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View Full Version : OT- Cats in or out?


Ingrid
07-02-2005, 12:25 AM
Since there seem to be a lot of cat owners around here, I'd like to pose this question--Do you think a cat is better off indoors all the time, or allowed outside. My last cat was an indoor/outdoor cat (at her discretion) and lived to a very ripe old 21 years. She didn't even have a litter box until she was about 18 and couldn't make it through the night without waking me to let her out. I loved the fact that she was so independent and had such an interesting life.

We (actually, my adult daughter & her kids who lives with me) have a one-year old cat that we've had since she was a kitten who has stayed inside. My daughter is afraid she will wander and get hit by a car, lost, etc. My husband is concerned about ticks getting a ride into the house (big Lyme's area, here.)

I feel bad keeping her in--she meows to go out since she slipped out for a few minutes the other day--and I need some arguments for and against, if you don't mind.

Thank for your time. :notworthy:

BinkyKat
07-02-2005, 02:18 AM
My cat Binky (see avatar) lives indoors, but is allowed supervised visits outdoors. He actually tollerates a leash on a tie down that screws into the ground (like you use for dogs). He sneaks out at least half a dozen times a year, mostly during nice weather but you couldn't push him out in the winter! He got out overnight 3 years ago (he's 7) and we searched until all hours of the night for him (he jumped thru our bedroom screen upon seeing another cat) and miraculously came back the next day. I find it funny we keep him in for his health and safety and so he doesn't use other people's gardens as his litter box, and he tries to get out a lot. Then there are cats you can leave the doors open for and they won't budge. I don't live in the country, but there is a river and woody area just blocks from our house so I keep him in unless we are all in the yard together. I keep up on his rabies and feline lukemia shots because you don't know what wanders through the yard when we're not around. Hubby and I couldn't agree on whether dogs are in or out so we comprimised and got Binky. He's a hoot and almost dog like anyway, you just don't have to let him out to do his doody. Soooo, I guess my opinion is keep 'em in to keep 'em safe, but take them out to play and eat grass and keep an eye on them. Besides, you never know if you have a kooky neighbor who thinks "if I find one more cat turd in my petunias, it's gonna be buckshot in that cat's hinder!" :evil: We had a neighbor like that growing up and another neighbor who felt leash laws don't apply to cats. Well, it was nothing but heartache in the end. Besides, you can give them satisfaction of the hunt instinct with treats and such without wondering what gross thing they'll kill to leave on your doorstep. Here we worry about West Nile virus, not so much from mosquitoes biting cats, but they give the disease to birds and cats may kill one or get it from an already dead bird they might find. Hope my 48 cents helped you out! :lol:
PS I have heard that indoor cats live longer, but that obviously wasn't the case with your little lady! But it's a thought I guess...

KellyK
07-02-2005, 07:21 AM
IN. IN IN IN.

I feel pretty strongly about keeping cats indoors for health and safety reasons. You NEVER know what they might encounter outside!

Shelters wont even adopt to anyone who plans to let their cats outside.

This was always a bone of contention between my Dad and me....he grew up on a farm where EVERYTHING (including him sometimes, if his father was not too happy with him...) lived outside!

hedgehog
07-02-2005, 10:06 AM
Hmmm... I have two indoor cats who just aren't good with the big, bad, outside world. One cat got out just before hurricane Hugo hit when he was living on the coast. He was gone for two weeks and we thought he was a gonner. One day he turned up sitting on a neighbors car - he's not been an outside cat since. He has always tried to sneak out whenever the door opens but he never tends to go far. Now that he's almost 18 years old, i think he only sneaks out to prove that he still can since he just sorta stands on the porch when it does happen.

My other cat was hit by a car as a kitten (that's how i got him - friend of the vet who spared him and fixed him up). He's very scared of the outside world and hasn't ever really wanted to go out. That's changing as we live in a place with LOADS of birds and squirrels that come onto the deck. I think he's getting curious.

