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I let my pedigree out..........am I a bad person?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

I have an indoor cat he is a ragdoll.

I let him out. I feel unkind to let him stay in. He is almost 6 months and is still too little to climb the 6ft fence. I know he will wander shortly. I am a memeber of a radgdoll board and they reckon that these type of cats need to stay in at all times. I feel cruel to do that. They are supposed to be strictly indoor cats, but Ollie loves bathing in the sunshine and chasing flies (and bees....another story..he was stung last week had to rush him to vets as his leg swelled.has he learnt his lesson? has he heck, brought me in a half dead one yesterday)

Does anyone else have pedigree cats that they let outside? Am I being a bad mummy? He is supervised while he is out but of course there are moments say when the phone goes etc. I just cannot keep him prisoner in spite of the rules my breeder gave me. I care deeply for Ollie and just want him to be happy and he is so happy in the garden. Any feedback is much appreciated. Thanks.

post #2 of 29
First off I must say that I love ragdolls.

Keeping a cat inside is a great thing to do, they live longer healthier lives that way, and you get more companionship out of it.

I can't doesn't need to go outside to be happy, and living indoors wont stress them. Unless you have a rare feral that will no live any other way.

At 6 months no cat is too little to climb any fence that he/she wants to. Is this cat declawed? I doubt your cat has learned his lesson regaurding a bee sting, which is just one more reason to keep him inside.

Seeing indoor only cats as a bad thing, is an old fashioned way of thinking now.

Being a pedigree cat has nothing to do with living indoors or out.
You should take the breeders advice, and keep him indoors.
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
well thankyou for your reply. Bit brutal with the truth but hey!

I guess i was looking for someone who agreed with me.

post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
and no he is not declawed.

post #5 of 29
Have you considered getting an outdoor enclosure for the kitty or using a leash and harness to let him get a flavor of the outdoors?

But, I also think that cats can be happy indoors. My cat was a stray and has very limited access to the outdoors (I live in an urban area). It seems that he is less interested in the outside since he has been indoors more.

You can always quell kitty's hunting instinct by playing with him and letting him stalk his toys .
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
Of course I let him play, he is very stimulated. Ollie is played with and has games all of the time, he is very stimulated. We constantly play. Isn't it a cats natural instinct to want to play out of doors in the fresh air?

post #7 of 29
I believe it depends on the factors. Where you live, how many cats you have, the cats personality. I live out in the country,I have 9 cats that were once feral. They are inside outside kitties as is their choice. I have lived in the city and had inside only cats. But now, here at the farm, I need barn cats and company when I am out of doors, plus 9 cats inside our home would be a bit much. Perhaps Debby will chime in here soon, she explained it really well in another post that was going on about indoor outdoor cats. Or maybe I can go look for it and post it here. She said it so well, exactly how I feel about this issue.
post #8 of 29
Its a humans natural instinct to run around naked through the woods.

But we arn't going to do that..
Least I hope none of you will!

In the city, or in the country both are very dangerous for our pets. I've lost many cats because they were allowed outdoors.

The leash/harness or outdoor encloser is a good idea if you really want your cat to go outside, but you always need to be outside with your cat, cause it can wiggle out of any collar/harness you put them in if it is determind enough.

PS: I'm glad your cat is not declawed, and also I wasn't being brutal, that was me being quiet nice!
post #9 of 29
Well, if you want to let your baby out I would suggest a couple of things to ensure safety:

1. Put him on a harness and leash (if you put the harness on properly he will not wiggle out of it)

2. Build/Buy and outdoor enclosure

3. Catproof the fence. From what I understand there is something that can be added to the top of a fence that can prevent them from getting over. Also be sure to have all "cat" size holes sealed.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
post #10 of 29
I agree with the suggestions made here !!
But , it is not abnormal you know if your cat tries to escape once in a while !! Just do not let it become a daily habbit , or he(she) won't be happy inside anymore ...

PS. My Sydney is also kept indoors , but everytime he sees or hears an open door , there he is , trying to race to the free world ! You should see us then , chasing after him , shouting his name , trying to get his attention with his favorite food!!!!
Be sure that your backyard is safely enclosed !!!
post #11 of 29
I have a gorgeous Persian and I would not dream of letting him out. Firstly, its not safe, secondly, someone could steal him in a minute!! Pedigrees are prime targets. If you really love your cat, you will keep him indoors. Most of my cats have been indoors and all have been quite happy. Give them some sort of closed in access to outside. The ones that have been outdoor cats were all run over or disappeared!! Just try reading The Rainbow Ridge and you will see how many heartsick cat owners there are who lost their kitties to cars on the street.
post #12 of 29
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.

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.

