2 Outdoor Cats.

by Lexi
(Madison, WI.USA)

My youngest cat caught a mouse in the house

My youngest cat caught a mouse in the house

I currently have two cats, one is about 17 and the other only 2 years old. I've found that letting them in and out when they please makes them the happiest.

Of course my older cat doesn't go out as much as the younger. They both enjoy laying out in the sun on the deck.

The younger cat likes to stay out all night, rather than during the day. I've found out that if he's inside at night, he will meow over and over until he is let out. He's a very good hunter. He catches bunnies, birds and even chipmunks. He enjoys the outside life vs inside.

When he does come inside it's to sleep, eat or to be petted. I've actually seen him go to the bathroom outside numerous times as well. I'm hoping my two cats live for many more years!

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The mouse.
by: Anonymous

I did not see your cat's "prize" the first time I looked at the picture, I wish I had not seen it now. That's probably silly of me because I know that all cats hunt or will do if they have the chance. My cat does not go out and we live right at the top of the building so not much chance at all for any mice, thank goodness. I would hate to find my cat had caught one.

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"Oh I've been caught in the act"
by: Larry (editor)


Hi Lexi,

Thank you very much indeed for sharing your story of your two outdoor cats. Thank you also for your photo of your youngest cat. He has a wonderful look of "Oh I've been caught in the act" :0)

Yes, one advantage of cats being allowed outside the home is that they don't need to use the litter tray so much.

Depending on your situation, how much road traffic and how many wild animals there are around your home, there is no reason why you should not enjoy the company of your two cats for many years to come.

Larry (editor)

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Outdoor Cat Story.

by Andrea
(Michigan)

For the first time, I experienced the indoor v outdoor cat controversy, when I recently took my furry roamer to the groomer. As I was explaining that, although cats groom themselves, "Lucky" goes outside and

...at that point the groomer shrieked: " You let him go outside!"

I swear she jerked her hands away from the cat as if he had suddenly burst into flames. "Well has he been to the vet and been inoculated against PARASITES?" Yes, I replied, all shots and the feline leukemia virus to boot. "But what about PARASITES!?" she squealed.

Listen, lady, WHAT parasites? Heart worm is caused by mosquitoes, so any decent mosquito, tick and flea guard works for that. Other than that WTF are you talking about? Dogs go outside all the time, so why are you acting like my cat has some egregious communicable disease? Ring worm is common in ALL cats, indoor and outdoor, although they rarely suffer from it. (Ringworm fungus likes to live in the hair shafts) and ALL cats should be thoroughly vaccinated and protected from fleas.

Also, the "medical" and " statistical" view that indoor cats live longer and have less medical problems is divided. Some vets have told me outdoor cats have fewer diseases and fewer behavior problems.

Whatever your choice is should be based on the personality of your cat and the area in which you live. My Lucky LOVES the outdoors, and is miserable when kept inside for more than a day or two.

I know it may shorten his life span, and I know he may not come home one day. But it's his life, and I rather he spend it shorter, but happier if that's what it comes to. ( Oh, and by the way, he's a bada$$ with dogs)

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indoor/outdoor
by: Katy

There are cats who live a long time and go out. I had 2 cats, mother and daughter who both lived to more than 20 years old and both liked to go out. Unfortunately when they eventually ran out of lives, both of them just disappeared. This wasn't at the same time, there were years between losing them. It made it much worse and very hard to lose them than if they'd died and I'd known, but yes they had long happy lives.
I now have a happy cat family and 2 of my cats do go out, one regularly and one occasionally, I also have some indoor cats who just aren't suited to going out and all are happy and well. So yes, I agree with you.