However, we have a breeding pair of red-shouldered hawks out back so i really don't like to let them out at all! The hawks have attacked one or two cats in the neighborhood already, so when i do let my cats out on the deck it's ONLY under supervision... Once, my older, slower cat got out while the hawks were screeching and circling overhead. I about had a breakdown trying to get that rasty old man cat indoors. (I LOVE the hawks but don't feel the need to feed them like i do the other birds) ;) Also i do like the fact that the cats don't have ticks or a chance for contracting Leukemia or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) as readily. I was a researcher on a FIV (Feline AIDS) project when i was in college and the affects are horrible.

Ok, saying all of that, my aunt is taking care of a ferral cat colony behind her house and they are always outside. They seem to be doing quite well but get in quite a few skirmishes which require attention. Two are indoor/outdoor cats, one of which would prefer to be indoor only. I hate having to check them all the time for ticks but they're usually pretty clean.

But overall i don't think indoor cats are necessarily less healthy - my old geezer is very healthy. Perhaps they don't have to eat as much (less excercise) but they don't seem to be missing out.

-hh

Silver
07-02-2005, 10:26 AM
I have two indoor cats who never go out, and two outdoor cats who never come in.

I think cats can go in, go out, live inside, live outside, whatever they want to do, so long as they're vaccinated, have their claws, are fixed, are loved, and very well cared for. :thumbsup:

Sara
07-02-2005, 01:30 PM
Some towns have leash laws, even for cats. I personally don't think it's fair to have cats outside, but if you do, please make sure that it he/she is vaccinated and has its claws. They need to be able to defend themselves if they are let out in the "wild."

jodstr2
07-02-2005, 01:40 PM
indoor. it's healthier and a little bit cleaner.
mine has snuck out a couple of times, when we've neglected to watch the open door or properly shut the screen door. I just about have a heart attack and think the worst, but she comes back in with some coaxing and chasing.

snephenie
07-02-2005, 01:41 PM
IN. IN IN IN.



that pretty much sums up my thoughts. ;)

Carol_OH
07-02-2005, 02:01 PM
I'm with Silver.
Plus, it depends on where you live.

Ingrid
07-02-2005, 02:05 PM
Thank you all for your input. Or should I say INput. Ava (the cat) has her vaccinations, will ALWAYS have her claws, and does seem happy for the most part. I think I just feel a little guilty not offering her the wonders of outside. Maybe the next time she slips out, and with two young kids in the house during the summer, it's inevitable, I'll let her have a "supervised" visit. My daughter let her out during a thunderstorm the other night, just to show her it's not so hot out there. She stayed under the porch roof.

Part of this whole thing is that I still miss my Kitty, and kind of wish Ava were more like her. Kitty met my kids at the bus stop, walked them down, said hi to me when I got home, tapped on the window to go in or out, slept on my bed all winter. Ah, shucks, I'm getting misty. . . . Anyway, thanks again.

Nuno930
07-02-2005, 02:14 PM
Thank you thank you thank you all for keeping the claws. That is all I'll say on it.

Ingrid
07-02-2005, 02:16 PM
Thank you thank you thank you all for keeping the claws. That is all I'll say on it.

I strongly feel that removing claws is equal to amputating fingers. We have three scratching posts and everyone is happy.

feministmama
07-02-2005, 02:19 PM
I have one outdoor and one indoor. The indoor is a baby of the outdoor and has never lived outside. She will be 2 in September. I wanted them both to be indoor for safety of cat reasons and alla that but my roommate is upset with the stink of the litter box. So we compromised with the mama cat going out. But I do keep her inside at night time. We got all kinds of critters and other cats out there. She does have all her shots and claws too. But now roommate wants indoor cat to go out too. Wants our house to be litter free. So I will have to get shots and stuff for indoor cat. Then they will both come in and out as they please but poop outside. I don't like the idea of them being outside but I fear roomate will want them out period if I don't compromise.

Nuno930
07-02-2005, 02:21 PM
I strongly feel that removing claws is equal to amputating fingers. We have three scratching posts and everyone is happy.

Anatomically speaking it is the *exact* same as amputating the finger from the first knuckle.

