Originally Posted by Larke
To everyone who keeps talking about cats' natures, etc., think of this - it's in a little child's nature to eat candy (or anything he can get his sticky hands on, including what's under the sink), and to chase butterflies across major roadways, etc., but does that mean you just allow them to go and do those things? It sounds more to me like you can't be bothered dealing with the transition of their becoming indoor cats, rather than caring about them very much. And I still can't understand the lack of feeling about the birds.
Ok wait a second here... What are we really talking about here? You are trying to domesticate your cat, and delete his natural instincts to hunt. How can you say that letting them outside is somewhere near the realm of not caring about them very much? And as far as the birds go, there is a natural cycle that kind of takes care of these things you know. I had a few cats that were indoor / outdoor cats when I lived outside of town. Ticks and fleas can be controlled with little effort, unless your just lazy and don't want to deal with it. The one cat I had, Buster, would go outside and within 10 minuites he had his present for me by the front door, and how can I say that I dont care about him, when he is showing me how much he cares for me? Dosen't sound like a case of neglect to me at all... And yea he was always smart enough to leave the stomach behind on anything he caught, and how do wild animals survive if there are tons of diseases he can catch? There's a lotta stuff on the toilet seats I can catch too, but I have no bird flu, or teberculiosis, or AIDS, and my fiance is an RN, so I should be semi-highrisk for that kinda stuff. A cold here or there just gives your immune system practice, you build an antibody and move on.. never to catch that cold again. Why would it be different with a cat?
All in all in reality, I think its fine to let them outside to 'do their thing', the ones I've had were old as dirt when they died, nothing funny got to them, but additionally I had him trained to come inside every night due to coyotes and such.. and as far as that goes, all of this is somewhat dependant on where you live, and your neighbors dog situation obviously.. I have a six foot fence all the way around my backyard, my 2 cats get a mouse or something every now and then, and love watching the birds baking in the sun, its kinda what a cat wants to do ya know? Not to mention the catnip bushes I've planted...
I treat my lawn with a bug spray similar to the type you put in your garden, and I've never had a problem with ear mites, fleas, ticks, gorillas, or cougars...
My mother has many cats .. i'm talkin 20's maybe 30, and has 4 acres , and about one acre is inside a fence itself.. its a chain link fence but it had an electric wire ran across the bottom. I think each of them found it once, and no more after that. They have a pet door to the garage which is their room now, (no cars in there), and another into the house. They dont bother trying to climb out or anything. It's all how much you want to spend to keep your cat truly happy, instead of trying to make excueses as to why you dont want to spend the time, or money to make him / her really happy.
Thats just my $0.02