All of my family's cats are indoor/outdoor. We live in a very secluded area where we are surrounded by about 300 acres of farmland.
All of the cats we have owned lived indoors until they were 6 months old, and then were given the choice of living inside or out, or both. Four of our cats preferred the outside and our oldest one sadly passed away two years ago at the age of 17. He had lived outside his entire life.
The only outdoor cat problem we had was that our one got caught in a fox trap and had to have her front paw amputated. We had brought her in for a while, but she kept sneaking back out. We also have 4 cats that come in and out when they please. Normally, they go outside in the morning and we call them in at night.
We are always getting compliments about how friendly our outdoor cats are, and I believe it is because we had the inside for 6 months.
Although we are surrounded by farms, we can still go outside at any time and see at least 6 of the 7 cats just laying around the yard. If not, just one call and you can see them running through the cornfield or woods. I believe that they have a very happy life and get to be a real cat, all while still getting plenty of love and attention.
Pancakes is 16 years old. He has been going outside during the day for as long as I can remember.
I grew up with this cat and I will tell you this: he is happier and more affectionate (to me and strangers) than any other cat I have ever encountered. In fact, that's what everyone who meets him says.
Cats have two personalities: one is the domesticated pet that comes out when the cat is indoors, and the other is the natural predator that comes out when it is outside. To deny one is fundamentally wrong.
Indoor only cats are typically mal-adjusted around strangers because it sees them as intruders into its "hunting ground"/ home. As I've said I've never met a cat that is as friendly to strangers as Pancakes.
In-door cats are skiddish. However, I do not understand why one would own a cat if not to let it in the house....Cats need the best of both worlds: a safe place to sleep at night, and an outdoor hunting ground during the day and early evening. This way you eliminate many of the dangers faced by outdoor cats...(I admit that I do recommend keeping your cat inside if you live in a highly urban area)
I have had cats all my life and my view is simply this: Life is dangerous,that does not mean it should not be lived...Get real people, cats are animals not babies. I've lost a cat to a car as well, and I still think its cruel to keep cats indoors.
Four cats that are happy inside
by Garry Wentworth.
(Grand Forks ND)
I have four very contented, fit and able, well adjusted happy indoor cats. I also have a couple of close neighbors who seem to think fit to tell me repeatedly how wrong I am to keep cats inside.
They are my cats. They get the best of care and have all they need. Yet I am accused of being cruel. These people do not get that I do not want my cats to end their days under the wheel of an auto or be ripped to pieces by a wild animal or be snatched and sold for research. I also do not want some cretin taking pot shots at them with an air soft. It happens that I also like wild birds and I don't want any cat of mine ripping them up.
For this I am selfish and cruel apparently.
One of my dear neighbors keeps parakeets. Does she think she is selfish and cruel by keeping them inside? No way, but apparently my cats are different to her precious birds.
Most of the time, Bates, Captain, Boop and Mary, have the run of the house. But they have their own room fitted out with two condos, scratchers, tunnels and a run of high shelving with balls and toys suspended above they love to swipe at. Their litter pans, one for each, are in their.
I have also constructed a outside run for them. They are only interested in venturing out in it when the sun is in the sky, otherwise they are not interested at all and after about two hours the most they trot back into the house. I'm out in the yard with them every time they are in the run.
Bates is the oldest, he is twelve years. He is the boss guy but rarely throws his weight around, he does not have to. I got him as a kitten and was going to name him Psycho but Bates serves just as good. He has a stare that makes you think he is going to rip out your heart. He keeps his place as boss guy just by using that stare. But he is as gentle a pussycat as can ever be. A happy and affectionate animal. Captain is a big shaggy ten years old tabby who looks like he should be in charge, but never says boo to a goose. He is content whatever happens.
As a kitten Boop's head and eyes were large, all kittens have big heads but hers stood out. So Betty Boop was the obvious choice of name for her, haven't used the Betty part in years. Her head still looks a little big but mainly because she has such a skinny body, not that she doesn't eat her share, just the way she is. Mary is Boop's sister. If anyone of them is going to be trouble it is Mary. She has mischief within her, but she is sweet just the same, as happy and cuddlesome as the rest of the gang. Boop and Mary are seven years now.
Vet bills no problem. All four are healthy and always have been. If they do need anything they get it, I am fortunate that I have been blessed so taking care of four cats is no problem at all. I am not thinking of increasing the gang, four happy creatures is fine. But if someone were to knock at my door with a kitten or cat that needed a home I can't say I would resist. But of course the newcomer would be an indoor cat, yes indeed.
My neighbors can have their opinions, I do wish they would keep their opinions to themselves, but I know my cats are as happy as they would be if left to roam about all day, and safer too.