Fidget at 2 years old
(Mokelumne Hill, CA, USA)
Fidget discovering snow
I originally posted my story as a dilemma about whether to keep my kitten, Fidget indoors or let him be an outdoor cat as well. My vet had said that some cats are just fine and happy being indoor cats and others simply had to go out.
By the time Fidget was 6 or 7 months old it was obvious he was one of those that simply had to go outside.
Since then, he has transitioned just fine into an indoor/outdoor cat. We live in the woods, so traffic is not an issue, though predatory animals might be, but so far, he seems to take quite good care of himself and comes inside regularly to take refuge from the outdoors.
He hunts and brings in mice, rats, lizards in the summer and once a snake! He's slowing down on that a bit now and mostly just snuggles up to us and purrs.
Fidget is a sweetie and I am so glad he's in our life.
I have had 2 cats, both adopted from shelters and both indoor/outdoor cats. The first was with me for several years, was hit by a car, survived (but with an injured leg) and more than a year later, disappeared, never to be found. I looked for her for ages, and in the end, assumed she became prey. Her loss was very sad.
The second recently died at home in her mid-teens from kidney and heart disease. Watching her age and become sick was also hard and her death was very sad. We nursed her until the end and she was happiest in our arms, swishing her tail to the very end. We miss her a lot.
Both cats loved being outdoors, both came home when called (at least most of the time), the second was in at night, both worried me when they didn't respond, but both always wanted to go out, unless it was too cold or snowy.
I am now preparing to adopt our third cat and the sentiment against letting cats outdoors is very predominant. I have struggled with the ethics of this issue for many years, since the loss of our first cat. This is a tough issue. Our society as a whole has become very cautious, not only with our cats. Balancing the dangers of life outdoors with the losses that come from lack of contact with the natural, outside world are real dilemmas for both humans and animals. Zoo animals live longer than wild animals too, but we would not recommend keeping all wildlife in zoos.
I appreciate that you have a forum for exchanging thoughts and opinions. In my experience, public opinion is definitely trending towards indoor-only cats. I am not sure that I agree, but was glad to find a place that welcomed open discussion of this difficult topic.