Howabout getting harness and lead, or constructing or purchasing and outdoor enclosure.
post #13 of 29
Hi guys! Hissy asked me to post this here, because I wasn't aware of this thread going on, and she knew I had made a post about this in another thread awhile back, so I copied it and will post it here....

These are just my feelings on the subject, not saying it is right or wrong...here goes:

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 #14 of 29
that cats will try to get anywhere they have not been. My cats try frantically to get into my closets, but I don't wonder if it is cruel of me not to let them in there. By the same token, I don't wonder if it is cruel of me not to let them outside. I know things about the outdoors that they don't know, and that I could not possibly explain to them. So I don't let them out. They don't miss it, they've never been there.
I work at the shelter here in town, and I see a lot (A LOT) of icky things come in. Mutilations are not uncommon (I live in a small, rural town, by the way, not a big city). Missing tails are the most common, but there are other things too, some which require euthanasia. People are the perpetrators, and most of them are teenagers in groups. It is not pretty.
If you are going to let your cat out (pedigreed or not), PLEASE supervise at all times. I know you think he can't get over the fence, but cats seem to specialise in doing what we think they can't. A harness and leash is a great idea. So is an outdoor enclosure.
Give it some thought, and keep in mind that only 2% or so of lost cats are ever returned to their owners.
post #15 of 29
Only one of my four has any interest in going outside at all. He was an adult stray when I got him so Im sure he was very used to being outside. My other three were all kittens when I got them and have no interest in going outside at all. Last summer I took the ex stray cat out in the yard on a leash, he loved it but when I did the same with my other 3, one of them just plopped down on the ground as if he didnt even know he was outside and the other two freaked out and tried to get right back into the house. My cats are all indoors, I live in the city but regardless of where I lived I would never let them outside unless it was in a cat enclosure or on a leash. No matter what I do not want to risk losing any of them and I know how to make them happy indoors,even the one that occasionally tries to get out. I also think that they dont mind as much because they have each other to constantly play or snuggle. They are all very happy. IMO I think if a cat is never introduced to the outdoors, the chances of them ever wanting to go outside are very slim. Its definatly not an instinct for them to want to go outside. Mine have proved this too me.(or they just lack that instinct).
post #16 of 29
I said it earlier in the other thread, Debby, I totally agree with you. Its an individual's choice whether they let their kitty outside or not. I don't think anyone here has a right to say "you should not" let your cat out, its your choice.

I for one let my kitties outside when I am in the yard. They run around and climb the trees. They don't stay out long, or overnight. They usually come in when they hear the door open up. I lost a kitty a few months back to a car, and it was awful. But it was an accident, and he was young. I felt awful, but my other two adult cats still go out daily and love it. I wouldn't take that away from them, they enjoy it and are much happier kitties being able to go roll around in the grass.

Ollies mum, follow your heart and your instinct. I am sure you are making the right decision for your baby.
post #17 of 29
I keep up on the research on savannah cats, a new breed, bred from mostly bengals, and servals (wild cats).

Anyhow, a lot of those ppl have regular chainlink fences, and what they do to keep them in is build the same chain link fence as a ceiling. Lots of space no restricted sunlight, and you don't have to worry about other animals climbing in =p
post #18 of 29
Lisa, The way I look at it, if you didn't let your teenagers drive they'd be safer and live longer, right? I absolutely adore my Molly but she wats to go out on the patio and in the yard to climb trees, lie in the sun and chase lizards. I do make her come in at night because I worry about Coyotes.

If Molly could talk and if I asked her if she'd rather be safer and be surer of a 20 year life span or would she prefer to be a "real" cat taking her chances I am very, very sure she'd pick the second choice.

Maybe it's my imagination but it seems to me that outside or at least outside\\part-time cats are better adjusted and are less likely to be neurotic. It's the inside only ones who lick until their fur comes off and they get hairballs. it's the inside ones who throw-up on the carpet from "nerves". I worry about Molly when she is outside but I sort of feel it is what she would choose for herself.
post #19 of 29
Then again, if you make your indoor cat outdoor, that can make them quiet crazy too!

They'll either be terrified and you can scare them for life. Thanks to my roommates they have left the door open, and then close it later on, not knowing that my cats had snuck out side, poor darlings are soo darn scared when I find them, sometimes they are sitting next to the door, hair all raised up pleading for a familure face.

