bladder infection. She didn't have annual shots and she was a very healthy, happy cat.

If you think your kitty is lonely, get them a playmate. This is the first time in our life that we've had 2 cats and I have to say we are thrilled with the way they interact but they are also still very affectionate with us.

It's your choice naturally, but IMHO, indoor is always best.
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thank you halfpint for your reply, that's very much appreciated! And reassuring as well!

Best regards,
Nathalie

Quote:
Originally Posted by halfpint
I have 8 indoor cats and they are perfectly happy, even being alone we have to realize that they sleep alot, so I don't think you should feel guilty. Just give her lots of Love and attetion and playtime when you are there, I'm sure she'll be fine
post #8 of 25
I live on a farm and I have two indoor kittens(newly acquired)and a group of outdoor only cats. They were born on our farm and we have about 10. Truefully? I think all cats would be happier outside with lots of human contact on the side but that is in a perfect world. We have had a couple of litters but right now,everyone is fixed. We live far from a road and the fifteen years I've lived here,we've only had one ran over and only one die of something(disease/infection). They have a warm barn with lots of straw to keep warm in out of the wind and plenty of food and water. Sometimes they get "cat appropriate" scraps. They are all very happy and love pouncing through the tall grass of our CRP, sunning themselves on our deck,chasing each other(and the dogs) around our yard.They like to perch on our deck railing and lay on our big St Bernard. If you vacinnate like you should it should all but eliminate disease. We worm them regularly and believe it or not, fleas have never been a problem...maybe the fleas flock to the cows instead? Anyway, obviously not every outside cat could ever have it that good and I've never had a cat disappear even though coyotes/foxes are prevalent...could be our Saint keeps them away. The main reason I'm keeping the two kits in the house is because they were dumped in the winter without their momma. I don't see a time where we will put them outside.We are enjoying them immensly. I did once a while back try bringing in one of our farm cats....did well inside but wanted out soooo very badly I gave up. We don't let our Saint inthe house,never have and she is a very happy dog.Loves the warm barn, playing with the cats and sleeping on the deck and barking back at coyotes. I think you can have a cat that is totally content in the house,especially if they were never outside to begin with. So don't feel bad about having your cat in the house...maybe train it to be okay with a collar and leash and go outside for a romp? I don't know if I'll let the kittens out to play or not,they may decide they'd rather be outside cats instead.boohoo.
If I lived in town,there would be absolutely no way I'd let them run,but I feel on farms things can be different. I've considered even trying a cat door,but I'm afraid what else might come in(skunks,racoons)wouldn't that be nice?NOT!
post #9 of 25
I had two cats in a two bedroom apt, and all was fine. In fact, if she has herpes, I wouldn't want her to go out. One of mine has really bad chronic flareups, and per the vet he should never go outside. He got out once on New Years, last year, and he got really sick right after that.
Right now I have 4 cats in a three bedroom house and they are fine. If you can, get her a friend, maybe a younger kitty to keep her company.
post #10 of 25
A miserable life? No way. My two have been indoor cats for their whole lives. They are playful, affectionate, and vibrant. If your cat is lonely, then she needs a playmate. Even in places where roads are far away, there are still predators and diseases. We take cats into our homes as pets, and it is our responsibility to keep them safe and healthy. You can't do that if your cat is outside somewhere. Statistically indoor cats are healthier and live longer. There's no reason why an indoor cat should be unhappy. Perhaps if it knew the outside previously and missed it, but after an adjustment period even that should not be a problem. If you want your cat to enjoy the outdoors, then leash and harness train her. Be sure she is vaccinated though.
post #11 of 25
A 4 bedroom apartment!!!! This is plenty of room. I live with my two cats in 250 square feet. Cats dont need very much room to be happy but a 4 bedroom apt is not only adequate but A LOT of room. Dont worry about it. Adopt another cat so she has a friend to play with when you are away.
post #12 of 25
I have 4 that never set foot outside, one of them was a stray found outside, and since becoming a housecat (Cali)she has never wanted back out. Just provide lots of toys and attention when yoy can and the kitty will be just fine.
post #13 of 25
I tried to make Zoey indoor only and it worked for 6 months.. she now goes into the back yard it is pretty escape proof and she thinks she is a dog... I dont think indoor only is depriving ... I think if you live in a city ( i live in a bedroom communtiy and back to a fenced wooded area) it is essential...
post #14 of 25
I also think its a great idea to get another cat as well... cats do so much better when there are 2. My 2 boys are the best of mates and keep each other company, especially when we are not around.

If you can not get someone to come and feed your cat while your away then yes look into somewhere to board her for the time your away. You will need to research these though and find one that you are really happy with. Some are simply small cages and I dont think thats good for them at all.

