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another can of worms!

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
i'm gonna open another can of worms. who lets their cats go outside?? not I! i moved out on my own at the age of 16. i got a couple of cats. i have LOVED cats since i was born! i would let my cats in and out as they pleased. needless to say both of them ended up run over. people think , well my cat knows not to go in the road. they always say that until the cat gets hit. i still miss those cats. but lets be serious. they would probally be alive today if i would have kept them in the house! they would have been 9. my oldest 2 cats are 6. none of my cats go out. or will they ever. not to mention all the other dangers besides traffic. so you live in the country?? lots of room for kitty to roam? beware! my mom who lives in the "country" far from roads. lost her 6 year old poodle to coyotes. but thats another story. i know some of you love your kitties and let them go out. but the guilt that comes with loosing them because of something on the out side is not good. to this day i feel guilty. just my thoughts.
post #2 of 53
I agree with you. I won't ever let my cats be outside cats. Theres just too much danger out there. And besides, I live in a condo, so there is really no place for them to go besides right out onto the street. And I live near a busy street so they would for sure be killed. I only take them outside for walks on their leash and harness in the grass behind my condo.
post #3 of 53
I don't let my cats outside either. When I was growing up my family had two indoor-outdoor cats. One of these cats was a very young orphaned kitten that my dad brought home. When my mother wasn't bottle feeding my brother, she was bottle feeding the kitten. One night when the kitten was about six months old, my parents couldn't find him anywhere outside. The next morning, my parents found that the kitten had been run over. The vet expected him to live, but instead he died later of his injuries.

The other cat we had was a semi-feral kitten my dad brought home. This cat became my best friend. He and I would sit outside on the back steps every day, I would tell him all my secrets and he would always purr very loudly. This cat suddenly disappeared, and we eventually found out that he had become accidently trapped in a neighbor's garage and had died in there. Because I was under the age of seven, the loss of both of these cats was very traumatic, amd I have never forgotten either one of them.

As a result of the traumatic loss of my very first pets, I have always been very protective of the cats I have had as an adult and have kept them inside where I feel they are safe.
post #4 of 53
I have mixed feelings on this. Fred was my first cat and I knew absolutely nothing about them when I got him. I didn't even think I liked cats! He always came and went as he pleased, as did several others over the years. For the past year, I have not lived where I could feel safe letting them out, and I have been happy with that. I don't have to worry about them. Fred hates being inside, but Leo has adjusted pretty well. Litter box duty is much more of a chore these days, but that is a small price to pay. I am not sure that I would never let them out again, but it would have to be somewhere really safe.
post #5 of 53
since i deal with rescuing ferals, all my cats are inside/outside cats. I have a couple that if I did confine them for any length of time they would eat the wallpaper off the walls and chew a hole in the wall to escape. Thankfully, we have a lot of acreage for the cats to play on, and yes, we have lost a few early but they have great quality of life the entire time they are here, which beats what they would of had in the feral colonies they came from.
post #6 of 53
I've seen to many casualties on the road to let Rascal out. I only take him out on a harness. I live near the freeway and near a field. Skunks roam around there and birds of prey. Dogs are always loose. And then there are heartless people. No, I will never allow any of my cats to go out.
post #7 of 53
I would NEVER let my babies outside. First of all there's a huge coyote and fox population around here since I live in a wooded area. Then there's the busy highway where my street is off of.

My friend's cat, Fat :censor::censor::censor::censor::censor::censor::censor: got out around here(he was an inside only cat) and never came back. Poor guy! He was such a great cat.

I'm always worried too with all the animal cruelty cases that my kitties could get hurt by some sicko.

Unfortunatly my cat who lives with my dad, Benny is an outside cat and I could never make him stay inside. Luckily there's no foxes or anything in that area(none that I've seen) so that's one less thing to worry about. If I knew then what I know now I would never have let Benny go outside but he loves the outdoors too much to want to stay in.
post #8 of 53
I have NEVER had an outside cat. Arizona has too many coyotes, skunks, owls, etc. I, too, have seen too many road kills, to want that to happen to any of my precious creatures. I do not believe in allowing small children or pets to run loose.
post #9 of 53
Blackie has always gone out, though he stays in most of the time.

I'm having a hard time keeping Fred in the house. Every time I open the door, he makes a dash for it. He gets by me every 2 or 3 days and is gone for a few hours.

I think there is a difference between LETTING your cat out (I admit I let Blackie out) and the cat GETTING out in spite of your best efforts (like Fred).

Sparky would like to go out, but so far I have managed to keep him inside. I might finally manage to have an indoor cat with him
post #10 of 53
I let my older cat Lucy go outside, but only supervised. I would never leave her alone because of coyotes and killer bees. Yes I admit I am neurotic. She never gets off of the porch. Lucy lounges on the lawn furniture and barks at the birds. She is an older cat and doesn't like to roam.