ETD: First knuckle/last knuckle :roll: I was looking at my hands upside down :thumbsup:

Ingrid
07-02-2005, 02:23 PM
I strongly feel that removing claws is equal to amputating fingers. We have three scratching posts and everyone is happy.

Anatomically speaking it is the *exact* same as amputating the finger from the last knuckle.

And where would WE be without our fingers, Hmmm?

Never cropped my boxer's ears, either. If you don't like them the way they come, don't take them, I always say.

tab
07-02-2005, 02:54 PM
Neither of our cats are declawed, and both stay indoors for the most part. We live on a busy street, and prefer our cats three-dimensional. There was one time when I was propping the door open (I always have extended good-byes with my boyfriend, even after almost four years) and Nimbus just sauntered on outside. He just sat there and sniffed things until we took him back in. And I think my mummy took Mauney out on a leash this morning, but I was not present for the event. I hear she also smelled everything, and then came back indoors of her own accord.
My boyfriend's cat likes to go out in the backyard, but she's always supervised because there are a few avenues of escape that she knows of. There's never been a problem with her bringing in presents, partly because she's a bit of a chubba and partly because she has no front claws. His family adopted her from a shelter, and she was already declawed when they got her.
I've also lived with a happy outdoor cat, but she had a big field as a hunting/roaming area with very few cars as danger and a lone hawk who knew better than to mess with her, despite the fact that she was smaller than any other adult cat I've ever seen. She was happy being outside, but also happy to come in when the weather got cold.
My boyfriend and I will be adopting a cat when we move in together. Whether the cat is an indoor or an outdoor beast will depend on the cat's preferences and the area we live in - if it's busy, chances are we won't let hir roam freely outside even if s/he wants to.

Ingrid
07-02-2005, 04:43 PM
I'm sure the main reason my old cat had run of the 'world' was because she came to us, pregnant, from who-knows-where and though we fed her, didn't let her in right away. My youngest was 2 and I didn't want to take any chances. She never, ever scratched a soul in all the 19 (of her 21) years we had her.

I'm pretty sure Ava will stay inside. I can live with my guilt about keeping her in better than I could live with the guilt of finding her on the road.

KellyK
07-02-2005, 06:55 PM
Never cropped my boxer's ears, either. If you don't like them the way they come, don't take them, I always say.

:cheering: :cheering: :cheering: :cheering: :cheering:

feministmama
07-02-2005, 07:39 PM
So how about this? There is a neighborhood cat that has just been here for years. Our friendly neighbors down the street used to feed it and pet it but never took it for shots or anything. Then our friendly neighbor died and no one did anything about the cat so I started feeding it. I wanted it to come inside and live with us but it's SO skittish, it wanted no part of it. So now I just feed um and say Hi and try to pet em. The cat kinda sniffs around a little but that's it. No love, no warmth. So someone says I should stop feeding the cat if I'm not going to try to catch it and get it shots and alla that. But I think if the cat wanted me, they woulda said so and they haven't said so yet. So do you think I should force the cat inside or jsut let it do its thing? and I've got the other two cats to think about too.

feministmama
07-02-2005, 07:41 PM
Did I just totally highjack this thread? :?? I'm sorry, ignore me

Ingrid
07-02-2005, 07:41 PM
I absolutely would continue to feed it. I wouldn't force it to come in, but if you could catch it and are willing to pay the money, it should have its shots and be neutered. If it were to get rabies that would be a terrible thing.

Ingrid
07-02-2005, 07:48 PM
Did I just totally highjack this thread? :?? I'm sorry, ignore me

No, I asked for advise about keeping the cat in and the vote is in. Carry on!

LisaD715
07-02-2005, 08:07 PM
My beloved Sinny was an indoor cat with supervised outside visits. He never wandered more than 10 feet away from me and was always in the yard. He was de-clawed when I got him, I would have never done it....but I had him altered after breeding him once (he was a pure bred Himalayan).

My personal feeling is keep them in. I don't like the thought of what could happen. Many cats do fine on leashes, maybe you should try it.

Feministmama, when the cat is ready to have you as his person, he will let you know. He is still gaining your trust now with you feeding him.