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Reply to Kat
by: Andrea

Agreed that a new groomer might be in order -- the problem is, she's really good and the only groomer in my area that does cats! lol
It's true there are some cruel sick people out there and then Lucky goes on "walk-about" and is gone for days (one time, two weeks -- in a blizzard and sub-zero temps) and that's hard to take. I would probably feel much better if he would turn into an indoor cat, but he's just so unhappy and bored when he's inside for long periods of time.
Your story about cruelty reminded me of something that in hind-site I think is rather funny. I "petsitted" for a dog once -- Lucky was NOT impressed. I picked Lucky up to take him into a dog-free area, and Lucky misinterpreted this move as an attempt to give him to the dog. Even though I had all four paws neatly and firmly held, with lighting fast speed he whipped his head around and bit me viciously right on the boob! he got his wish: I howled and dropped him and he streaked off and hid under the bed for the rest of the day.
I have hope that if he can do that kind of ninja-cat move on his owner that has cared and loved him for so many years, then he will be ok with predators -- human and otherwise. (No problems with the bite-- it healed up nicely)

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Very Good Points
by: Kat

I find it amusing that the groomer is afraid of cats that have been outside, being that, as you said dogs are 'expected' to go outside, and groomers deal with many dogs. Why would she think that the cat would have picked up anything differently than a dog would have? Like you said they make preventatives for both.

I don't believe it is horrible to have indoor-outdoor pets, but I am very paranoid with our guys' safety, as we've had several of our indoor-outdoor cats either hit by cars or actually stolen by neighbors years ago (one was a black cat that someone stole on Halloween in 2005...I still cringe when I think of what could have happened to him) when I was a kid, so all of my current cats, now that I'm an adult and can decide, are indoor-only. However, I do admit I miss seeing them go out with me and follow me for walks, and hanging out in the yard. I also noticed that they did put on some weight since being inside only, but I don't have to constantly worry about them now, or look for them when we have a weather warning and I have to gather everyone.

But I also know that they are out of our clepto-neighbors' and cat-hating neighbors' reach from inside our house. Our one neighbor let their Rottweiler run free and she used to frequently come onto our property and chase our cats under our porch, which always made me freak out (there is a leash law for dogs in our area but not everyone listens to it). And after observation hours I did for college in a vet clinic and seeing a few cats come in that were shot with arrows, and guns, by sick kids, I became more than a little untrusting towards people with any of my pets. My one co-worker brags constantly about how she always rescues 'strays' by baiting them with feral cat traps and keeping them in her house....I always wonder if any of them are actually people's pets she's taking and not strays..

In order to meet a happy medium, I have some of my cats leash-trained, and I've been building an outdoor enclosure for them to be able to go out in the yard with me again, but only under my direct supervision. I really do wish that it was safe for them to come and go but I can't trust people to leave them alone. Everyone thinks they know your pets better than you do, as their parent. I guess it depends on how populated the area is, and of course who your neighbors are lol. I'm glad your cat seems to fare well with his indoor-outdoor lifestyle. I wish you many happy years to come with your kitties, and perhaps a better, more experienced groomer lol. :)

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Thanks, Larry
by: Andrea

Thanks, Larry. I have no problem with people who choose to keep their cats indoors. I have two other cats that stay inside -- mostly because I don't think the neighbors would be all that cool with three roaming. I think if you make the choice to let your cat be "free-range" then you should take him/her to the vet and get any and all vaccinations the vet suggests. We are diligent in making sure Lucky has his flea/tick/mosquito guard once a month, leukemia vaccinations once a year, and of course, he's not declawed and he's neutered.

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A matter of choice.
by: Larry (editor)


Hi Andrea,

Thank you very much for sharing your story about Lucky and his visit to the groomer.

I somehow don't think that groomer can have very much experience if she has never encountered an outdoor cat before :)

Although cats that go outside have slightly more chance of picking up fleas and tics, indoor cats get them too as the parasites invade homes.

As you say, it is indeed a matter of choice whether you allow your cat outdoors or not, there are pros and cons to both.

Sounds like Lucky is enjoying a good life and getting lots of love.

Larry (editor)

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