I love her name, Fanfreluche, although I have no idea how I would even begin to pronounce that
post #15 of 25
my Sparky lives indoors. Spike is allowed to go out, but Sparky has to stay inside all the time, he's allowed on the balcony, but that's it. I dont' think it's cruel, esp if you live in the city. It would be devastating for me if anything happened to my babies and i like to keep Spike indoors as much as possible. If you're worried about your kitty being lonely, then get a second cat... that's why we got Sparky and Spike did alot better with apartment living after we got Sparky. He even prefers to stay inside more now. Although somethimes i think he gets annoyed with Sparky always chewing on his ears.
anyway... you could also teach her to walk on a leash. harder to do with cats, but it's possible.
post #16 of 25
I agree totally with getting a second cat and keeping them both indoors.
We have 2 "boys" that are just over a year old and very energetic, there are only 2 bedrooms in our home, and 3 adults living here as well as the 2 cats....and they are happy cats and indoor only. Just be sure you have a place where they can get up to and watch the outdoor world through a window.
I`m sure there are good places to board them if you have to be gone...just check the places out and ask a lot of questions about how they house the cats etc.
I don`t know if the herpes thing is an issue with getting another cat or not....but if you need it to be another cat with herpes already, so as not to spread it to an uneffected cat...i`m sure you could get your name around to different vets and they may be able to help you.....and perhaps it is`nt an issue...I don`t know anything about cat herpes.
I hope that you keep her and get her a room mate also. You`ll find a way to work out the problems if you really try....it`s just like having kids, only without the college tuition.
Let us know what you decide. There is a treasure chest of information on this sight to help you with any questions you may have about rearing cats.
Linda
post #17 of 25
We got Sleeves when he was 6 weeks old and he has never been outside. He's now 6 months and still sooo happy. Id love so much to be able to let him outside to run and play but like someone has already said, thats in a perfect world.
I got a lot of hassle from members of my family when me and Mark decided to get Sleeves since we live in a top floor flat but after reading so much about it on the internet it seems, surprisingly that the majority of cat owners keep their cats indoors.
As long as they get plenty of exercise and love, which Im sure your baby will, then she'll be fine.
When we got Sleeves we considered getting one of his brothers or sisters aswell but decided against it but now I wish we had. We are getting a little friend for him in 2 weeks and I can't wait to see them playing. You do feel terrible for leaving them, but I can go out for a couple of hours and come back to find him sleeping in the exact same spot he was when I left, so he doesnt even know Ive been gone.
Good luck whatever you decide
post #18 of 25
Rosie and Sophie have always been indoors and they don't seem miserable

I'd advise anyone to get another cat though for company

post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nath 1
Hi,

I am fostering a 1 1/2 year old female stray cat for the local humane society (she had cat herpes but is doing great now). I have the option to adopt her - she is a real love bug - but I live in a four bedroom apartment and as I she is very playful, and needs a lot of attention, I feel terrible to leave her all day (quite demonstrative when I come back), and also guilty to think she will not know anything else than an apartment for the rest of her life (I don't intend to move).

I am really caught up in a real dilemna, as I like this cat a lot. Thank you in advance for your reply!

Nathalie
I think if it is going to make you feel guilty, it would be better to let them place her in a home with someone who is going to have more time to devote to her. I can sympathize with how you feel, and I know if I was in that situation, it would eat me up inside.

I think indoor cats do fine, but I believe they need a lot of room to roam and explore. I mean, would you want to stay in your home all day, every day? It would be okay if it was large enough to accomodate your need for space, and had a lot of interactive activities to keep you busy...and you didn't think the way humans do. So, I think if a cat has a lot of room (i.e. open space) and a lot of toys, things to climb on, and interactive play, then they are fine indoors.

I have no doubt that if I put my Cupid down outside, he would either run back inside or run off and not come back. So, the cat would have to be used to spending time outside.
post #20 of 25
I'm an indoor-only advocate, despite conceding that in some situations that's not possible.

My three are all rescues, and have known the uncertain existence of scrounging for food and braving the elements. Therefore, they're not really interested in going outside. I live in a top-story apartment with two bedrooms, I guess about 800-900 sq ft, and while two of the cats will get curious about going out in the hallway when the door is open, most of the time they are perfectly content indoors.

I agree with others who've suggested you get another cat for a playmate. I also want to encourage you to get a cat tree and some "furniture" that can be your cat's alone. Lots of levels to perch on and jump to and from, will help recreate some of the "outside" appeal. And be sure your windows are accessible to her. Watching birds will entertain for hours! lol
post #21 of 25
Yes, my cat is also an indoor-only cat. She is actually terrified of going outside, unless I am with her and have her on a lead. She is very happy and healthy. I will be buying a cat tree/play area for our new apartment.
post #22 of 25
My crew are inside kitties and are very happy. They have plenty of toys and a really nice cat tree. They have never been outside and when the front door is open, they like to lay in the sunlight coming thru the screendoor.
post #23 of 25
You could always try taking her out with a leash and harness. Only 3 of my 7 enjoy going outside on leash, the rest prefer to stay inside.
Get her plenty of toys to occupy her time.
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by stampit3d
.
I don`t know if the herpes thing is an issue with getting another cat or not....but if you need it to be another cat with herpes already, so as not to spread it to an uneffected cat...i`m sure you could get your name around to different vets and they may be able to help you.....and perhaps it is`nt an issue...I don`t know anything about cat herpes.
.
Linda
My first cat, Zakk was healthy. Rocky, the second, has herpes. Zakk never got sick from him (he was almost 1 year when we got him.) I had asked my vet about getting another cat. I was told by one that it wasn't advised. I was told by another that it would be fine, but to mix lysine with their food so their immunity would be boosted before meeting the cat with herpes. I ended up getting two kittens I rescued from outside. They have been getting lysine from almost day one, and Rocky has been around them from at least the second week. Rocky in fact loves to bathe the kittens and snuggle. They have been FINE. The only weird thing that happened was that Zakk, the "healthy" cat caught a cold during this time. He basically just had sneezy sniffles, but to be on the safe side I brought him to the vet, got antibiotics for him, and started adding lysine to his food too. He has recovered nicely- no sneezing since a few days after finishing his meds. I think Fel-v is really where you need to be careful.
post #25 of 25
Is it a miserable life to not be hungry and sick, not itching from fleas, not cold and wet in bad weather, not in fear of being beat up by the big tomcat, not in fear of being caught and eaten at night by the owl in the tree?

Sure, it's an interesting and exciting life to be outside. But a pretty short and miserable one, too.
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