Nuno930
07-02-2005, 08:12 PM
I absolutely would continue to feed it. I wouldn't force it to come in, but if you could catch it and are willing to pay the money, it should have its shots and be neutered. If it were to get rabies that would be a terrible thing.

What she said! :thumbsup:

Ingrid
07-02-2005, 08:15 PM
Many cats do fine on leashes, maybe you should try it.

We tried a harness to take her to the vet. Imagine a blender on the end of a string! :lol:

KellyK
07-02-2005, 09:01 PM
Is there someone you know who owns a humane animal trap? You could try that with a can of tuna inside....see if he'll bite...just so you can take him to get him fixed. We dont need any more feral kitties in the world....

Then, I guess I would have let him live the only (sad) life he's used to....he's lucky he's found you to feed him without asking anything in return! :heart:

LisaD715
07-04-2005, 12:30 AM
We tried a harness to take her to the vet. Imagine a blender on the end of a string! :lol:


:rofling: :rofling: :rofling: :rofling: :rofling:

MaggieL
07-04-2005, 09:17 AM
We tried a harness to take her to the vet. Imagine a blender on the end of a string! :lol:


:rofling: :rofling: :rofling: :rofling: :rofling:

I agree with Ingrid.


:roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard:

perced
07-04-2005, 01:33 PM
Our cat is twelve & you couldn't pay him (in catnip) enough to only be an indoor cat. Both the cat & i hate litter boxes. We had to use one when we moved from the Seattle area 7 years ago. I don't think we made it the recommended length of time though. He used one maybe once when we went to Disneyland this xmas. The neighbor let him out in the morning & back in in the evening. We also have a cat door on our garage, where all the neighborhood cats come to get out of the weather. That is the only place Baby will tolerate visitors on his property.

Ingrid
07-04-2005, 01:49 PM
That's the way my old cat was, which is why I've been torn about this one. Somehow, my other cat had "street smarts" which I don't know this one to have. Just this morning there were two young woodchucks on my deck and she was going absolutely nuts at the window. I think she would have gone after them if she'd had the chance, and even though chucks aren't agressive, if they had defended themselves, she would have lost.

kitkat
07-05-2005, 08:14 AM
When I got divorced, I lived in an apartment where we werent allowed to have pets (GASP!) when we got Pooey Foosums. So she was an indoor gal. A year later when we got our house, she just didnt want to go out. When she did she was frantic to get inside. She just isnt comfy in the big bad world, she is a bit of a timid girly.

hedgehog
07-05-2005, 11:14 AM
there were two young woodchucks on my deck

OOOHhh... how cool!! I LOVE woodchucks!

All we get are crappy, crafty squirrels who are eating all of the birdseed from the feeder and breaking my flowers. grrrrrrr..... damn rodents :mad:

-hh

VictoiseC
07-05-2005, 02:06 PM
Well! In people are so sure that's the best way and Outdoor people the same. Highly opinionated...

I could never ever deny my cats roaming outside and chewing grass and running down the hill. We have a city apartment and a country place.... for the past 10 years. We've had 3 cats who have always gone outdoors...

Tuppence, the sweetie who died of cancer at age 12, and

Paolo & Toisie who can't wait to come up from the city and go out. They go out in the morning for about a half hour, come in to sleep all day, then go back out around 6 for an hour or so. When they were little if they started down the driveway towards the road we yelled (or went and chased them) and now they never venture down there. Now they've settled into sitting on the chairs on the front porch and watching the world go by (one truck every hour or so)

We get their shots regularly and brush them etc. There's no problem. There was a hawk yesterday however and I ran around screaming at it... (how neat you have hawks hedgehog!)
I would never let them be out at night (there's a few coyotes around now) and we always keep an eye on them...

Btw, there's a woman vet upstate New York who REFUSES to declaw cats. She wrote an article on it and says they have that phantom pain thing like amputees do. My mum did that and I just cringed..... yuk.

Femininistmama....
I would definitely keep feeding that poor baby but that's it.
If she wants to get to know you better she will.