On the other hand my younger cat Cosmo can not be trusted. Before we moved to Arizona he went into a neighbors house and her dog trapped him under a bed. Cosmo was gone for over 10 hours. That may not seem like very long, but I was very worried. Cosmo is now indoors only.

post #11 of 53
Well okay, I am going to give my opinion here... (since you opened the can... )

All my cats except Merlin are outdoor cats. And Merlin is indoor/outdoors. He comes and goes as he pleases. I have too many cats to keep them all inside, and hubby would never allow it, anyway.

I live on a big farm, and yes, I have had a couple cats get run over, but that is rare, as we have little traffic here.

The cats LOVE being outside. Their quality of life is so much better than if I kept them shut up inside all the time.

They chase butterflies, mice, climb trees, etc, and they are very happy cats!!!

Merlin loves to go outside. Since he is my baby (meaning he is the one that I am closest too) I worry sometimes about letting him out, for fear of something happening to him, but if I didn't let him go outside, he would be a very very UNHAPPY cat!!!! He LOVES going outside, and it would kill him INSIDE if I suddenly stopped letting him out. He has had to stay inside for a period of time after surgery, and he sat at the window looking out longingly, the whole time, and whining to go out. It broke my heart not to let him.

I realize I run a risk of losing my baby early by letting him go outside, but I look at it this way......

When my dad was alive, the doctor told him he had to quit eating fat and sweets, ice cream etc, or it would shorten his life, greatly. (he was over weight) At first we tried to keep dad from eating sweets, and fattening foods, and took them away from him...we wanted him to live a long, long time!!!
Then dad told us that he would rather just die early than have to be deprived of the things he loved so much, and that to him, living a shorter but happier life, enjoying the things he wanted to, was better than living for a long time, and not being able to do the things he loved (like eating his ritual nightly bowl of ice-cream) So of course, we let him live his life the way it made him happiest.

I feel the same about my cats....Merlin would be MISERABLE if I never let him outside to enjoy the sunshine, and chase the butterflies etc...and though he might live a very long life, he wouldn't be very happy.
I pray everyday that nothing happens to any of my cats, but it is worth the risk I take, to see them so happy and I know if they could talk, and be given the choice, this is what they would chose.

Of course it would be different if we lived in town, their is WAY to much traffic in town, etc, and it would be suicide to let cats roam about in town, but in the country, yes, they could still be run over, but the risk is way less, and they are so happy outside.

I'm not saying a cat who is kept indoors constantly can't be happy...I'm just saying in the case of my cats, they are happier outside.

It DOES scare me sometimes...I love my babies, and it would break my heart to see one of them (especially Merlin) be hurt or killed....but I have to take that risk to let him live the life he wants to live and be happy.

As for coyotes, they never venture too close to the house, as we have two dogs. (one is a big german shepherd) And the cats never wander off too far.

I am sure I will get flamed here....but this is my opinion, and I will stand by it.
post #12 of 53
Thread Starter 
i agree that a cat having a good outside home is better than no home at all. i also feel once a cat gets a taste of the outside it would be hard to keep them in. i know this because zazu has escaped a couple of times. needless to say he did not get far. he wanted to roll around in the dirt. my husband was like "tara, let him do it a few minutes" i picked his black butt up and took him right back in. after that he really wanted back out. i keep a water bottle by the front door. all i got to do is shake it. zazu has not got out in about 2 years. but i still have to use my water bottle. we live on a busy road. a wet cat is better than a dead cat.
post #13 of 53
I also just want to add that I am sure if something happens to Merlin when he is outdoors, I will just die inside, and I will beat myself up over it, and blame myself for letting him out, but I will hold the memories of him chasing butterflies and climbing trees and being happy, close to my heart, and remember he would have wanted it that way.
post #14 of 53
7cozycats....in your situation, living on a busy road, it IS better for them to be inside.
post #15 of 53
Thread Starter 

just wondering, are your outside cats fixed and up to date on shots??
post #16 of 53
Yes, they are! it took awhile, but I got them fixed. I have a couple feral cats that show up from time to time that need to be fixed, but I never know when they will show up, they wander off alot, and one of them has been gone for a long time, and showed up pregnant.
post #17 of 53
Thread Starter 
:flash: :flash: :flash: :baloon: :baloon:
post #18 of 53
Debby, I agree with what you say. Like your Merlin, my Benny LOVES it outside and I'm sure he'd loathe me and make my life miserable if I moved him here with me to make him an inside only cat.

He's been going outside for 7 years now and for me to move him from his home and keep him inside would kill his spirit. He loves the freedom and he never ventures out of the range of my dad's or my neighbor's yard.