Then again.. you'll get your indoor cats begging to go outside all the time.. they will rip up doors, tiles, carpets, and meow to keep you awake, very nasty stuff.
post #20 of 29
We have 5 cats, and 3 of them are bengals. For one, I'd never think of letting them out.... not just because they're purebreds, but because I'm afraid of what someone would do to them. Our other 2 are declawed. There are just too many risks in letting a cat outdoors: disease/parasites, traffic, wild animals, cruel humans, weather conditions, etc. I don't see how it is mean to keep a cat indoors. A cat who lives indoors is living in luxury, if you ask me
post #21 of 29
My cat, Snowball, has never been exposed to the outdoors much and he is perfectly happy as an indoor only cat. If an outside door is open Snowball will sit in front of it with his back turned to it, and make absolutely no effort to get out. We live very close to a hospital and have emergency vechicles(sp?) going down our street at various times, so I'm sure Snowball would have been run over by now if we had been letting him go out.

I think the decision of whether or not to let a cat go outside should be up to each individual person.
post #22 of 29
Well, my five kitties are inside only, with the exception of Onyx who sneaks out on occasion They seem pretty happy to be in here since they have each other to play with, their own toy box and a cat tree to play around on.

However- when I open window (screened in of course) they all crowd around to get a sniff of whats out there. Their favorite place to be is the kitty shelf in our living room window. So, its my feeling that they would enjoy playing outside during the day.

Since I live close to a busy street, letting them out free range isn't a good option for me (if I lived on a farm or something they would be out whenever they wanted) So my plan is in the next few weeks to build a fenced in (roof too) area in my backyard. I'm going to have it so that the back of my house is actually the fourth wall and they'll have access to it through my bedroom window, a ramp going from the outside window sill down to the ground. With shelves to sun themselves on and things to climb I think they'd really like it.

It truly does depend on the situation, there are no absolutes, IMO.
post #23 of 29
Dr. Foster & Dr. Smith's catalog has a little cage run.... I guess it is enclosed, but that might be an option?
post #24 of 29
Just wanted to say Thanks Mark, for your post, I thought it was very well said.

I don't think anyone is being cruel keeping there cats indoors all the time, but on the same token, I don't believe it is cruel to let them outside. (unless you live in a high traffic area, or somewhere that has lots of people around, and other dogs, etc....to where the risk is too great to let them outside unless they are supervised)
post #25 of 29
My experience has been that some cats love to live indoors all the time, some outdoors all the time and some half and half. l to accomodate my darlings I have installed a cat fence-in system on our fence so the ones who enjoy outside can do so without being harmed or bothering any of the neighbors. Before we had the fence-in system we built an enclosure on to the back of our house with a pet door that allowed the cats to access the house and vice versa as they needed. If you let your cat out, make sure he is in a protected area. By the way, is he neutered? Make sure to neuter him and that will curb is desire to roam if he hasn't already done so.
post #26 of 29
Patsy, you are soooo smart!!!
post #27 of 29
I have to agree with Dtolle, Hissy and Debby here, it is up to the owners. I love all my cats more than anything, and I let them outside. I live in the middle of fields so there is very little traffic (I mean, VERY little) we don't have animals like coyotes etc in this country.... we DO have foxes, but the surrounding fields are just wide open expanses of grass - no-where whatsoever for a Fox to hide - you'd be able to spot one from 10 miles!!
All of my cats are rescues, they LOVE being outside and go crazy when kept inside for too long, they DO come in and spend hours sat with me and playing with me, but in the end, they all end up scrathing at the door desperate to get out.
I think it very much depends on your surroundings, if there is a busy main road in front of you house then yes, I would keep the kitties inside. I have had one indoor/outdoor kitty die, but two indoor only kitties die.... Im not saying they died because they were only indoor kitties, thats ridiculous, but Im just saying that it can befall any cat, no matter where he/she is.
We have had long debates/discussions on this before, and each to his own, but I would never dream of telling someone they were "wrong" or didn't love their kitties, because they keep them inside or outside. Cats are as individual as people in my opinion, every cats needs are different. As long as they are all well cared for and up to date with vaccinations and happy, etc etc etc I don't see a problem either way.
post #28 of 29
Dear Bodlover:

You're lucky to be able to let your cats out and not have to worry about them. I dream of the day I can live in the country and not have to worry about my babies running free and having fun. My cats are lucky because they can go in my back yard which is "kitty paradise", and it's secured so they can't get out. I know though they would love it if they didn't have that wooden fence blocking their view of the world. After having 2 hits by cars, I said that's it I have to do something. I've lost many cats to death, but picking one up out of the street that has been hit by a car is the worst! I like to encourage people who have inside only cats that want to get outside, if they financially can afford it, is to build an enclosure. That is what we had originally before we acquired soooo many.
post #29 of 29
Patsy I totally agree!! Its a wonderful idea to have an outside enclosure for your kitties if you don't want to/can't let them roam about - that way they get the best of both worlds!!
Personally I think everyone on this board knows what to do for their own kitties, and we are all trying to do what best by them
(besides, you could hardly keep you 57 in the house!! )
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