Ok, that's all, but I can't help posting this![/b]

brendajos
07-05-2005, 02:22 PM
So how about this? There is a neighborhood cat that has just been here for years. Our friendly neighbors down the street used to feed it and pet it but never took it for shots or anything. Then our friendly neighbor died and no one did anything about the cat so I started feeding it. I wanted it to come inside and live with us but it's SO skittish, it wanted no part of it. So now I just feed um and say Hi and try to pet em. The cat kinda sniffs around a little but that's it. No love, no warmth. So someone says I should stop feeding the cat if I'm not going to try to catch it and get it shots and alla that. But I think if the cat wanted me, they woulda said so and they haven't said so yet. So do you think I should force the cat inside or jsut let it do its thing? and I've got the other two cats to think about too.

i grew up on a farm that was very cat friendly. we had new cats all the time including many stray cats. most of the strays became friendly cats fairly quickly when they realized that they were gonna get loved up on and whoever was mean to them that made them run away wasn't there anymore. we had one cat though that came to live with us that NEVER got friendly. Drove all of us nuts because she was our only siamese cat and we thought she was beautiful. She stuck around for YEARS and never left and never really got pleasant. She had babies and everything. It wasn't until she was quite old that we were finally able to really give her any love.

i would say if that cat has been living outside for many years and has never gotten sick then it is doing better than the rest of us and we should prolly leave it alone. I would watch for any behavior that starts to look rabid of course, because you never know, but other than that i would let it be. My guess is that after a certain point in its life, if it hasn't had any of the shots, they would probably do more harm than good. Cats have been living in the wild for a long time without shots...this one appears to be doing okay too!

Nicoley
07-05-2005, 04:54 PM
i agree with the indoor cat -ness..... my mom had an ourdoor/indoor cat... she had fleas ... my mom never put one of the flea collers on her becuase she would say "god forbit it gets caught on something and strangles her" everone in the neiborhood knew she was ours and she would whore food off of everyone she could hold her own.. kickin other cat's butts and even dogs.... all this fun stuff you wonder why i say indoor... well our neibor has kids and they knew that she was ours but they were little bastards... they shot her with a BBGun and thats what killed her at the age of 19

my other cat who used to be an outdoor cat when he had another owner... anyways he was hit by one car and survived and was also hit by a truck and survived.. had pins in his legs and not good....

if you have a yard and your cat wants out they make a netting domey thing you can attach to a pet door so they have outtie -ness too

Link to netty domey thing here (http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=7336&inm=1&N=2002+113760+113563)

just a thought

**mod squad was here :thumbsup:

Ingrid
07-05-2005, 05:03 PM
if you have a yard and your cat wants out they make a netting domey thing you can attach to a pet door so they have outtie -ness too

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=7336&inm=1&N=2002+113760+113563

just a thought

I saw that netty thing in a catalog. I thought it was the funniest thing! I think I'd rather keep the cat indoors than put her in that. Torture! All those butterflies--so close and yet so far.

Hildegard_von_Knittin
07-05-2005, 05:34 PM
our kitties stay inside all the time. they're declawed (all 4 paws) and neutered. Stanley, who we got from the pound and was *always* an inside cat, is obsessed with outside and tries to get out every time we open the door. Whenever we go inside we have to shout "MOVE" because he's right by the door. It's even funnier when we put in the screens, because he just meows his head off when we're outside. Cheddar, OTOH, was a barn kitten, and ever since we brought him home when he was 6 weeks oldor whatever, he HATES outside. The first time I took him out after we brought him home he crawled down my shirt and tried to claw his way into my bra. He moans like crazy even when he's in the carrier outside. We're not necessarily "cats must be indoors" people, but since we got them both declawed, we're afraid they wouldn't be safe outside. Of course, if they did have claws, we'd be afraid of them getting fleas, or barfing up birds and mice in the basement. I just couldn't stand to have them away from me, anyhow :-)

Ingrid
07-05-2005, 05:36 PM
They certainly look content!

brendajos
07-05-2005, 05:36 PM
you tell me that the one on the left doesn't look like it is smiling!...lol

Nicoley
07-05-2005, 05:37 PM
if you have a yard and your cat wants out they make a netting domey thing you can attach to a pet door so they have outtie -ness too

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=7336&inm=1&N=2002+113760+113563

just a thought

I saw that netty thing in a catalog. I thought it was the funniest thing! I think I'd rather keep the cat indoors than put her in that. Torture! All those butterflies--so close and yet so far.

but thats what makes it funny :roflhard:

hedgehog
07-05-2005, 07:43 PM
There was a hawk yesterday however and I ran around screaming at it... (how neat you have hawks hedgehog!)


