Indoors only = stressed, mentally unstable cat!!!!!

by Matt
(Sacramento, CA)

About 10 months ago, we got a kitten at the local animal shelter to 'replace' our 15 year old cat who had just recently passed away (and, who, by the way, enjoyed the outdoors).

Upon the advice of the so-called 'experts' who claim that all cats should be kept indoors, we decided to make her an indoor-only cat. Honestly, this cat imposed a reign of terror on ALL of us.

She was constantly wired and stressed. She almost NEVER slept. She jumped at the slightest noises. And she always trembled and breathed heavily, like a neurotic human being. Furthermore, she would constantly run around the house wild, jumping up on things, and knocking stuff down. And, to top things off, she had a REALLY bad personality. She would not hesitate to use her claws on us. And, on a few occasions, I would even have to push her away, as she came darting at my face in a threatening manner. NOT GOOD! Seriously, I was seconds away from getting rid of her on MANY occasions.

But one day, it all stopped. She calmed down and actually started to sleep. She stopped running around in a wild, frenzied manner. And she actually became quite a sweet little kitty. So what changed? You guessed it. We started letting her outside. At first, she was somewhat apprehensive of the outdoors. But now she LOVES it. And we now know that, whenever she starts to act 'wild', she wants out (she will always head right for the door under these circumstances).

After seeing this transformation of her personality, I just cannot see keeping a cat indoors as anything but the dumbest idea on the planet. Unless, of course, the cat is perfectly happy being in a 'kitty prison'.

Okay, so you say that outdoor cats are at increased risk for getting run over by a car or contracting a disease? Well, guess what? The same thing is true for humans. If we just locked ourselves inside our homes and NEVER went out, we would not have to worry about such things as swine flu, getting mugged, getting into a car accident, or getting bonked on the head by the occasional stray meteorite. We would be 'safe'. But is that any kind of life worth living? I don't think so. And, just like our kitty, we would certainly be at increased risk of developing a mental condition like depression and/or anxiety (and I would take the risks of the outdoors ANY DAY before a lifetime of depression and anxiety).

Cats are MUCH like humans (and other animals) in the sense that they love and NEED fresh air, exercise, and the freedom of the outdoors. Sorry, but keeping a cat imprisoned in a house is just animal cruelty. How many of you folks who disagree would with me would like to not be able to go outside yourself? I don't think many would.

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It is not cruel anonymous.
by: Mike One 7

To Anonymous that says it is cruel.

We have cats we keep them in the house it is not cruel.

If we had dogs would you say we should let them run free? Of course not. Yeah I know that you walk dogs, and some people walk there cats, but I can't see our cats being cooperating at all on a leash.

They stay in and they are happy as well as being safe. They get plenty of air by the screen door. We talk to them and we play with them.

In some places cats are not allowed to roam free even if they have a collar and ID or even if they are chipped, did you think of that?

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animals
by: Anonymous

it is absolutely cruel to keep any animal in a house all the time.
you need to let it out every once in a while.

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We had a little kitty like that.
by: Anonymous

Hello. I can sympathize with the problems you had with your cat. We were given a sweet little black kitten by some friends of ours, they got her from friends of theirs, we did not know how young she was.

At first she was a bit unsure of her new home but was no trouble at all. But after a week or two she became frantic, very much like you describe. We too were left in no doubt she wanted desperately to go out.

Well we had to wait until she was old enough to be spayed, as soon as she was we got her done. We let her out the back and stayed with her, had a bit of a job catching her and brought her back inside. The next day we let her out again, she found a gap in the fencing and that was it, we never saw that kitty again. Of course we searched and hoped that she would find her way back but sad that she never did.

We now know that she was taken from her mom cat far too young.

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Right or wrong?
by: Larry (Editor)

Hi Matt,

Thank you very much for your passionate post.

"Cats are MUCH like humans (and other animals) in the sense that they love and NEED fresh air, exercise, and the freedom of the outdoors."

Yes I agree, of course cats love the outdoors.

At one time I would have agreed with you all the way. I would have said cats should be allowed outside.

Now I'm convinced that there is not a right or wrong answer.

I've lost cats to traffic. My last cat lost his leg to traffic and then lost his life. My present cat is indoor only.

Would he like to get outside? You bet he would.

Is he unhappy because he is kept indoors? No, I honestly don't think so.

What would I have done if I had your cat? I don't know.

"Sorry, but keeping a cat imprisoned in a house is just animal cruelty. How many of you folks who disagree would with me would like to not be able to go outside yourself? I don't think many would."

Animal cruelty? I don't think so. Is it cruel not to let a five year old child out to play on their own?

I do understand your reasoning, and do agree that cats love the outside.

But I disagree that it is "cruel" to keep a cat indoors.

Larry (Editor)

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