I miss him a lot(even though he only lives across town) and I'd love for him to come here with me but it will never happen.

We actually had a fox living in our back yard under our shed!! We'd hear them at night but had no idea how close they were. I remember when I was outside Natala, my dog, who is oblivious to everything ran over to the shed and started pawing at the door and kept trying to look underneath. Later on I had Brian go and check it out and something large had burrowed underneath the shed. The hole was too big for a skunk or a raccoon.

So for now I visit Benny when I can and maybe one day he'll decide to stay indoors but I don't see that happening.
post #19 of 53
Debby nice post! I couldn't of said it better myself!
post #20 of 53
I know what you mean about killing his spirit....it would do the same to Merlin if he couldn't go out. Killing his spirit would be as bad as killing him.
post #21 of 53
Thanks Hissy!
post #22 of 53
Debby, you said it very well. And I agree. Both of mine are "indoor" cats, but they both like to go out in the yard and run around the house every now and then. And I let them. I actually live on a fairly busy road, but they stay out back, and as soon as I open the door they come right back in. They are NEVER left out over night, or even for an extended period of time.

They are happy and healthy, and I wouldn't change it.
post #23 of 53
Debby, great post! I know exactly what you mean about having unhappy cats. Fred is so miserable not being allowed to go out. Where I live now I can't even consider letting him out unsupervised. My SO and I try to make outside kitty safety a priority in finding a house, but it has not been possible for the past year. We will be looking for a permanent place soon and will be looking for a place where he can spend part of him time outside. He keeps sneaking out now and I hate to have to drag him back in. He was an indoor/outdoor kitty for 11 years. He has never as far as I know ventured farther than the friendly next door neighbors and will come when he is called. The girls have no interest in going out, and I cannot in good conscience, let Leo out because he is FeLV positive, so it will just be Fred and I don't have to worry much about him leaving the yard. The more I see him howling pitifully at the door, the more I want him to be happy playing outside. :flower: :flower: :flower:
post #24 of 53
That pitiful howling at the door always breaks my heart. I just can't say no.

Thanks guys for understanding my position.
post #25 of 53
My older cat, Squirt, used to be indoor/outdoor. It happened quite by accident. Apartment exterminators let him out one day. He liked it so much that he was in/out for about 2 years. When I moved, I kept him in for at least 8 weeks. Just as he was exploring the great outdoors again, he wandered off and got lost. He was gone for 2 weeks. When I found him, I never let him out again.

Joey has always been indoors.

I bought my house last year because it has a small outdoor atrium with 16 foot high walls. Now both boys can go out and not be in harm's way. They also spend a lot of time on the screen porch.

I understand that keeping a cat indoors is s safety issue. It's tough, though, because they love it outside so much. One of my friends has a 20 year old cat who has always been indoor/outdoor. I guess he has been lucky enough to beat the odds.
post #26 of 53
My two babies are indoor only cats. I live in the city, and in a 2nd floor apartment so there isn't much choice for them. They come out on the balcony with us and love being outside and watching the world. They are always supervised out there, so that they don't try to jump over the balcony (Trent did this once and scared the @$!# out of both himself and us!) Trent tried to sneak out the door once and got tackled before he could get anywhere. He hasn't tried it since. Basically, neither of them has ever really been outside so they don't miss not being able to go out. Being in the city there is no way that I would ever let them roam - there is too many dangers out there for them here.
post #27 of 53
In terms of keeping cats on a balcony, a friend of mine got some garden netting and ran it from the bottom of the upstairs balcony to the bottom of their own. It was some kind of tomato trellis made of soft string, with squares about 2" - 3". She said it was effective.
post #28 of 53
Thread Starter 
did any of you read the story of Queso? in the SOS forum? if not, go read it. it might change a couple of your minds.
and do any of your outside cats stay inside in the winter when its freezing outside? ya'll are gonna hate me!:laughing2 :laughing2
don't! i love all the cats in the whole world. theres these cats that live behind taco bell and we went through the drive through one night. it was raining. i ordered them a couple of tacos. they ate them. there are some houses behing taco bell and they might live in one of them, because they were plenty fat. point is...well i don't really know! i just really love cats.

post #29 of 53
Mine don't go out in winter....they put their noses at the door and decide to stay in most of the time!!!

As far as mine go, they probably spend less than 30 min outside per day....its strictly a "run outside to roll on the grass for a bit and then come right back" sort of outdoor cat.

I am comfortable with our situation, and I think each person has to decided for herself if its a good choice for their kitty.
post #30 of 53
Mine only went out when THEY wanted to. If they looked out and decided they didn't want to go, they came back in. I NEVER put them out. I think every one of us has our own reasons for dealing with this issue, and no one that is not abusing or neglecting their cats should be judged either way.I think we all love our furbabies and want them to be happy.
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