Yeah, they're pretty fabulous. Red-shouldered hawks are VERY loud when they circle which is really cool to hear during the day. I'd be VERY sad if they left, but hope they're sticking to feeding on frogs, snakes and *cringe* squirrels instead of the neighbourhood cats. :|

I know for a fact that my older cat (whom i affectionately call "Skeletor" due to his newly sinewy, elderly body), would be scooped up by a hawk with no problem. However my other cat has been cursed with the chubby gene (i tell him it's not his fault - it's all genetics!) and i honestly don't think a hawk could get him off that ground easily!! LOL.. :rofling: ... Although i'd HATE to see one try :shock: :(


Those net pens are kind a cool. Too bad they don't have a big plastic ball for cats like they do for hampsters!

-hh

VictoiseC
07-06-2005, 11:55 AM
Hedgehog.... my dad lives on this 'greenbelt' in Chandler, Arizona, like the houses are all on this nice big strip of green and the hawks just cruise down that and pick up cats here and there.
Can ya imagine!!!! ?

:shock:

amy
07-06-2005, 12:51 PM
I think a cat can be perfectly content living indoors if it's done so all its life, but can be spoiled if it's spent substantial time outdoors before and might not be happy indoors after that. I always had happy indoor cats in the city, and would go that route in the city, certainly, or if there were roaming dogs in my neighborhood, or if I lived on a busy road.

When I got my current cat from the shelter, she was age 5 and had clearly been an outdoor cat, because she ABSOLUTELY would not tollerate my attempt to keep her indoors. She became absolutely a "problemed cat", peeing on the carpet often to express her discontent. I finally gave in when I was forced to recarpet the livingroom, I didn't want her behavior to continue! Sure enough, since I've allowed her outside, she's been a great cat, and I have to say, it's been nice to not have to change a litterbox!

The shelter I got her from, here in the country, makes folks sign something saying they won't allow their cats to stay outside OVERNIGHT. But has no restrictions about a cat being outdoors in the day.

I am absolutely against de-clawing.

Feministmama, I'd say feed it, but TRAP IT and get it SPAYED!!!! It's GUARANTEED to get pregnant and soon you'll have the same delimma but with a LOT of cats. I had an opportunity once to capture a friendly pregnant ferile cat, and I didn't do it, and I've always regreted it. All of her kittens would have had the chance to be spayed and live happy lives with owners, and now there's probably 100 or more of her decendants (a statistical guess), and I worry that there's not enough food for them!

dustinac
07-08-2005, 10:39 AM
When I was growing up my dad felt all animals should be outdoors but then a boy broke my heart and dad got me a cat that was allowed inside LOL they have had them both since then. Some cats are happier outside then inside and its a battle if you try to keep them in. We have two cats one that my son was given by my parents when I had my daughter and she stays inside all the time. I just can't have anything happen to her cause its HIS cat that would be awful having to tell him something happened to her but its a battle. Plus we live on a farm and she keeps the mice out of the house. She was an outside kitten and we have to watch all doors if she can she will run out as fast as she can cause she knows when we catch her she goes back inside. She stays in the windows and meows and she has been inside for almost 2yrs... Then we have another cat who just came out of the woods one day the sweetest cat you have ever saw.. He won't come in and doesn't want in just lays in the sun on our porch all day and keeps the mice out of my garage lol I don't worry about him cause he has prolly been outside all his life. I am against de-clawing we had a cat that mom's friend told her thats what you need to do so mom took it to the vet not knowing what de-clawing was exactly horrible.. i think its all a personal decision no right or wrong way just what you are comfy with... Please spay/neuter them if they are outside though so many cats in our local shelter its so sad...