Cats are meant to be outdoors

by Kim
(S. Florida)

I grew up in England where nearly all cats are outdoor cats, meaning they come and go as they please.

Cats love to go outdoors and explore the jungle of their backyard, and sometimes chase things. Its in their nature. Just as humans would not like to be kept indoors all the time, neither do cats. They get bored indoors.

As for the theory that outdoor cats don't live as long - our cat Dusty lived to be 20 years old and had a happy, fulfilling life.

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Please play nicely.
by: Larry (Editor)

To Anonymous who posted 'only half-wits let their cats out' (currently at the bottom of the page.)

I thought hard about deleting your post.

Both sides of the debate are welcome here, if you believe that cats should be kept indoors please make your point without resorting to insulting anyone who has the opposing view.

Larry (Editor)

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Matilda's schedule
by: Dennism

Matilda snuggles on a schedule which includes my lap at 4 P.M., My wife's couch at 8 and after which she will sit in the bedroom doorway until we go to bed, whereupon she will snuggle between us until the morning.
I have often thought that she secretly wears a wristwatch because she does this at exact times each night.

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Cat Rules vs Owner Rules
by: Jacee

Teresa: "That's another thing we've discovered, having a cat in the family: you can ssss them off a table or counter but the minute you leave the room, they go right back."

I have noticed that "owner's rules" don't apply when the owner is out of sight. :D And that "cat rules" are uniquely their own and each cat has his/her own rules.

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how true
by: Dennism

Theresa... When Matilda snuggles down on my lap, I simply cannot stay awake... she's the best tranquilizer around...

We have had a few rough tough old tomcats over the years and ended up having to put them down because of injuries...

Inside is best

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indoor-outdoor kitty
by: Dennism

I have had both kitty cats and the indoor ones were by far happier and healthier than their outdoor counterparts..

Our current lady cat who lives with us came to us as an outdoor stray feeling miserable and lost..
She's 14 years old now and if you open an exterior door, she will run farther inside..she hasen't been outdoors in 14 years and keeps herself occupied just fine...

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I don't think there is a right or wrong.
by: Larry (Editor)

Hi Kim,

Thank you very much for your interesting post.

I can confirm that if you walk along almost any street here in England you are still likely to see many outdoor/indoor cats.

I too believe that cats are happiest when they can come and go and fully enjoy the outdoors. And until quite recently I would have agreed with everything you said. But . . .

It is a sad fact that there are many dangers out there. I lost a good ol' cat, Basil to traffic and my daughter in law lost her much loved cat the same way.

I don't think there is a right or wrong. Cats should enjoy the outdoors but . . .

I have another cat now, he is a lovable rascal who I know would love to get out there. But until I can move to somewhere with a lot less traffic I'm going to try to keep him happy indoors.

Thanks again for you post, and your view is valued and valid.

Larry (Editor)


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Outdoor/Indoor, the eternal debate
by: Teresa

Kim, Dennism & Larry the Editor: you all make very good points, as do all the posters here on this site, both for and against letting cats go outdoors vs. keeping them inside.
I've posted my own thoughts about our cat, Fidget, and read many other posts and I still feel somewhat conflicted about the matter.
However, in the case of traffic being an issue, it seems plain that it's best to keep the cat inside and happy with lots of play, windows to sit at, etc. I did live in a small town once but on a fairly busy street and eventually, several cats we had got run over by a vehicle, even though the best ones managed to avoid that fate for a few years.
Now that I live in the woods of Northern California, quite a ways away from a trafficked road, the issue is wildlife.
Cougars, foxes, racoons, skunks, even other feral cats. Several people I've known have had cats just disappear and you can imagine they were either eaten or were killed in a fight with an animal.
A lot of people say it's safest to keep them inside and I agree that it seems they are in some way deprived of a 'natural' existence, but on the other hand, they have lots of play and indoor 'hunting' of bugs and moths etc. and in our case we have dogs that Fidget plays with.
He also loves to knock over the little garbage can in the bathroom, looking for Q-tips, and bats any pen or pencil off the living room coffee table, and we find the weirdest things on the floor sometimes, a bottle cap or a twistie tie. That's another thing we've discovered, having a cat in the family: you can ssss them off a table or counter but the minute you leave the room, they go right back. Even a water pistol squirt doesn't seem to phase a cat for long. They're stubborn!
But then when he gets on my lap and stretches out up onto my chest, purring his heart out, giving me the full golden-eyed gaze....I fall in love with him all over again and forgive everything.
T.

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only half-wits let their cats out
by: Anonymous

Outdoor cats do not for the most part live nearly as long. Many meet their demise by cars or attacks by other animals. I have never known anyone yet who let his/her cat outdoors that had half a brain. They are animal abusers in every sense. Generally less educated segments of society do this ... i.e people who should be spayed and neutered so they don't spawn kids as stupid as themselves.

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Where is Charcoal

by Catrina
(California)

My Charcoal is 2 and a half. He is a beautiful uneutered male. He has always been so reliable, coming in at night when called, and going out in the morning when it is light.

He got into a habit of coming home every other night, and then he disappeared for six nights. He came home for two days and then disappeared again, and I haven't seen him since.

I have a problem with the statement that all cats should be spayed or neutered. If so, the only available cats would be from catteries that in-breed for genetic abnormalities and call it a breed. Part of the beauty of cats is the diversity and surprise results of a litter of kittens. I am very worried abut Charcoal and cry for him every night. I took a chance on letting him lead a normal cat-life with the exception of keeping him in at night. I think he decided to set his own schedule.

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neutering
by: Dennis M

I sincerely hope that Charcoal finds the way home but that makes a good argument for neutering...
A neutered cat is far less likely to roam and put themselves in danger, I.e., getting hit by cars, dogs, disease, etc.
You and the cat will enjoy MANY more pleasant loving years together if you spay the animal...

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Please don't give up hope.
by: Larry (Editor)

Hi Catrina,

Thank you very much for your submission.

I'm so sorry to read that Charcoal is missing. you don't say how long he has been away from home but please don't give up all hope of him returning. I don't know if this page how to find a lost cat. Will be of any help, you have probably tried many things but you might find some thing there.

As for the points you make about neutering, I certainly agree that it would be a poorer world if all cats were pedigree. All cats are wonderful, very much including mixed breeds.

Unfortunately though there are far too many cats that nobody wants. Plus there are other reasons why neutering is best that I'm sure that you have heard many times. I respect your entitlement to your view and wish you all the best in finding Charcoal.

Larry (Editor)

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